Cali Compliance: Unregistered Cannabis Growers Sued by SLO County

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On May 23, 2017, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors greenlit the SLO County Counsel to pursue legal action against unregistered cannabis growers in the the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County. 

“Hundreds of people followed the law and registered their commercial cannabis operations in the unincorporated areas of the county, but some people are ignoring local laws and could suffer significant consequences,” said Guy Savage, Assistant County Administrative Officer for SLO County, in the county’s newsletter on May 24. “We will enforce our own laws and this is the first step to doing so.”

Existing cultivators had until Nov. 16, 2016, to register their grows under the county’s urgency ordinance, which prohibits grows that weren’t established by Aug. 23, 2016. According to the county’s newsletter, unregistered cannabis growers could be fined up to $1,000 per day. 

“The first five actions will be filed in superior court this week and will focus on illegal cultivation in the California Valley area,” said Rita Neal, County Counsel, at the Board of Supervisors meeting on May 23. “The complaints will seek temporary and permanent restraining orders and will allege that violation of the urgency ordinance creates a public nuisance and that the defendants are engaging in unfair business practices.”

“The board, also by unanimous vote, authorized additional litigation against others who are in violation of the urgency ordinance and that litigation will not only just focus on California Valley but will likely focus on other areas of the county as well,” Neal added.

The urgency ordinance is in effect until Sept. 19, 2017, unless the Board of Supervisors adopts a permanent ordinance before then. According to the county’s regulations, cultivation registrations expire when the urgency ordinance expires. If the Board of Supervisors adopts a permanent ordinance, cultivators will have to re-register their grows and apply for a land use permit to cultivate cannabis legally in the county.

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Source: 420 Intel – United States

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