Trinity County Medical Marijuana Fact Sheet
1) What are the rules about growing or dispensing medical marijuana in Trinity County?
There are currently two applicable regulations in Trinity County related to medical marijuana.
Dispensaries: Pursuant to Ordinance Number 315-795, adopted October 18, 2011 by the Board of Supervisor, Trinity County does not permit any marijuana dispensaries in commercial or industrial zoning districts. Further, no permit or other entitlement may be approved within the County for such use.
Cultivation/Harvest/Processing: Pursuant to Ordinance Number 315-797, adopted June 5, 2012 by the Board of Supervisors, Trinity County declares the cultivation, harvesting, processing, drying, or assembling of marijuana as an unauthorized land use. However, notwithstanding that declaration, the Board has directed that the County will not take any enforcement action against any qualified patient who may conduct such activities provided they comply with specific standards. Those standards are summarized as follows:
- The person conducting the activity must be a qualified patient or caregiver per State Law
- If the person conducting that activity is not the owner of the property, written clearance for that use must be available from the owner
- The property must contain a permitted single family dwelling
- The site where the plants are grown must be secure, not readily visible from off site, be located behind a minimum six foot high, view obscuring fence. (A building permit is required for any fence over six feet in height. A landscaped or vegetative fence does not suffice).
- The area of the cultivation site must be setback from the property boundaries at the furthest feasible location from neighboring properties, but at a minimum of the zoning setback for the property. (Zoning setbacks can be determined if you know your zoning, on-line at "Zoning Ordinance"
or you may contact the Planning Department at 530-623-1351).
- The area must be located a minimum of 1000 feet from a school, recreation center, youth center, church, library, child care facility, substance abuse center or other public gathering areas, and a minimum of 500 feet from any school bus stop.
- Either be grown outdoors, or if indoors, within an accessory structure built for that purpose, i.e. within a structure built pursuant to the California Building and Fire Codes for that occupancy standard.
- If a generator is used for any purpose related to the cultivation, harvest or processing of the marijuana, hours of operation are limited to 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.
- All plants must be grown in a contiguous area and not be scatter throughout a property
The marijuana grown on any parcel, whether grown indoors or outside, shall not exceed the following number of plants or square footage in size:
1) For parcels of one acre or less, two marijuana plants or 50 square feet;
2) For parcels between one and 2 ½ acres, four plants or 100 square feet;
3) For parcels between 2½ acres and 5acres, six plants or 200 square feet;
4) For parcels between five and ten acres, six plants or 300 square feet;
5) For parcels of ten acres or greater, eight plants or 400 square feet
Because these regulations are intended on mitigating the impacts of growing in the surrounding community, the amount is based on the size of the parcel, not the number of patients. Additionally, a parcel may contain additional immature plants, when combined with the number of mature plants not exceed twice the number of plants permitted in each category noted above. Immature plants are defined as ones that have no part flowering or displaying its sex.
Even if the marijuana-related activity is performed according to the County’s specific standards outlined above, if the activity still generates an odor complaint by neighbors within 1/4 mile, the County may declare the activity a public nuisance and abate accordingly.
2) How can I file a complaint about a growing operation in my neighborhood?
If there is an emergencyrelated to anything on your property or in your
neighborhood, call 911. Otherwise, there are three ways to file a complaint:
- You may call the Planning Department at 530-623-1351 with concerns about what you observe as violations of this ordinance,
- Use the internet and the on-line complaint form found at ;
Online complaint form
There is also a link for filing complaints on the County’s web site
- Fill out the attached form and send it to the following; Mail: P. O . Box 2819, Weaverville, CA 96093
3) What is the violation procedure?
Violations of these regulations will be investigated by the County’s Code Enforcement Officer and staff. Growing outside of the parameters of provisions provided in state law will result in criminal prosecution. Violations of Zoning Laws will result in a civil citation. Should it be determined that there is a violation, further civil proceedings will be considered for action against the land owner or renter. Criminal procedures that may be utilized by law enforcement would be a separate issue independent of these regulations.
5) How are the ordinances related to medical marijuana enforced?
Any violations of the State’s marijuana laws that are criminal in nature are enforced by the Sheriff’s Office and referred to the District Attorney for prosecution. The cultivation discussed herein is focused on land use and environmental impacts and are enforced by civil means. One of these means is set forth in Trinity County Code, Chapter 8.64, which authorizes what is known as the “abatement” remedy. This remedy allows code violations to be “abated” (removed) following administrative proceedings that ensure notice to the alleged violator an opportunity to be heard. If a civil citation is issued, the recipient would have 30 days to correct the violation or risk thereafter being subject to monetary penalty that would accrue daily, currently at a rate of $100/day. Under the civil citation procedures, the recipient may appeal within that first 10 days, accompanied by a fee and have a hearing set before a judge. A variety of state laws authorize the County Counsel to seek injunctions and similar relief in court against persons and entities who violate County ordinances.
6) How can I have input into a new and more permanent ordinance regarding medical marijuana?
The County will be scheduling a meeting at the Board of Supervisors regarding the development of medical marijuana ordinances that relate to larger, or aggregate growing operations. Please monitor upcoming agendas to see any posted time and date.
All citizens are welcome and it is the hope to work corroboratively with all in developing set of rules that are fair to everyone. Contact the Planning Department if you have any questions or want to get on an electronic mailing list for upcoming meetings