Public Health

The mission of the Butte County Public Health Department (BCPHD) is to protect the public through promoting individual, community, and environmental health. 

Let's Talk Cannabis: What's Legal

Public Health does not encourage the use of cannabis. Local laws governing cannabis in California vary by jurisdiction. Learn the facts for your jurisdiction (county, city, town). Proposition 64 established the laws for adult use of cannabis in 2016. The California Legislature expanded the laws for medical cannabis in 2015. Local jurisdictions are authorized to ban or prohibit commercial cannabis activities and may apply additional restrictions to the exemption allowing cannabis cultivation for personal use. Butte County prohibits all commercial cannabis activities and restricts personal cultivation of cannabis for both medical and adult use. See the chart below to learn the facts for Butte County. View the full County Code governing medical cannabis (Chapter 34A) or cannabis for use by adults 21 and older (Chapter 34C)

Cannabis Fact Sheet for Adult Use in California

Cannabis Regulations in Butte County

Retail cannabis is not permitted in unincorporated Butte County.

   Medical Cannabis Adult Use Cannabis
Using cannabis. Patients of any age may use medicinal cannabis with a current physician’s recommendation or a valid county-issued MMIC. Adults age 21 and older may use cannabis on private property but cannot consume, smoke, eat, or vape cannabis in public places.  
Property owners and landlords may ban the use and possession of cannabis on their properties.  
Cannabis cannot be consumed or possessed on federal lands, such as national parks.
Possessing cannabis for personal use.   Adults age 21 and older may possess up to 28.5 grams (about one ounce) of cannabis and up to 8 grams of concentrated cannabis, such as hash.
Traveling with cannabis. Drivers and passengers in cannot carry open containers of cannabis in vehicles. Cannabis can be transported in an approved, sealed package or container or in the trunk of the vehicle.
It is illegal to take cannabis across state lines, even if you are traveling to another state where cannabis is legal.
Growing cannabis. Up to 150 square feet of cannabis may be cultivated for personal medical use. Restriction apply.  
View the guide to Stay in the Box.  
View the full County Code, Chapter 34A, regulating medical cannabis cultivation.
Up to 6 cannabis plants per residence may be cultivated for personal use by adults age 21 or older. Plants must be grown indoor on parcels less than five acres. Restrictions apply.  
View the full County Code, Chapter 34C, regulating medical cannabis cultivation.
Buying cannabis. Cannabis cannot be purchased in unincorporated Butte County because retail sales outlets are prohibited.
Cannabis may be delivered to customers in Butte County from a licensed retailer located outside Butte County.
Giving away cannabis. Cannabis grown for personal medical use cannot be traded or sold. Adults may give away up to 28.5 grams of cannabis and up to 8 grams of concentrated cannabis to other adults 21 years and older. Cannabis grown for personal adult use cannot be traded or sold.

Growing Cannabis for Personal Use in Butte County

Commercial cultivation of cannabis is prohibited in Butte County. Residents growing cannabis for personal medical use should Stay in the Box and adults age 21 and older growing it for personal use should stick to six plants. Restrictions apply to personal cultivation sites to provide for public health and safety. The list below highlights some of the restrictions. View the Stay in the Box guide for medical cannabis or view the full County Code for medical cannabis cultivation (Chapter 34A) or adult use cannabis cultivation (Chapter 34C).

  • Growing area restrictions apply based on the parcel size for medical cannabis. Up to 6 cannabis plants can be grown for personal adult use, but must be grown indoors on parcels less than 5 acres.
  • Growing must be done on a legal parcel of property that includes an occupied residence
  • Growing parcels must have a permitted permanent water well or connection to municipal water.
  • Only Butte County resident who have been residents for a minimum of one year may grow cannabis for medical use.
  • Written permission is required from the property owner for tenants who grow cannabis.
  • Growing is prohibited in some places, such as within 1,000 feet of youth-oriented facilities, a school, a park, or any church or residential treatment facility; within 600 feet of a school bus stop.  

Additional Resources:

Other restrictions apply to the cultivation of medical cannabis and adult use cannabis for personal use.

Cannabis remains classified as a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act, and its purchase, possession, distribution, or use within California may be unlawful under federal law. While it is our intention to provide current information, this web page is not for the purpose of providing legal advice. We make no claims or guarantees that the content of this web page is accurate, complete, or up to date and you should not rely on it. Contact your attorney if you have questions about cannabis, what is (or is not) legal under state or federal law or need legal advice.

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Butte County Public Health
Phone: 530.552.4000
TTY: 530.538.6588
Fax:        530.538.2165

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Butte County Public Health
202 Mira Loma Drive
Oroville, CA 95965

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Monday to Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Except Holidays

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Public Health Department

202 Mira Loma Drive
Oroville, CA 95965

Report a Health Emergency
24-Hour Line: 530.552.4000

Danette York, MPH, Director
Dr. David Canton, Health Officer

Public Health Leadership Team