Personal Cannabis Cultivation

County Ordinance 1955 limits private cultivation of cannabis for personal use. Below is a general overview of regulations for personal cultivation:

Personal cultivation of cannabis in the unincorporated area of Merced County is limited to a maximum of six (6) cannabis plants, whether immature or mature.  

Cultivation shall be in compliance with State law and all of the requirements set forth below:

  • The cultivation occurs either: 1) within a single private residence; or 2) inside a fully enclosed and secure structure located on the same property as the residence (e.g. a licensed shop, pool house, etc.) 
  • Outdoor cultivation of any type, on any parcel is prohibited. Cultivation for commercial use is also prohibited.
  • Plants must be contained within a fully enclosed structure secured by lock and key or other security device which prevents unauthorized entry and is inaccessible to minors.
  • Plants and the cultivation area must not be visible from the public right of way.
  • Any building, lighting, electrical components, and plumbing must meet the building code in use by the County.
  • The cultivation area must be properly ventilated so as not create humidity, mold, or other related problems. Lighting shall not exceed 1,000 watts per light. The use of gas products (CO2, butane, etc.) or CO2 and ozone generators for cannabis cultivation is prohibited.
  • A public nuisance may be deemed to exist if the cultivation produces light, glare, heat, noise, odor,  vibration, or other effect that is either detrimental to public health, safety, or welfare or interferes with the reasonable enjoyment of life or property.
  • The primary use of the property remains at all times as a residence, with legal and functioning cooking, sleeping, and sanitation facilities with proper ingress and egress. No room shall be used for cannabis cultivation where such cultivation will impair or prevent the primary uses of cooking of meals, sleeping, and sanitation.
  • Written consent of the property owner is obtained prior to any cultivation commencing. Said consent must be evidenced by a signed and notarized statement from the property owner permitting cultivation on the affected parcel.
  • The cannabis plants, and all cannabis produced by the plants, shall be for the personal use of the cultivator only, and not for sale.