Cannabis Permitting

The District’s Cannabis Product Manufacturing, Distribution & Storage Permit Application Form-104 is now available.

District rules and regulations may apply to various aspects of the cannabis industry. This may include the need to obtain one or more permits or registrations. Certain equipment items have emission standards that must be met upon installing and/or replacing existing equipment (e.g., small boilers, large water heaters, diesel engines) as well as future compliance deadlines for existing equipment. The following summarizes the possible requirements.

Cannabis Operations: Emissions of terpenes, a reactive organic compound, occur during the processing, manufacturing, distribution, storage and packaging of cannabis products. In addition, volatile solvent extraction cannabis manufacturing operations result in the release of reactive organic compounds. The District requires a permit for many cannabis operations.  Depending on the size of cannabis operation, requirements such as a Best Available Control Technology (BACT) analysis and emission offsets may be required.  The growing and harvesting of cannabis crops is considered an agricultural operation, and therefore exempt from permit requirements pursuant to District Rule 202.D.3.

Odors:  The strong odors associated with cannabis manufacturing operations can negatively affect the surrounding community and cause a public nuisance.  The District recommends that cannabis projects be initially designed to minimize odor impacts and incorporate odor control systems to prevent offsite odors and public complaints.

Small Boilers / Large Water Heaters: Permits are required for any individual (or grouping) of boilers or large water heaters with a rated heat over 2.0 million BTUs per hour (MMBtu/hr). Units installed after January 16, 2008 require a District permit prior to installation, and the unit must comply with the requirements of District Rule 360 and/or Rule 361. Use Form -61 and Form -01 for new units. For detailed information, see the District’s Boiler and Water Heater Webpage.

Diesel-Fired Emergency Standby Engines: Diesel-fired emergency generator sets and firewater pumps with engines rated at 50 bhp and greater require a District permit and must also comply with the State’s Stationary Diesel Engine ATCM. Emergency generator sets using spark ignited engines (e.g., natural gas, propane) are not subject to the State ATCM and are exempt from APCD permitting if they are operated less than 200 hours per year, have an hour meter, and a log is maintained for each use. New diesel engines are required to meet specific emission standards and typically preclude the purchase of used equipment.  We strongly advise that you apply for and obtain your District permit prior to purchasing a new diesel engine.  To apply for a permit, use District Form -34EForm -34R and Form -01. If the diesel generator was installed prior to January 2005, then use Form -35 in lieu of Form -34E. For detailed information, see the District’s Diesel Engine Webpage.

Diesel Engines Used in Cannabis Growing Operations (AG Engines):  Diesel engines used in the growing of cannabis crops (e.g. water well pumps, booster pumps) are classified “agricultural.” Stationary and portable engines rated at 50 bhp or greater are subject to the registration requirements of District Rule 1201 and the State’s ATCM regulation. This does not apply to engines that power vehicles (e.g., tractors, bulldozers, front-end loaders). Registration applications for AG engines are required to be submitted to the APCD within 90 days of installation. New diesel AG engines are required to meet specific emission standards and typically preclude the purchase of used equipment. We strongly advise that you contact the District prior to purchasing a diesel engine if you are unsure. To apply for an AG engine registration, use District Form AG-1. For detailed information, see the District’s AG Engine Webpage.

Prime Electrical Power Generation: Cannabis regulations in the County of Santa Barbara and the City of Goleta prohibit the use of fossil fueled engines for generation of prime electrical power for cannabis operations.  Projects outside these jurisdictions must comply with the State’s Distributed Generation Regulation, and operators are strongly encouraged to contact the District if prime electrical power generation is proposed for the project.

Permit Application Material

  • Cannabis Product Manufacturing, Distribution & Storage Form -104
  • Small Boiler / Large Water Heater Forms
    • Application Form -61
    • Application Form -60 (for units installed prior to January 17, 2008)
  • Diesel Engine Forms
    • Emergency Standby Engine Form-34E
    • Emergency Standby Engine Form-35 (for units installed prior to January 2005)
    • Firewater Pump Engine Form-34E
    • ATCM Emission Inventory Form -34R
    • AG Engine Application and Instructions (Ag1 and Ag2 forms) download from this page.
  • APCD General Permit Application Form -01
  • Authorized Agent Form -01A

Reference Material

Please note that all our application forms are also available for download at Download Permit Application Forms.

For more information or assistance, contact us via email at [email protected].

To request a copy of a District comment letter issued for a cannabis project, please email the District’s CEQA Staff at [email protected]