VIDEO: Growing Green — Cannabis Cultivation in the Yuba Watershed: Clarifying Common Misconceptions Workshop

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As part of SYRCL’s Growing Green for the Yuba, on January 11, SYRCL held a community workshop, with special guest Diana Gamzon from the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance, titled “Cannabis Cultivation in the Yuba Watershed: Clarifying Common Misconceptions.”

SYRCL’s vision for Growing Green for the Yuba is to inspire the community to engage in sustainable and ecologically sound cannabis cultivation in the Yuba River watershed.

In this particular workshop, we unpacked the results of our 2021 cannabis impact survey, discussed the array of cultivation types and respective implications of these practices in the watershed, and presented some of the common misconceptions surrounding cannabis cultivation. 

Some of the highlights of the discussion include the following:

  • Cannabis cultivation types exist on a spectrum
    • Legal grow sites are held to very strict canopy, safety and water quality requirements
    • Egregious grows sites are considered bad actors – they are not permitted, potentially irresponsible use of fertilizers and water, perform illegal water diversions, illegal canopy size etc.
    • Green grows are independent of the licensing process – these cultivators may actually exceed environmental protection standards without actually holding a permit

  • Cannabis cultivators can minimize environmental impacts and reduce water quality concerns through coordination with the State Water Board and through the use of Best Management Practices

  • Cannabis cultivators can minimize impact on water supply when used and managed responsibly; in fact, legal cannabis cultivation uses much less water than irrigated pasture, according to a 2017 study.

  • Many cultivators do, in fact, care about land stewardship and want to utilize best management practices with cultivating cannabis; SYRCL’s Growing Green for the Yuba, the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance and Nevada County’s Good to Grow program all help engage the community on sustainable cannabis practices.

  • Many cannabis cultivators do want to enter the legal regime – but there are real barriers in doing so, including high cost, complicated and strict regulations, land use compliance, education in business and more; Nevada County Cannabis Alliance provides tools and resources for cultivators wishing to learn more and become permitted.

  • Nevada County is doing a lot on the enforcement front and is increasing its capacity to enforce egregious grows – in fact, the County investigates 100% of complaints that come into their office; the County is taking a proactive approach to enforcement.

A recording of this workshop is available now on SYRCL’s YouTube page. Watch the full discussion here:

 Thank you for your support of Growing Green for the Yuba.

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