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State Board - Cannabis Cultivation Water Quality

Overview

On October 17, 2017, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) adopted the Cannabis Cultivation Policy- Principles and Guideline for Cannabis Cultivation (Cannabis Policy) and the General Waste Discharge Requirements and Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements for Discharges of Waste Associated with Cannabis Cultivation Activities (Cannabis General Order). On December 18, 2017, the state’s Office of Administrative Law approved the Cannabis Policy, making the Cannabis Policy and Cannabis General Order effective as of that date.

The Cannabis Policy will be implemented through the Small Irrigation Use Registration (SIUR) Program and the Cannabis General Order. Compliance with the Cannabis Policy is required to obtain a license from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) under its CalCannabis Licensing Program.

Cannabis General Order

The Cannabis Cultivation General Order implements the Cannabis Policy requirements; specifically, those requirements that address waste discharges associated with cannabis cultivation activities.

All cannabis cultivators not currently enrolled under the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board Order No. R1-2015-0023 (North Coast Order) or the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board Order No. R5-2015-0113 (Central Valley Order) are required to apply for coverage under the Cannabis Cultivation General Order. All cannabis cultivators enrolled under the North Coast or Central Valley Orders must transition coverage to the Cannabis Cultivation General Order by July 1, 2019, see “Existing Cannabis Cultivation Orders” below for additional information.

Once an online application is submitted and the applicable fee is paid, a Notice of Applicability (NOA) will be issued to the enrollee by the appropriate Regional Water Quality Control Board.

NEW! The amended Cannabis Cultivation General Order and adopted documents Effective as of April 16th, 2019:

Application Portal

The Water Boards Cannabis Cultivation Program Portal now hosts several survey style applications within one convenient online dashboard.

To apply for coverage under the General Order or to transition regional enrollment to the General Order…
Complete the “Cannabis General Order and Small Irrigation Use Registration Portal” survey.
To submit your Annual Monitoring Reports…
Complete the “Online 2018 Cannabis Water Quality Monitoring & Reporting Program” survey.

For more information, see the Online Portal Fact Sheet.

2019-2020 Cannabis Fee Schedule

The Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Fee schedule is being created by the State Water Board Division of Administrative Services Fee Branch. Stakeholders may attend meetings in-person or view a webcast. See the NEW!  Water Quality Fees Stakeholder meeting Schedule for more information.

2018-2019 Cannabis Fee Schedule

The Fee Schedule table for cannabis cultivators covered under the Cannabis Cultivation General Order is posted below. To determine the correct fee amount, refer to the Tier and Risk Designation listed on the Notice of Receipt (NOR) emailed to the applicant upon submission of the completed application.  NEW! Now Accepting Credit Cards

To read the table below, first locate the appropriate Tier, then the appropriate Risk Designation and the associated fee. The fee associated with the Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements is listed at the bottom of the table.

Risk Designation Annual Fee
Tier 1 Low Risk $600
Moderate Risk $1,800
High Risk $4,800
Tier 2 Low Risk $1,000
Moderate Risk $3,000
High Risk $8,000

Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements - Dischargers with indoor cultivation sites or conditionally exempt sites shall pay an application fee for initial coverage of $600 for a five-year duration. The fee shall be paid each time an application for coverage is submitted.

Existing Cannabis Cultivation Orders

On August 13, 2015, the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted the Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements and General Water Quality Certification for Discharges of Waste Resulting from Cannabis Cultivation and Associated Activities or Operations with Similar Environmental Effects in the North Coast Region Order No. R1-2015-0023 (North Coast Order).

On October 2, 2015, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted the General Waste Discharge Requirements Order for Discharges of Waste Associated with Medical Cannabis Cultivation Activities Order No. R5-2015-0113 (Central Valley Order).

Cannabis cultivators currently enrolled under the North Coast Order or the Central Valley Order may continue to operate under and comply with the requirements of their respective order until they enroll in the Cannabis Cultivation General Order. All enrollees under the North Coast Order and Central Valley Order must transition to the Cannabis Cultivation General Order by July 1, 2019.

Cannabis cultivators currently enrolled under the North Coast Order or the Central Valley Order will continue to receive an invoice on an annual basis. The invoice includes instructions on how to pay the appropriate fee under the applicable existing order. Click here to view the fee schedule for existing enrollees. See “Existing Cannabis Cultivation Orders” below for additional information.

Regional Water Boards Contact Information

Regional Water Board Boundary Map


Regional Board Cannabis Programs Websites Regional Board Emails Phone Numbers
North Coast Cannabis Program R1 - North Coast (707) 576-2676
San Francisco Bay Cannabis Program R2 - San Francisco Bay (805) 594-6194
Central Coast Cannabis Program R3 - Central Coast (805) 594-6194
South Coast Cannabis Program R4 - Los Angeles (951) 782-3219
R8 - Santa Ana (951) 782-4130
R9 - San Diego (951) 782-3219
Central Valley Cannabis Program R5R - Redding (530) 224- 4845
R5S - Sacramento (916) 464- 3291
R5F - Fresno (916) 464- 3291

Eastern California Cannabis Program

R6 - Lahontan (530) 542-5400
R7 - Colorado River (530) 542-5400

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Contacts

For questions about the Application Portal or questions about cannabis cultivation General Order, please contact us by email or phone at:

For a site-specific question, or a question about submitting a report, contact your Regional Water Board

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