For cannabis growers, navigating the ever-evolving regulatory landscape can sometimes seem like a game of whack-a-mole for every item you cross off the list, three more seem to have a way of popping up.
Because legal cannabis cultivation is relatively new, the laws are constantly changing, which is why we are committed to keeping you informed of – and in compliance with – the most current rules and regulations. And as it turns, out, fencing is a bigger deal than we had initially anticipated.
Privacy fencing for marijuana grows is required to mitigate the complexities of many state and county regulations. And while you should always be sure to check with your county for local marijuana fencing requirements, we’ve compiled key information to help growers better understand the different privacy fencing laws for cannabis and the importance of cannabis farm fencing as part of your overall security plan.
All Privacy Fencing Regulations Are Local
Again – we can’t emphasize this enough – it is imperative that you check with your local government for state and county-specific regulations around marijuana grow fences. While every state has laws in place to ensure cannabis crops are not visible to the public, some take it a step further to specify the kinds of materials that are acceptable for use. But in almost every case, some type of fencing is required for security and privacy purposes.
Here are a few examples of commercial operations that have specific height requirements and limitations around marijuana fencing materials. (Note: this too varies by state and county.)
California State cannabis law uses the broad term “physical boundary,” which can mean “a fence, hedgerow, garden plot, or other stable, semi-permanent structure that clearly demarcates a canopy’s edge.” But while the state’s terminology is broad, county laws tend to be much more specific, in some cases placing limitations on fencing materials and height. Likewise, cannabis laws in Jackson County, Oregon prohibit use of certain materials to screen a marijuana grow site.
Cannabis laws in Washington State mandate that outdoor marijuana production occur “in nonrigid greenhouses, other structures, or an expanse of open or cleared ground fully enclosed by a physical barrier,” and that, “To obscure public view of the premises, outdoor production must be enclosed by a sight obscure wall or fence at least eight feet high.” Again, specific height and material requirements vary by county.
Home Growers Are Not Exempt from Cannabis Cultivation Laws
Not a commercial grower? You are still responsible for understanding and abiding by all relevant state and county regulations around the cultivation of marijuana.
DIY cannabis growers in Colorado, for example, must comply with Colorado Constitutional Amendment 64, Section 3, pertaining to personal use of marijuana. The amendment authorizes individuals to grow a limited number of marijuana plants, “provided the growing takes place in an enclosed, locked space.” The Colorado Official State Web Portal interprets this to mean that homegrown marijuana plants must remain indoors. Washington, D.C. similarly requires homegrown marijuana plants remain “within the person’s principal residence.”
Washington State does not allow individuals to grow their own cannabis plants; the exception being groups of licensed medical marijuana users who may choose to form a cooperative garden that contains up to 60 plants behind an eight-foot fence.
Make Privacy Fencing Part of Your Security Plan
Many states have enacted laws either to fully enclose or obstruct the view of all cannabis plants for security purposes.
For example, effective January 1, 2019, the Colorado State Licensing Authority adopted amendments to its Rules M and R 305, adding a list of requirements around fencing height, material, obstruction and lighting. The third requirement states that “the fence shall obscure the Limited Access Area so that it is not easily viewed from outside the fence.” This would be an appropriate location for the application of a privacy screen like Americover’s Privacy Screen.
In Michigan, fencing is a security subset of Rule 25, Marihuana Facilities; requirements, mandating that the area in which the cultivation takes place be “fully enclosed by fences or barriers that block outside visibility of the marihuana plants from the public view …” Privacy cloth like this one from Americover obscures plants from passersby while still allowing airflow.
Be Compliant from the Start
By ensuring you are in compliance with all state and local regulations at the time of your license application, you can expand your cannabis growing options to include greenhouse structures or open ground growing, as long as the space is fully enclosed. If you choose to grow in open ground, many states will require you to obscure your plants. A chain-link fence outfitted with privacy screen is an easy, cost-effective and versatile way to accomplish this without depriving your plants of much-needed airflow.
Pro tip: In addition to privacy fencing, security and alert systems can help deter crimes of opportunity. Have a single point of entry, two sets of video cameras and sufficient motion-detecting lighting to protect your crops – and your reputation.
Cover Your Plants and Your Risk with Americover
Americover is a leading provider of top-quality covers and liners for growing applications. Shop our blue and green shade cloths and woven coated poly for a secure and cost-effective solution for your privacy fencing needs. Then, check out our full inventory of greenhouse covers, light deprivation liners and more to create the ultimate growing environment for your cannabis plants. And for even more inspiration, explore our privacy fencing Pinterest board here! If you would like to speak with one of our experts, call us at 760-388-6294.