Growing cannabis for personal use may be legal in California, but it will cost you at least $160 in Humboldt County’s city of Blue Lake.
The Blue Lake City Council adopted a resolution last week that will require anyone wishing to grow for personal use in the city to pay a $160 fee and to submit an application to the city.
Blue Lake City Manager Amanda Mager said the $160 is a minimum fee and is meant to recover costs incurred by the city for regulating personal cannabis grows through inspections and ensuring that the applicant has proper infrastructure. Should further work be required, the city could charge the applicant more.
The intent of the resolution is to protect the health and safety of residents, whether it be the grower themselves or their neighbors, Mager said.
“Blue Lake has moved along this process fairly efficiently and we haven’t had any opposition so I feel like we’re moving forward with what the residents have asked us to do,” Mager said.
The new rules will take effect on Oct. 26.
Blue Lake has already banned commercial cannabis businesses within city limits along with several other cities in the county. While California’s recreational and medicinal cannabis laws prohibit a city from completely banning a person’s right to grow cannabis indoors, it does give local governments the ability to regulate personal grows to a certain extent.
The Trinidad City Council also advanced regulations last week that would ban commercial cannabis activities and require residents to obtain a permit for personal grows. The permit would have to be renewed annually and city officials would be allowed to inspect the property one time every six months to ensure compliance. Residents would also need to comply with restrictions on odor, power use and plant placement.
Similar regulations have been challenged recently. The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California and the Drug Policy Alliance filed a lawsuit challenging an ordinance the city of Fontana passed in February requiring residents to pay a permit fee of more than $400 before they can grow for personal use and submit themselves to warrantless searches, according to the complaint.