Brian R. Leahy
Department of Pesticide Regulation
Edmund G. Brown Jr.
June 15, 2016
County Agricultural Commissioners
RECENT MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAW AND CLARIFICATIONS
In California, marijuana may be cultivated for personal medical use. On October 9, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (Act) into law. Under the new law, a qualified patient who cultivates marijuana exclusively for personal medical use, and not for sale and distribution, is exempt from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) marijuana cultivation license requirements. The new law designates medical marijuana as an Agricultural Product.
The three bills (AB266, AB243, SB643) collectively revised Business and Professions Code (B&P) to add sections 19300 through 19355, revised various other codes, and created the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation within the Department of Consumer Affairs. The new code sections became effective January 1, 2016 and are available at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayexpandedbranch.xhtml?tocCode=BPC&division= 8.&title=&part=&chapter=&article.
The following determinations are a result of the new law:
- For purposes of the medical marijuana Act, the terms cannabis and medical cannabis are defined, as well as the term cultivation.
- DPR interprets use of a pesticide by a person cultivating marijuana for non-commercial personal use as Home Use under California Code of Regulations (CCR) section 6000. Therefore, an individual who cultivates marijuana and is not required to obtain a cultivation license from CDFA does not need an operator I.D.
- The Act's designation of medical marijuana as an Agricultural Product does not change DPR's position that marijuana is not an Agricultural Commodity. This designation is limited to portions of the Health and Safety Code and the B&P Code. Additionally, the term Agricultural Product is not applicable to California pesticide programs.
The following clarifications are in conjunction with previously issued ENF 15-15/PML 15- 05.
- County Agricultural Commissioners are not required to issue an operator I.D. number if growing marijuana in that county is prohibited by a local ordinance.
- As defined in Food and Agriculture Code (FAC) section 11408, the term Agricultural Use means the use of any pesticide or method or device for pest control, excluding use for home, structural, industrial, or other specified uses. The term Agricultural Use isn't limited to the production of an agricultural commodity. In fact, as identified in the California Code of Regulations (CCR) section 6622 (c), pesticide use on cemeteries, golf courses, parks, or rights-of-way is also considered agricultural use, but is not considered production of an agricultural commodity. As such, the use of a pesticide for cultivation of medical marijuana falls under the definition of Agricultural Use, but is considered non-production agricultural use.
If you have questions, please contact the Enforcement Branch Liaison assigned to your county.
Original Signature by:
Chief, Enforcement Branch
cc: Mr. Joe Marade, DPR Agricultural Commissioner Liaison
Enforcement Branch Liaisons
1001 I Street ·
P.O. Box 4015 · Sacramento,
California 95812-4015 · www.cdpr.ca.gov
A Department of the California Environmental Protection Agency