State Board - Cannabis Cultivation Water Quality
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.
- Pending Amended Cannabis Cultivation General Order
- Application Portal
- 2019-2020 Cannabis Fee Schedule
- 2018-2019 Cannabis Fee Schedule
- Existing Cannabis Cultivation Orders
- Regional Cannabis Cultivation Orders Expiring in 2019
- Regional Water Quality Control Board Contact Information
- Fact Sheets and Useful Resources
- Coordinating Agencies
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.
- Resolution No. 2019-0007, Adopting the Updates to the Cannabis Cultivation Policy
- Cannabis Cultivation Policy
- Cannabis Cultivation Policy Staff Report
- Cannabis General Order (Order No. WQ 2019-0001-DWQ)
The Water Boards Cannabis Cultivation Program Portal now hosts several survey style applications within one convenient online dashboard.
For more information, see the Online Portal Fact Sheet.
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 Water Quality Fees Stakeholder page for more information.
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|
|Tier 2||Low Risk||$1,000|
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.
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 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|
|R6 - Lahontan||(530) 542-5400||R7 - Colorado River||(530) 542-5400|
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For questions about the Application Portal or questions about cannabis cultivation General Order, please contact us by email or phone at:
- Cannabis General Order Hotline:
For a site-specific question, or a question about submitting a report, contact your Regional Water Board
State Water Board - Cannabis Cultivation Department Links
Fact Sheets and Useful Resources
- 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
- Pacific Watershed Associates Publications - Handbook for Forest, Ranch, and Rural Roads
- CDFW Cannabis Cultivation Permitting
- Pesticide Use on Cannabis
- Cal Recycle Cannabis Waste Q&A