Cannabis Conversation

BackgroundCannabis Conversation

Nevada County's history with medical cannabis starts in 1996 with the passage of the Compassionate Use Act for medical cannabis. Most recently, in the 2016 November election, Proposition 64 was passed in California allowing indoor grow for non-medical cannabis. Use our medical and non-medical cannabis timeline for a quick history of local cannabis regulations to date. Find current regulations described in Title 2: General Code - Chapter IV: General Regulations - Article 5: Marijuana Cultivation of the County Code, or in PDF (PDF)

Cannabis Ordinance Process

A draft long-term cannabis cultivation ordinance has been prepared by staff and reviewed by the Board of Supervisors. To find County cannabis-related events and event documents, from future Board of Supervisor meetings to past Cannabis Regulation Community Advisory Group (CAG) meetings, visit the Cannabis Conversation Event Documents web page. Residents may also subscribe to Board of Supervisors Agenda alerts or to Cannabis Conversation NewsFlash alerts to receive information.

Temporary Local Authorization Permit

The Board of Supervisors passed a resolution on October 23, 2018 authorizing the Community Development Agency to establish a pre-application conditional process for temporary local authorization in response to State inquiries regarding cannabis cultivation for State temporary licenses.  Applicants for temporary local authorization shall:

  • Be in compliance with the County’s current draft cannabis ordinance.
  • Demonstrate that no new environmental impacts will occur as a result of the temporary local authorization.
  • Demonstrate that the applicant will be able to cultivate on the same site and under the same license type as requested in the temporary local authorization, once the County’s new cannabis cultivation ordinance is adopted.
  • Recognize that no cultivation or growing will be allowed under the temporary local authorization until the County’s pending EIR is complete and a new cannabis cultivation ordinance has been adopted and County staff can inspect the property for compliance.
  • Recognize that the temporary local authorization gives no guarantee or promise that the holder of such local authorization will have the ability to cultivate in the future, obtain an annual state license, or annual local permit
  • Recognize that the temporary local authorization may be revoked at any time at the discretion of the Community Development Agency Director.

Once the applicant determines their compliance with all of the above, they will need to submit a complete temporary local authorization application packet. Once the application packet is thoroughly completed and signed it must be sent via email to or submitted in person at the Rood Government Center's Community Development Agency located at 950 Maidu Avenue, Suite 170 (first floor), in Nevada City. 

Email is the preferable option as there may be an increase in wait times based on the increase in customer visits. You will be contacted by a Community Development Agency staff member regarding the status of your permit application. 

  1. BOS Approves Contract for EIR with Kimley-Horn

    On May 1, 2018, County staff presented a draft cannabis ordinance to the Board of Supervisors for review and direction. After public testimony and directing staff to make revisions to the document the Board Read on...
  2. County Residents Interested in Local Cannabis Cultivation and Business Measure

    A recently commissioned independent survey shows Nevada County residents are interested in providing local funding for essential County services, including public safety and environmental regulation enforcement. Read on...
  3. May 1, 2018 Special Board Meeting Update

    On May 1st, 2018 a Special Board of Supervisors meeting was held to review the cannabis cultivation draft ordinance, discuss issues regarding long-term cannabis cultivation, and provide guidance to staff. Read on...
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