Aug 172015
 

A workshop on proposed cannabis water rules is scheduled in Fresno on Thursday.

The workshop begins at 1 p.m. the Fresno office of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. (Event link, map.) The new rules will require large-scale growers to obtain a permit, or “water discharge requirement,” showing compliance with state and local regulations. The rules are designed to address environmental impacts for reported problems that include water diversions and sediment discharges in sensitive watersheds.

Marijuana cultivation map

This map shows a fraction of the estimated 20,000 growing sites in the Emerald Triangle. New water rules will take aim at similar cannabis farming operations in the Central Valley

You can read the draft regulations here.

The “water discharge requirement” is not a permit, technically, but a type of “waiver” that precludes further enforcement by the Central Valley regional water board. The process requires an application fee, fee-based property inspections starting at $500, adherence to “Best Management Practices, establishment of water management plans and remediation on sloping parcels. As currently proposed, the waiver/permits will not be available in Fresno County, so there’s some question about how and when the new rules will be enforced, and by whom.

The proposed action by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board is titled: General Order for Discharges of Waste Associated with Medicinal Cannabis Cultivation Activities.

Background story.

Jun 172015
 

Fresno County acted improperly when it imposed a $99,000 fine on a medical cannabis grower, a judge has ruled. Xiong Thao was cited for growing 99 cannabis plants in March 2014, the Fresno Bee reported, even though he had pulled up and removed the plants before the citation was issued by the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. Fresno County Superior Court Judge Dale Ikeda said that language in the ordinance allows 15 days for removal of [read more …]

Jun 112015
 

Water regulations aimed at cannabis farmers in the Emerald Triangle could soon find their way to the Central Valley. Cris Carrigan, director of the State Water Board’s Office of Enforcement, described the agency’s “Cannabis Cultivation Enforcement Initiative” at a January meeting of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board in Santa Rosa. The Regional Water Board is set to adopt an expansive set of regulations in August as an outgrowth of a pilot program [read more …]

Jun 042015
 

The debate over cannabis legalization came to Fresno on Tuesday, the last stop in a series of “Blue Ribbon Commission” forums chaired by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. About 75 people showed up for Wednesday morning’s session at Fresno State’s North Gym, the Fresno Bee reported. “This is complicated, and good people can disagree,” said Newsom, who has been supportive of legalizing marijuana use. “I want you to know that most of the people involved in [read more …]

May 122015
 

More than $1 million in cannabis cultivation fines were on Tuesday’s agenda for the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, but the total was reduced to $159,000 after the board navigated through several split votes and failed motions. Tuesday’s special meeting was the seventh set of appeal hearings scheduled since the county’s growing ban took effect in early 2014. Citations are issued for violations to both Prop. 215 patient-growers and to property owners, although the board [read more …]

Apr 102015
 

Faced with opposition from Prop. 215 patients, the Fresno City Council voted down a cannabis cultivation ordinance to allow limited indoor growing. Thursday’s 4-3 vote represented an about-face from the March 26 hearing, where the council voted 5-2 to approve the ordinance. The measure would have allowed patients to grow up to four plants indoors after securing a “special permit” from the city. Under Fresno Ordinance 2014-20, all growing is prohibited. While Fresno Cannabis Association [read more …]