Cannabis cultivators must identify their water source(s) as part of their CalCannabis application(s) to obtain a state license. The deadline to submit an application to the State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) to obtain a surface water right for cannabis cultivation is October 31, 2017. This deadline was extended from the original July 1, 2017 deadline in the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act.
If you do not yet have a surface water right approved by the Water Board and need one, you must submit an application on or before October 31, 2017. Please contact Rogoway Law Group at (707) 526-0420 or Info@RogowayLaw.com to ensure you fill out the proper form, as the choice of form relies on whether you need a right to appropriate water or if you have a riparian right, among other factors.
This deadline does not apply to you if: you already have a surface water right recognized by the Water Board or if your water comes from any of the following sources: a municipal water supplier; a 3rd-party water hauler who delivers water to your property; water from a well that draws from a confined aquifer; or storm water that has not been channelized (you can use storm run-off from structures, such as your roof, but cannot use storm run-off that forms a natural channel on the ground, for example). The Water Board does not consider these water sources as “surface water,” therefore you do not need a recognized right from the Water Board to use them. You will still identify these water sources in various compliance documents, but you will not face the hurdle of establishing a water right with the Water Board.
If you do not have a surface water right and fail to submit an application on or before October 31, 2017, you will not be able to obtain a surface water right for cannabis cultivation until after January 1, 2019. In such case, if you want to cultivate cannabis, you will have to use one of the water sources described above: municipal water, delivered water, well water from an aquifer, or certain types of storm water.
Please note that if you have employees, you need to provide potable water for them. So please take all factors under consideration when determining your water source(s).
Please contact our office with any questions or concerns. We look forward to working with you on these matters!
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Note: This piece was first published in Americans For Safe Access‘ Newsletter, sent to subscribers in California on November 23, 2020. This week