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Microgrowers Get Protection in California

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A basement home grow

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill making life easier for cannabis micro-farmers in the state.

The bill defines them as growers with less than 2500 sq. ft. canopy size for mixed-light cultivation, up to 25 mature plants outdoors, or less than 500 sq. ft. indoors.

The bill was sponsored by Assemblymember Jim Wood, whose North Coast district starts on the Oregon border and stretches down the state’s so-called “North Coast” almost to San Francisco. It includes the fabled counties of Humboldt and Mendocino.

Wood’s statement:

“We are so proud to have fought for this legislation and thankful to Governor Brown for his signature. This law will help ensure that small medical cannabis growers on the North Coast can comply with regulations as this industry moves forward, providing certainty and predictability. It’s just not fair to require the small farmers to adhere to the same standards as larger operations. Now the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will be required to develop regulations for 2018 that address the unique characteristics of small farm practices.”

The bill was called the Cottage Cannabis Farmers Bill, AB 2516. It’s part of the state’s ongoing modernization of its agriculture regulatory processes in the years since medical marijuana was passed, in 1996, most notably last year’s Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act. Full legalization for California is on the ballot in November. Polls have put support for the initiative at about 60 percent.

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