Just noticed this thread. I've lived in CA all my life. First 20 yrs. in San Diego Co. then moved to Davis (mid state but considered N CA) for 19 yrs, then moved 40 miles north to an isolated rural agricultural area known as Capay Valley. I went through total culture shock with each move because people & environment were so very different. In San Diego Co. I lived very close to the beach and never wanted to leave as a child. By the time I was an adult, the entire area had changed. It had become a crowded urban area with no open space, gangs & drugs in the schools. A narcissistic, hedonistic, culture based on conspicuous consumption. I didn't want to raise my kids there, so moved to Davis, a very liberal university town. While I was there, Davis was a smallish town and a good place to raise kids. Davis takes liberalism to an extreme and is known as the People's Republic of Davis. Chickens in backyards are encouraged and they have a coop tour by bicycle each year. (Another note about San Diego-I think the city recently passed a law to allow chickens & small goats in urban yards.)
Davis also started to grow, traffic got worse, ag areas were built upon. We started looking for affordable land and ended up 40 miles away in NW Yolo County. Open space is the norm here, 20 acres is the smallest lot size. Living here is like stepping back in time. Families & kids are more like the old days. There is a mix of people. Lots of organic farms. I think this area has more CSAs/direct farm sales than anywhere in the country. In contrast there are also oldtimers/cowboy/redneck types. It's definitely an ag area, anything ag related is allowed & encouraged. Land prices fluctuate and are low again right now.
I don't know anything about 215 except that the product has been available everywhere I've ever been and there are people here who are patients and have access without issue.
IMO, I would never go back to S CA again. The coast used to be perfect but has been ruined. Bakersfield is awful, hot, ugly, boring. Don't know about Kern or Maricopa but those S CA flatlands go on forever and just don't seem appealing. I saw a nice area around Mariposa when delivering a cow. They do have large predator problems but love that area.
I don't know anything about the Central Coast but it looks nice and most is not so crowded. Upper N CA on the coast, Humboldt, Mendocino are heavenly. I would live there except there is no work for my contractor husband and we can't afford the land prices. Sonoma & most of Napa Counties are also highly desirable but not affordable. Lake County is affordable but is less desirable. Summers are very hot, which is true of most of lower elevation, inland CA. (Redding is one of the hottest places in the state in the summer!) I love the Cobb/Kelseyville area and rural Upper Lake looked like it might be nice.
The foothills on the east side of N CA are nice. Some areas are very crowded. NE CA is dry and desert like and has water problems.
Driving from one end of the state to another is a whole day trip. I-5 through S CA is sooo boring.
About health certificates, I just had to deal with that when selling pigs to different states. You need to check the requirements for bringing animals into CA. Every state is different. The state didn't charge me anything but I had to fill out paperwork and get permits that allow my livestock to be tracked by the government, which I wasn't happy about. What did cost me was paying the vet to come out and fill out a health certificate. She charges $55. per certificate and a $100 ranch call. So if you have a less expensive vet, a health certificate might not be so expensive. I hope that CA is more understanding about pigs than AZ, who did not seem to understand the concept of pet or breeding animals as opposed to meat animals.
I am sorry to hear about your illness and wish you the best with everything.