Plumas County citizens affected by the cannabis moratorium are stuck in a stalemate between enforcement of the no-grow ordinance and participating in what is now classified as an illegal activity. Many citizens want to know what the county is going to do about it.
At the recent Plumas County Board of Supervisors’ meeting Jan. 16, board members commented on an influx of correspondence they were receiving from disgruntled citizens who demanded action on people growing cannabis in the county.
A temporary county ordinance, established in November, bans all cannabis grows except for the six plant per residence allotment permitted by the passage of Prop. 64. The purpose of the temporary ordinance was to establish the county’s position on cannabis growth in order to inform the state to not issue growth permits to county citizens.
The ordinance can be in effect up to two years, and during that time, a draft permanent ordinance is making its way through county departments. Currently, the ordinance is being reviewed by the planning commission for zoning regulations, after which it will be sent to the board of supervisors for review.
In the meantime, citizens want to know why their neighbors’ grows haven’t been halted by the county. The simple answer is, there is no code enforcement officer to do the job.
District 4 Supervisor Lori Simpson said in an interview that the code enforcement officer position has been empty for over a year. During that time, the county has initiated the process of updating the job description for the position. However, updating a job description also takes permission from the labor union, which slows the process. Simpson said there is currently a list of applicants for the position.
However, the code enforcement officer will have a big job for just one person. Simpson said she anticipates the occasional need for sheriff’s deputies to assist in the enforcement.
“The ideal situation would be to have the level of enforcement we need, and if we need additional help we can get deputies,” said Simpson.
The roles of county departments in enforcement, and who is going to enforce the moratorium is still undecided. Simpson said the board will be discussing it at their next meeting on Feb. 9.
“I am not sure what the plan is,” said Simpson. “I want to hear more of where we are at from staff and county counsel.”