Multiagency Task Force Prepares for 2022 Cannabis Enforcement Season
Source: California Department of Fish and Wildlife
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) and State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), have aligned their enforcement teams for the 2022 cannabis growing season.
As authorized by California Fish and Game Code, section 12029, CDFW, DCC and SWRCB, established a Watershed Enforcement Program to address environmental impacts associated with cannabis cultivation.
Funded by voter approved Proposition 64 (PDF), the multiagency task force focuses on priority watersheds and areas with sensitive habitat and/or threatened or endangered species. County, state and federal partners also play an important role in ensuring the success of these objectives through enforcement support and the judicial process.
The environmental impacts from unlawful water diversions and habitat destruction associated with cannabis cultivation can have detrimental effects on fish and wildlife and their habitats, which are held in trust by the state for the benefit of the people.
California’s streams, which are common victims to illegal water diversions, play an important role in ecosystem biodiversity and habitat value. Tributary streams are often critical in providing clear, cold water for larger waterways. Many sensitive aquatic species such as southern torrent salamanders, coastal tailed frogs, steelhead and coho salmon rely on these tributaries in the late summer months to maintain water quality and temperatures necessary for survival.
Disruption of stream systems also has significant physical, biological and chemical impacts that extend into the surrounding habitat adversely affecting not only the fish and wildlife species dependent on the stream itself, but also the plants and wildlife in the surrounding area that rely on the adjacent habitat for feeding, reproduction and shelter.
With continued drought conditions, protection of our water resources is paramount for the long-term survival of the plants, fish and wildlife that depend on them.
Throughout the state, CDFW, DCC, SWRCB, county partners and local code enforcement agencies, among others are actively addressing illegal cannabis cultivation and unauthorized construction activity to protect these resources.
For more information about becoming a licensed commercial cannabis farmer, visit the DCC website at cannabis.ca.gov, call (844) 61-CA-DCC (844-612-2322) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To report suspected illegal cannabis activity, visit cannabis.ca.gov/resources/file-complaint.
To learn more about CDFW’s cannabis program, visit wildlife.ca.gov/cannabis or email email@example.com. To report environmental crimes, such as pollution, illegal water diversions and poaching, please call the CalTIP hotline at (888) 334-2258 or text information to “TIP411” (847411).
To learn more about the State and Regional Water Board’s role in cannabis cultivation permitting, visit waterboards.ca.gov/cannabis. For compliance assistance regarding the Division of Water Quality Cannabis Cultivation General Order, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (916) 341-5580. For compliance assistance regarding the Division of Water Rights Small Irrigation Use Registration, send an email to email@example.com or call (916) 319-9427.
See more details on fines, fees and administrative penalties for illegally cultivating cannabis.
Comments from Task Force and Partners
“The environmental impacts of illegal cannabis operations can last decades and cause irreparable harm to our natural resources,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division. “Those not complying with state laws and disregarding the environmental impacts associated with illegal cultivation practices will be subject to enforcement actions.”
“CDFW fully supports the regulated cannabis market and applauds those taking steps to comply with state laws,” said Sarah Paulson, Acting Cannabis Program Director. “With the second year of drought conditions, our native plants, fish and wildlife are feeling the pressure to feed, breed and survive. Protecting our natural resources is more important than ever.”
“Building and maintaining a safe, legal cannabis industry in California protects public health and safety and preserves our natural resources,” said Bill Jones, Deputy Director of Enforcement at the Department of Cannabis Control. “Our law enforcement team is proud to partner with state and local agencies to combat the illicit cannabis market and protect California’s land and people.”
“Complying with the state’s cannabis regulations is even more critical in drought conditions when limited water supply is available and water quality impacts are magnified,” said Yvonne West, Director, Office of Enforcement for the State Water Resources Control Board. “I am proud to work with so many individuals in the cannabis community dedicated to regulated and environmentally conscientious cultivation. The State Water Board is committed to taking enforcement action against those who harm our precious water resources.”
“My office is committed to criminal and civil enforcement to protect the environment and public safety,” said Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley. “Environmental harms from cannabis cultivation can be severe and long-term, including exposure to dangerous pesticides, water quality degradation, and wildlife injury. Moreover, cultivators who violate the law should not have an unfair competitive advantage over lawful cultivators who expend time and resources to stay in compliance. My office will continue to collaborate with our local and state agency partners to ensure compliance with the law.”
Jul 06, 2022 07:49 AM
It may not be a perfect estimation, but it seems that the “left” and the “right” tend to agree on one thing: regulation.
In this case, as with alcohol before it, we get jack-booted bureaucrats sending in the SWAT team for administrative errors, who then destroy their inventory (gotta do something with that stuff we bought from the DOD).
Ok; this was about an “illegal grow”. Still, the reaction is over the top . . . not exactly nuking the mosquito, but definitely in the extreme . . .
It’s what you asked for . . . reminds me of what I recall hearing an old preacher say . . . you may get what you want but you might not want what you got . . .
Jul 05, 2022 05:46 PM
How about winery op's?
They use all that stuff too, including ground water that was never tapped before.
Weed farmers don't us that much water and need less use of bad stuff.
They can get 3 crops a year(minimum) from the same real estate if you do it right.
Jul 05, 2022 05:17 PM
There are uncontrolled and illegal grows that do significant environmental damage that kills wildlife, depleats natural creeks and springs and worse. Many are manned by "campers" who litter and dump as well as use illegal (In the U.S.) pesticides and fertilizers... There SHOULD be enforcement of these illegal grows. Many also use diesel fuel to operate equipment. I have personally seen DRIP LINES used to gravity feed diesel fuel to grow sites... In no time, the diesel fuel erodes the drip line plastic and leaks diesel fuel for close to a mile or more... Not alot of brains in these illegal grows, JUST GREED.
Jul 05, 2022 04:44 PM
ok let's breakdown Joyce's comment:
My office is committed to criminal and civil enforcement to protect the environment and public safety,” said Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley. “Environmental harms from cannabis cultivation can be severe and long-term, including exposure to dangerous pesticides, water quality degradation, and wildlife injury.
Ok, and they are correct. I would love to know how much effort they put into the avo, cherimoya, citrus groves around us. I'm talking about the amounts of harmful, toxic pesticides and fertilizers. Do they check the avo ranches? No? Why not? We all know that the groves hire planes to crop spray. Do we know that those sprays are safe for the public? (they are not safe)
My grandfather worked as a manager for ConAg in Santa Paula. I can tell you for certain, those big companies pay off the powers that be to turn their heads. I can also tell you that my grandfather and many, if not all, of his coworkers passed away early with cancer and other forms of illnesses linked to the pesticides and fertlizers.
So i highly doubt that Santa Ynez, Solvang, Goleta, SB, Carp are all safe from the pesticides used on our local ranches.
Weed farmers do not use nearly a fraction of what those growers use. So why all of the problems? Because our local sheriff department and Joyce lost out a huge amount of money when they were not allowed to combat the cultivation and sale of marijuana any longer. So now they do this. Waste huge amounts of tax dollars so they can busy maybe ONE person growing some plants. Awesome.
Moreover, cultivators who violate the law should not have an unfair competitive advantage over lawful cultivators who expend time and resources to stay in compliance. My office will continue to collaborate with our local and state agency partners to ensure compliance with the law.”
So they are mainly worried that some businesses could profit more than others? That's so kind of them to think that way. Although i don't buy it.
Seems like a huge waste of my tax dollars. Just like the "war on drugs" was a joke and waste of money, time and resources. Look at where we are. 30 years later and is the war on drugs doing well for us? not one bit. cartells are running up meth and fen, and cocaine at alarming speeds because they can't push weed up here anymore since we legalized it. that war cost our country dearly and it did nothing for us.
How about back off of the weed farmers and start busting liquor stores and grocery stores that sell beer to kids instead? alcohol tends to make people do violent and stupid things regularly, not weed.
Jul 06, 2022 02:25 PM
sacjon - obliviously, attempting to come back swinging upbeat, after the massive now expired "self-imposed" down-vote "timeout". It says on the receipt "Jenny"?, really helpful and down to the penny accurate! Was trying to be cheap using Friendsofthefarm discount!
Jul 05, 2022 07:12 PM
BICYCLIST......... lol looks like I'm going to try that FF next time. Wheeee!
Jul 05, 2022 07:07 PM
what happened to spell check? obviously. I meant I noticed things were still flami'n in the "July 4th Cartoon", so actually just read the rest of the articles and move along to the Bike website...
Jul 05, 2022 06:56 PM
ZeroHawk - I just got back from my Medication pickup (Ralphs Rx & Farmacy), this was the first article I clicked on -> Thank you.
GG N7 :imprint (VA - Rx)
Forbiden Flowers :Cherry Trance! (local grown)
obvoius the FF is working great, thanks to the Farmacy
stopped by "boom boom bike room" on the way down, used to be "Cajun Kitchen", now just a way cool bike room to hang & check out really nice bikes... Thanks Alex sorry I missed ya.