North Coast legislator seeks new licensing for small medicinal marijuana growers

By Guy Kovner

Medical marijuana advocates are hailing a bill that would carve a niche for small-scale growers, known as “cottage cannabis farmers,” in California’s program to regulate the $1 billion medical pot industry.

The bill proposed by Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg, would establish a new category of license, issued by the state Department of Food and Agriculture, for operators growing up to 2,500 square feet of plant canopy outdoors or up to 500 square feet of canopy indoors.

It’s a sequel to Wood’s bill that established 11 medical cannabis cultivation licenses based on the size of a growing operation. That bill, part of last year’s landmark Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, set the lowest level of licensing for growers with up to 5,000 square feet of canopy growth outdoors or indoors.

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