UKIAH 1/16/2017 — At its last board meeting on January 10, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors adopted a schedule of permit and inspection fees for the Department of Agriculture’s administration of the cannabis cultivation program, which includes nurseries. The county expects that the fees, which are effective as of February 19, 2017, will increase the annual budget by $745,832.
The fees are: $1,240 annual application; an annual permit and compliance inspection fee of $675; a $725 annual permit and compliance inspection fee for nurseries; an annual third party certifier application fee of $1,000; and an annual fee of $970 for the Mendocino Sustainably Farmed certification.
Fourth District Supervisor Dan Gjerde explained that, according to California law, fees are different from taxes, in that fees can only be used to recover government costs. Taxes can be in excess of cost, but provide a service, like road repair. “These are fees intended to recover costs for inspection services, etc.,” he emphasized.
Most of the fees will be levied annually on people in the cannabis cultivation industry, though there is also an hourly inspection fee of $82.91. Payment of fees will be necessary to be compliant with the county’s proposed cultivation ordinances. These fees are expected to recover the cost of services and supplies, indirect costs, and the time of five employees, ranging from the agriculture commissioner, at an hourly rate of $40.34 or an annual salary of $83,907, to a cannabis agriculture technician, with an annual salary of $34,008 and an hourly rate of $16.35.The fee justification chart lists 1,650 hours of time spent on the program by the Agriculture Commissioner and County Sealer of Weights and Measures, who is currently Chuck Morse. The cannabis agriculture technician’s time on administering the cannabis cultivation program is listed at 1,799.95 hours. The three other employees’ hours were comparable.
Here are PDFs of the fee schedules and supporting documents:
Sarah Reith [email protected]Exhibit A - BOS Ag Fee Packet Exhibit B - BOS Ag Fee Packet Exhibit C - BOS Ag Fee Packet