Cannabis cultivation is a hot topic in Calaveras County now that medicinal and recreational marijuana use have been legalized in the state. While the local debate rages about whether or how to allow commercial cultivation, state agencies have been working on ways to reduce the potential environmental impacts from cannabis growing.
Most recently, the State Water Resources Control Board approved strict environmental regulations and established a permit system to protect streams, aquatic life and water quality.
As noted in a recent board fact sheet, "Cannabis cultivation impacts include the release of fertilizers, pesticides and other supplements that degrade water quality and threaten wildlife. Excessive water diversions can injure fish or even dewater smaller streams. The physical alteration of the land can harm stream habitat and wildlife by the sediment and debris that is deposited in waterways by unregulated cultivation."
For more information, see the State Water Resources Control Board's Cannabis Cultivation Programs website.