Monday, February 1, 2016


SCM² Surveying County Cannabis Growers

Jim Coffis
Ben Lomond, CA. A local grassroots advocacy organization is conducting a survey of cannabis growers in Santa Cruz County.  The SCM² Cannabis Cultivation Survey 2016 will seek to provide data that policy makers can evaluate as they continue to develop a local licensing program expected to roll out in the next year.

Almost 20 years ago, over 70% of Santa Cruz County voters approved Proposition 215, the medical cannabis initiative.  Since then, several thousand residents have received the required medical recommendation which allows cultivation, with restrictions, for personal use. Since then hundreds if not thousands of residents have planted the crop.  Some indoors, in garages, closets or commercial buildings, others outdoors in backyards, greenhouses or remote parcels.  

Speculation varies wildly about the number and location of growers - both personal and commercial - as well as about the size of their crops.  How many growers and grow sites there are in the County remains unknown.

Last year over $32 million of retail sales were recorded by 14 local dispensaries.

Few believe those sales, as big as they sound, accounts for all or even most of the cannabis being grown in Santa Cruz.  Some growers consume all of their grow.  Others grow as part of a membership collective and still others sell some or all of their crop directly to consumers or processors both within and outside of Santa Cruz County.

The Board of Supervisors recently approved plans to license some small scale grow operations and regulations for larger operations are being contemplated.  How many licenses will be issued will in some part be decided by how many growers currently operate in the County.

Santa Cruz Mountains for Sustainable Cannabis Medicine (SCM²) is conducting the survey with the cooperation of other advocacy groups, local dispensaries, vendors and media outlets. The goal is to reach as many Santa Cruz County residents who are growing or planning to grow cannabis whether for their own personal use or for use by others.

The survey is available online by going to or in hard copy at local dispensaries. It’s completely anonymous and can be completed in a few minutes.  Results will be published and shared with policy makers.

About Santa Cruz Mountains for Sustainable Medical Cannabis (SCM²):
SCM² was formed in 2014 by a group of Santa Cruz Mountain medical cannabis cultivators, processors, patients and supporters in order to share information about proposed changes to the County medical cannabis ordinances.  They have held public meetings and forums to inform and gather information about medical cannabis cultivation policies, proposals and best practices.  They played a key role in initiating the petition drive to overturn the Board of Supervisors ban on cultivation and they have a seat on the County Cannabis Cultivation Choices Committee (C4).

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