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Tehama County Limits Home Grows

The Tehama County Board of Supervisors has tightened regulations on home marijuana grows after getting an earful from angry residents who want to stamp out pot gardens in their neighborhoods.

Tehama County’s cultivation ordinance previously restricted the number of plants that could be grown based on the size of a plot of land. It also applied location restrictions, setback rules, security requirements and registration provisions.

The amendments to those rules, adopted July 30, impose a plant limit of 12 on every parcel, no matter how large, no matter the growth stage of the plant. A new penalty of up to $1,000 a day will be levied for those who are out of compliance. And other penalties will apply.

Required setbacks will be increased to 100 feet regardless of the size of the plot of land. And plastic sheets or cloth used to shield weed gardens will no longer be considered “an adequate fence” under the terms of the county’s cultivation ordinance.

The supervisors voted to amend the ordinance after hearing from several residents at a public hearing. They showed up to complain that weed gardens are a blight on their neighborhoods and are popping up too close to school bus stops. Karis Pierce, chairwoman of the Rancho Tehama Advisory Committee, said the grows are wrecking newly paved roads, using water illegally and encroaching on property.

A few home growers also spoke at the meeting, including one who pointed out that she, her partner and several others rely on her collective garden, which requires more than 12 plants. The amendments make no distinction for collectives.
State voters approved medical marijuana in a 1996 referendum. As part of that law, medical marijuana patients are allowed to grow pot at home.

indoor-growHundreds of cities and counties across California are already using zoning restrictions and other regulations to ban marijuana dispensaries within their borders. Attempts to curb home grows may signal further efforts to clamp down on medical marijuana in parts of the state.

Tehama County, in Northern California, prohibits dispensaries in unincorporated areas. The same is true of most localities in that part of the state, meaning a crackdown on pot growing could have a serious impact on patients.
The county claims to have received a greater number of complaints about grow sites this summer.

“These complaints, and information provided by the county’s enforcing officers, indicate a growing pattern of widespread, large-scale noncompliance with virtually every aspect of the marijuana cultivation ordinance,” Supervisor Bob Williams said.

But no evidence was presented at the meeting to demonstrate criminal offenses.

It’s not clear exactly how far Tehama County can go in limiting weed gardens. Supervisors went to court over the ordinance and won a ruling early this year that held the state’s marijuana law doesn’t prevent municipalities from regulating cultivation.

At least one supervisor said on Tuesday that he wants to stop all home grows in the county but acknowledged the law doesn’t allow for that.

About Matt Brooks

Based in San Francisco, Matt is a journalist who has specialized in marijuana policy for more than five years. He provides regular news coverage on marijuanaandthelaw.com and californiamarijuanamarket.com.


  1. Tehama county is the most crooked county in Cali. July 31st 2014 the swat team and code enforcer Kieth Curl trespassed through my property, killed 2 of my dogs, scared the hell outa my kids just to bust a 480 pot plant garden behind my property, then made me remove my 12 plants which were fenced in under lock and key with my script stapled to a tree right next to the gate, then kicked me off my property cause my trailor wasn’t permitted, I’m still being harassed by the code enforcers because of it, the owners of the garden didn’t even get a slap on the wrist cause they weren’t there when it happened but my life and my daughters lives have been horrible since then, my property is 6 miles outside of town, my garden was in the middle of my property, the closest county or public road is 3 miles away but they ruined my life to get about 1 hours worth of pot off the streets, my dogs died for that and they were in a dog pen when they were poisoned, that is heartless, I don’t trust this county or it’s law enforcement, they are all murderers in my mind, I permanently disabled with chronic pain 24/7 and have no pain meds cause medi cal won’t pay for them so now I have to deal with my aginising pain cause of this crooked county.

    • Toally agree with you shawn .. Kieth Curl is a lier and a crook he lie about our greenhouse and other things .. And we are also being Harrassed by the code enforcer ! we went down and put in a conplait and they didnt do a dam thing ! the swat just came to our place acting like we are big .. it is funny because there was not alot like they thought we had ! The RTR Suck’s and they need to stop going after the small pot grows that has cards and do there jobs and get meth heads and the meth drug dealers ! RTR has alot of meth peace of shit .. I am so glad we are getting out of this shit hole !

  2. Sign the petition mclr.us/petition print it out. It is much better than the auma.
    The supervisors and sheriffs need to be the ones blamed when someone gets hurt I no longer shop or support Counties that think growing a legal plant is worth the a fellow officers life, but there you go. I to will be leaving and renting out my home for a more sane place to live, where growing pot is not a crime for frightened law enforcement addicted to the money forfeiture they have been getting. Soon that will be illegal to do, unless they go thru the court system.
    This is the State of Jefferson for ya taking away the right of the people who voted for the legalization to grow their own medicine.

  3. Well supposedly as of July 17, 2017 it Will be legal to grow 12 plants in a fenced lot. And only 12 no matter how big you property is.. Is this going to make any difference or are people still going to be harassed. Can one sue the sheriff and county, city if that law is broken. since this is a board dession?

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