Ban the Bans: Getting Active Locally

Download a flyer on the bans with background, talking points, and sample language.

See Cal NORML's talking points on medical marijuana bans.

Cal City and County Ban Watch Facebook Page

UPDATE Feb. 3, 2016 - The governor has signed AB 21 removing the March 1 deadline in MMRSA for local governments to enact medical marijuana cultivation regulations. The bill also eliminates an objectionable clause that explicitly authorized local governments to prohibit the cultivation, storage, manufacture, trasnport, provision or other activity by patients and caregivers otherwise exempt from state regulation.

January 21, 2016 - Cal NORML is tracking bans or proposed bans on medical marijuana cultivation and delivery in over 200 locations across California. The bans are the result of what Rep. Wood has called a “drafting error” in MMRSA, the set of bills that passed last year in the state to regulate medical marijuana. Those regulations won’t be fully enacted until at least January 1, 2018; yet there was a provision in MMRSA saying:

In cities and counties without cultivation regulations of their own, the state shall be the sole licensing authority as of March 1, 2016.

The League of Cities advised any locality that did not have a medical marijuana ordinance to ban cultivation in order to protect their land use authority. (They have now said this is because meaningful land use regulations take time to write and there simply wasn’t time before the deadline.)

A few locales are opting to regulate instead of ban, and some excluding personal use cultivation from the ordinance, but others are banning all cultivation and deliveries too. Even though some are now calling the bans “temporary,” it’s important to start gathering forces to push for repealing the bans in place of meaningful regulation at all local levels.

CAL NORML NEEDS YOUR HELP TO ALERT US TO PENDING BANS IN CITIES AND COUNTIES WE HAVE NOT HAD REPORTS ON. There are 58 counties and 482 cities and towns in California. If your city and/or county is not on the list posted at and you can provide information on ordinances that have passed or are pending where you live, please respond ASAP.

You can:
- check your city council or board of supervisor’s website for upcoming meeting agendas, and search for marijuana. Report back when a marijuana ordinance is on an agenda, with the URL to the agenda and the agenda packet (with proposed ordinance)
- follow local press accounts and send in URLs
- correct errors or provide missing data for the spreadsheet at, such as dates bans passed or will be heard

If you can check on other cities in your county, contact us for a list of those in your area.

If you are facing a ban in your area, start reaching out to your local elected officials and let them know you oppose the ban and why. Talk to your friends and neighbors and get them involved, and write letters to the editor of local newspapers.

We have developed some talking points on the topic.

Also see:

Cal NORML’s summary of the MMRSA Act:

LA NORML's Bruce Margolin & Damian Martin: Erroneous Bans Must Stop Daily Journal, 1/20/16

Governor Brown Supports Fix to MMRSA Deadline


Calaveras County Supervisors have made up there minds to ban cultivation says Bob Admin Bowerman of the Calaveras Cannabis Alliance.

I just opened a new delivery

I just opened a new delivery service in Lassen county(on weedmap)) the first medical cannabis in area.. Breaking ground. What can I do to insure I'm legal. Do you have delivery driver forms patient agreement form.. Liability form??


Yes, we do have some forms. You can write and we will send.


Is anyone doing anything about this? I have a family member in a small town in central California that is facing (among other restrictions & contingencies) a 50 sq ft limit and having to be inspected by the city to comply with these new regulations the city council has passed. I can't believe that the California that fought so hard for medical cannabis is now almost silent over this.

Medical marijuana san jose new ordinance

San Jose as of Dec. 2015 apparently put an ordinance in effect that now prevents outdoor grows and requires you grown indoors in a room, not garage.Here is a section of the ordinance;
Notwithstanding the number of qualified patients or primary caregivers
residing at the private residence, Medical Marijuana cultivation shall be
limited to a single space within a single room that is not a garage. The
single space in the single room shall be no larger than fifty (50) square
feet and all Medical Marijuana plants shall be arranged in a single layer;

This seems illegal for the city to do especially since there was no Public notice on-line and had a surprise visit from the planning department after we started our grow in the backyard. if required to move their could major lost of plants!!!

Fighting back

Cal NORML has been fighting for cultivation rights at the local level for many years. We filed suit against Tehama county's ordinance, which held off tougher ordinances for years, but ultimately lost that suit. We asked the California Supreme Court to review its ruling allowing a total cultivation ban, but they refused to do so. The courts are ruling that the state law only exempts patients from laws of the state, and they are still subject to local zoning regulations. Many places are now banning cultivation altogether and it will take local action to roll back those bans. See:

Sacramento police "we see you" program

Sending out blanket notices that they see or smell marijuana on "next door" website