California’s Proposition 64 in 2016 legalized recreational marijuana statewide, and voters in Nevada also approved it in a 2016 ballot initiative. Yet restrictions remain on the ability to visit a storefront versus order cannabis from a delivery service, where and how much you can consume and possess, and how many plants you can grow. Just how legal is “the devil’s lettuce” these days, and where?    


In California, it is legal to possess, transport, obtain or give away to other adults 21 or older no more than 28.5 grams of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrated marijuana and cultivate up to 6 plants per residence and possess the marijuana produced by these plants (subject to “reasonable regulations” by local governments). Incorporated cities, like Truckee, also reserve the right to restrict sale, transport, and business aspects of the cannabis industry. ~ Town of Truckee “Cannabis Dialogue”


In Nevada, adults 21 years and older can legally possess marijuana in the following amounts: Up to 1 ounce of marijuana, up to 1/8 of an ounce of concentrated marijuana (the separated resin, whether crude or purified, obtained from marijuana). Adults 21 years and older can legally consume marijuana, but with restrictions on where it can be consumed: You cannot use marijuana in any public place. You cannot use marijuana in a moving vehicle, even if you’re a passenger. Essentially, this means it can only be consumed on private property (at home, for example), and as long as the property owner has not prohibited it.  ~ State of Nevada “Marijuana in Nevada”


In order to address the changes brought with the legalization of marijuana, the Town of Truckee town council held a series of workshops to discuss the town’s approach to marijuana regulations. The focus of these workshops included discussions on indoor and outdoor cultivation, manufacturing and processing, taxation, retail and commercial uses, and delivery services. A number of town council and planning commission meetings followed these workshops, so far resulting in the adoption of updated land use regulations for commercial cannabis delivery services.

At the June 12, 2018 town council meeting, the council adopted permanent land use regulations to allow the establishment of cannabis delivery service businesses (adult-use and medicinal) in Truckee.  These regulations were adopted following an extensive public process known as the Cannabis Dialogue. As part of the adoption process, the council directed staff to return with eligibility criteria each delivery service business would need to meet in order to qualify for use permit approval and issuance of a Cannabis Delivery Service License. The eligibility criteria are intended to supplement the adopted regulations and clearly identify the requirements to obtain a license from the town. On July 24, 2018, the criteria were adopted through Council Resolution 2018-53 and went into immediate effect.

In a survey conducted by the Town of Truckee, 65.73% of respondents said they would like storefront sale of cannabis to be permitted in Truckee; 34.27% said Truckee should continue to disallow them. ~ Town of Truckee “Cannabis Dialogue” 


The Placer County Cannabis Ordinance allows the following:

• A maximum of six plants, not to exceed 50 square feet, are allowed
by parcel.

• Cultivation is only allowed on parcels that have a legal residence on them.

• Cultivation may be done indoors in either a residence or a secure accessory structure.

• Cultivation may be done outdoors, in unincorporated cities, with a 100-foot setback from property lines, 600-foot setback from schools, churches, and “youth-oriented facilities,” and closer to the grower’s house than any neighbor’s.

• All commercial activities are prohibited.

• Enforcement penalties will be accomplished through an Administrative Civil Penalty process involving a hearing officer. Fines of up to $1,000/plant are authorized.

• Enforcement lead will be County Code Enforcement with help from the Sheriff’s Office.

*Effective Jan. 1, 2019, the open burning of vegetative waste from the growing of cannabis is prohibited in Placer County, as included in the amendments to District Rules 301, 302 and 305 adopted by Placer County Air Pollution Control District.

~ Placer County Cannabis Ordinance 


Nevada County has an active cannabis cultivation ordinance, but increased complaints to the sheriff’s office about use in illegal locations and the smell of cannabis have prompted a process to add to that legal code for a long-term ordinance, which has been prepared by staff and reviewed by the Board of Supervisors. To find County cannabis-related events and event documents, from future Board of Supervisor meetings to past Cannabis Regulation Community Advisory Group meetings, visit the Cannabis Conversation Event Documents web page. Residents may also subscribe to Board of Supervisors Agenda alerts or to Cannabis Conversation NewsFlash alerts to receive information. ~ Nevada County, “Cannabis Conversation”


The legislation passed in 2017 gave oversight to the state and allows for local jurisdictions to determine if they would like to license any such establishment. Douglas County does not license marijuana establishments and therefore the purchase of marijuana in Douglas County is not legal. Washoe County does issue licensure for marijuana establishments. Washoe County does have one legal dispensary in the Tahoe/Truckee area, NuLeaf in Incline Village. Delivery of marijuana is also legal in Nevada and at the discretion of the dispensary; however, it would need to be delivered within the jurisdiction that it is licensed under. 

Marijuana is still illegal under federal law. This means that marijuana cannot be purchased in one state and transported to another. Therefore, marijuana purchased in Washoe County could not be transported to Truckee or California without violating federal law. ~ Amy Ventetuolo, media communications specialist, Office of the County Manager


  • Becca Loux

    Becca Loux relocated to Truckee on a mission to tell stories that are fact-checked and data-driven without sacrificing the human element. She is an avid hiker, biker, skater, surfer, boarder, kayaker, sun-worshiper, and all other important "-ers" relating to the outdoors. Becca's wolfpack recently expanded to include a teenage husky named Koda.

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