Cannabis Cultivation Regulatory Program
Welcome to the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board’s cannabis cultivation regulatory program website. We regulate water quality impacts from cannabis grows in the hydrologic region of the San Francisco Bay Area, which approximately corresponds to the nine counties of the Bay Area (map of Regional Water Boards).
In October 2017, the State Water Board adopted requirements for cannabis cultivation to reduce impacts from discharges of waste and water diversions associated with cannabis cultivation activities. Cannabis cultivators are now required to obtain licenses and meet all state and local environmental regulations including the California Water Code and Basin Plan, as well as the new Cannabis Policy and Cannabis General Order. Cannabis cultivation can cause significant environmental damage, including discharges of polluted wastes to surface water and groundwater, erosion and sedimentation of surface water bodies, and illegal diversions of surface water.
Visit the Cannabis Cultivation Programs Registration Portal to enroll for coverage under the Cannabis General Order or to file for a cannabis Small Irrigation Use Registration water right.
State Water Board Cannabis Cultivation Homepage
For information about the Cannabis Policy and Cannabis General Order, trainings around the State, and enforcement for cannabis cultivators discharging waste to waters of the State without a permit or diverting water without an appropriate water right, see the State Water Board’s Cannabis Cultivation Programs homepage.
State Water Board's Cannabis Cultivation Policy
For information on the Cannabis Policy, which establishes principles and guidelines for the diversion and use of water, land disturbances, and the activities related to cannabis cultivation to protect water quantity and quality, see the State Water Board’s Cannabis Cultivation Policy homepage.
State Water Board's Cannabis Cultivation Water Quality
For information on cannabis cultivation water quality programs to address water quality impacts from cannabis cultivation and associated activities on private property, see the State Water Board’s Cannabis Cultivation Water Quality homepage.
State Water Board's Cannabis Cultivation Water Rights
For information on the development of principles and guidelines for diversion and use of water for cannabis cultivation and water rights information related to cannabis cultivation, see the State Water Board’s Cannabis Cultivation Water Rights homepage.
Other State and Regional Water Board Permits That May Apply
This list is not exhaustive. Please contact the Regional Water Board for assistance if you have questions about whether an activity impacts water quality and needs a permit.
- Construction stormwater general permit:
- Waste discharge requirements for stream or wetland fill or impacts:
- Waste discharge requirements for discharges to land:
Registration Portal, Policy, and General Order Questions
General Order Enrollment
Small Irrigation Use Registration
- General Order firstname.lastname@example.org
San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board Contacts
Mailbox for Cannabis Questions
Water Resource Control Engineer
- Sami Harper
Water Resource Control Engineer
- Josh Hoeflich
- James Ponton
Senior Engineering Geologist
Subscribe directly to the SF Bay Regional Water Board’s cannabis cultivators’ email list to receive notifications and the latest updates. After subscribing, you will need to check for a confirmation email to complete the subscription.Subscribe to other Regional Water Board email lists or to State Water Board email lists.
- Cannabis Policy
- Cannabis General Order
- Cannabis Cultivation Programs Registration Portal
- State Water Board’s Cannabis Cultivation Programs Homepage
- State Water Board’s Cannabis Cultivation Policy Homepage
- State Water Board’s Cannabis Cultivation Water Quality Homepage
- State Water Board’s Cannabis Cultivation Water Rights Homepage
- Fact Sheet, Cannabis General Order, Oct. 16, 2017
- Fact Sheet, Indoor Cannabis Cultivation, Dec. 1, 2017
- Fact Sheet, State Water Board’s Cannabis Regulatory Online Portal
- Site Management Plan Template
- Handbook for Forest, Ranch, & Rural Roads
- CDFW Lake or Streambed Alteration Agreement Fact Sheet
- CDFW Commercial Cannabis Cultivation Licensing Fact Sheet
- DPR Pesticide Use on Cannabis Fact Sheet
- CalRecycle Cannabis Waste Q&A
File an Environmental Complaint
- File an Environmental Complaint
Complaints can be related to cannabis cultivation, or to any environmental issues regarding air, water, toxic substances, pesticides, or solid waste.