Calaveras County is reconsidering commercial ban after virulently denying the plant
Cannabis growers in Calaveras County, Northern California may have received some good news when the Board of Supervisors told staff to arrange regulatory ordinances permitting the region to rejoin the state’s cannabis industry.
In January of 2018, the county’s Board of Supervisors conducted a vote to completely ban cannabis from the county, when the other part of the state was witnessing the legalization of recreational marijuana. The choice to ban cannabis was a massive blow for local growers, who were given just three months to stop producing marijuana on their farms. No plea was given to local farmers as they were denied refunds for the various fees paid to the county to establish their businesses.
However, weeks after November’s elections reallocated some of the harsh pot critics of the county, Supervisors used their time to revamp marijuana policy. They talked about the benefits of the re-legalization of marijuana in the county. They also talked about the size of authorized grows, possible centralized facilities for the processing cannabis, and application requirements for growers. However, there was no final decision made on any of the talking points.
The day began with talks from the sheriff, public works, building and safety, code enforcement, waste management, the treasurer, and the auditor-controller. The negotiations were based on how their offices functioned the first time that the production of marijuana was regulated in the county, from May 2016 to January 2019. Suggestions were inquired from each department based on what is needed to monitor a legal cannabis system.
Supervisors also listened to the opinion of the public and people from Calaveras County seemed to be both for and against the year-old ban. Some county citizens believed that the county’s quest to set up its regulatory system was the best option.
A member of the Calaveras County Taxpayers Association, Al Segalla didn’t like the idea. He said that the state should be responsible for regulating the cannabis industry and the county should concentrate on land use and zoning.
The decision of the Board may determine the will of county voters, who removed two anti-cannabis candidates for supervisors who had second thoughts about reconsidering the ban on marijuana. Last year, supervisors Ben Stopper and Merita Callaway were victorious in their challenger campaigns. Fifty-three percent of voters in Calaveras County were in favor of Prop 64 in 2016, which legalized the recreational use of cannabis for adults.
County officials were subjected to a lot of criticism when they decided to change their policy towards medical cannabis last year. Farmers who invested a lot of money in their grow operations were left with no refund, and those who knew the state of marijuana in the county understood that the measure wouldn’t stop the functioning of illicit growers.
At the beginning of the year, the Supervisory Board made their first move towards safeguarding justice for the growers who were negatively affected by the ban, conducting a vote to repay the medical marijuana program registration fees.