SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The State Water Resources Control Board has begun the public review period for proposed regulations to protect surface and groundwater supplies from pollution generated by legal cannabis farming.
"We have anecdotal stories and evidence of just buckets of stuff just being dumped into streams killing fish, poisoning the water", says Felicia Marcus with the SWRCB, "the illegal cannabis issue has been a huge one that our enforcement efforts have grown on, and now as cannabis is legalized with more people coming into the fold the expectation is they are going to meet the same rules or even stricter rules."
The proposed regulations will also address the permitting process for marijuana farms and enforcement of waste discharged violations.
Local jurisdictions are also reviewing measures to regulate legal pot farms on the Central Coast.
If approved, the new state regulations would take effect in November.
"What we are trying to do is do a regulation that can deal with the scale of applications we're going to be getting in a reasonable amount of time", Marcus says, "that will adequately protect water quality, will adequately protect water rights and will create a level playing field for all the folks who've been complying with all of our other rules for so many years, so its a massive undertaking."
To learn more about the proposed state water regulations for legal cannabis cultivation and to submit a comment go to the SWRCB's website at www.waterboards.ca.gov.