Cannabis moratorium sees enforcement process

People in violation of the county’s commercial cannabis moratorium will start seeing consequences after the Board of Supervisors waived the first reading of the cannabis enforcement ordinance at its regular board meeting May 15.

Despite opposition from many public commenters, the board approved a new streamlined enforcement and abatement process for illegal commercial cannabis. The current moratorium prohibits cannabis growth except the six-plant individual allotment permitted by the state.

The ordinance states that cannabis cultivation is a violation of a county ordinance and requires a time sensitive abatement process.

“A more streamlined appeal schedule and enforcement process is necessary and proper for cases involving unlawful cannabis cultivation because such activity poses a unique threat to public health and safety,” the ordinance reads. “Illegal cannabis cultivation is also potentially lucrative enough to incentivize unlawful activity at cultivation sites for as long as possible pending harvest.”

Ordinary abatement processes in the county can take months to even a year to complete, in this new process, specifically for cannabis, abatement can take approximately two weeks.

The new process includes notices issued by the sheriff’s office, acting as the enforcement officers for the county. The notice alerts the resident of the unlawful cannabis grow and requests an abatement of the growth. The owner or occupant has 10 days to abate the cannabis or file an appeal detailing why the grow is not a violation.

If the owner or occupant does not abate the cannabis or file for an appeal within 10 days, the enforcement officer can abate the cannabis at the owners cost, including administrative fees of up to $1,000 each day the property goes unabated. The accrued costs can be placed as a lien against the property.

At the meeting, County Counsel Craig Settlemire said the county’s enforcement ordinance was based off of a similar ordinance passed in Tehama County. Settlemire said the ordinance has never been successfully challenged in court, despite the numerous lawsuits citizens of Tehama County have filed against the regulation.

One member of the public, Harry Rogers, expressed his confusion as to the change in the relationship between the Sheriff’s Office and cannabis growers. He said cannabis growers used to invite officers to come out and inspect their property in a gesture of good faith.

“We would have numerous officers come out to our properties and tell us that what we were doing is not an imminent threat,” Rogers said. “What changed? What happened?”

After the board meeting, Feather Publishing reached out to Sheriff’s Deputy and Policy Advisor Ed Obayashi for a response to Rogers’ question.

“Nothing has changed, we have always had a moratorium on cannabis in the zoning codes, now we just have the enforcement,” Obayshi said.

He continued to say the new development is that the sheriff is now the code enforcer of the cannabis moratorium, where the county did not have a code enforcer before. The issue is not a criminal code, but a civil code violation.

“Now we have an ordinance that makes it illegal from a civil standpoint,” he said.

The board is slated to vote on the ordinance at its next meeting Thursday, May 31.

16 thoughts on “Cannabis moratorium sees enforcement process

  • May 30, 2018 at 2:48 pm
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    To recap, an elderly couple that grows twelve doctor recommended and completely legal plants for arthritis, will be targets of abatement, fines, liens and ultimately foreclosure, while heroin dealers walk away Scott free, sounds logical?

    Why is plumas a sanctuary county for heroin dealers?

  • May 30, 2018 at 3:46 pm
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    Where’s the vertical consistency? Hemp- Schedule 1, NO State regulations, seeds are illegal state wide, no local moratorium. Cannabis- Schedule 1, WITH State regulations, seeds are legal, aggressive local moratorium. What’s the difference? They literally look the same. This summer is about to be even more confusing, cost the county for lawsuits, refunds for abatements, and make our BOS look more inept than last year.

    • June 2, 2018 at 9:17 am
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      No one wants the cartels up here or the folks that violate the law and contaminate our environment, but this decision applied to our local farmers/entrepreneurs is a not forward thinking. Prohibition should be for illegal grows. Sadly, this is just another example of the Board of Supervisors deferring to the vociferous minority – the squeaky wheel. Those that don’t like the smell…
      “I hate to be a kicker,
      I always long for peace,
      But the wheel that squeaks the loudest,
      Is the one that gets the grease.”

  • May 30, 2018 at 11:49 pm
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    Cannabis is still a plant…… Any other outlawed plants in plumas????? Cannabis and alcohol are both legal now. This is all so stupid. People have been growing since the punishment was 5years plus federal prison.
    You won’t stop the growers… Too many mountains… You might stop law abiding citizens… You won’t stop criminals and cartel.
    Sad. Mind your own business and grow what you want.
    Very little property for sale. Let the current owners florish.
    Lots of work to grow weed. No easy money at current prices.

    What crime comes from weed?????
    Don’t say home invasions…. One crime a year doesn’t count.

    Cannabis Farmer
    Grape Grower
    Plant, fruit and veggy Farmer

  • May 31, 2018 at 7:16 am
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    All you people don’t understand Plumas County is poorly run so the have to enforce this so they can put people through the revolving door so they can harass you, cite you with fines , take your money and fell good that they are doing something for the people when they don’t even have the man power to do the job to enforce the laws that they have. the people had voted for it so let it go.

  • May 31, 2018 at 8:02 am
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    YESSS IMM A GANJJJAAA PLANNTEEERR….CALL ME DI GGAAANNJJJAAA FARRRRMMMERRR

  • May 31, 2018 at 8:19 am
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    As usual, government only cares about tax revenue. While the opiod crisis grows nationwide. Well, reports show that black market supply is about $1k per pound less than legal cannabis, and available readily. If governments and legal suppliers don’t want a reasonable cash cow to die, they need to make concessions. Particularily, .gov needs to be more accomodative to growers/suppliers. And growers/ suppliers need to keep prices competitive for consumers. Else, the whole “legal” industry about to crash.
    Meanwhile, kids getting busted for selling lemonade without a “permit”.
    Sign, sign, everywhere a sign, blockin out the scenery, breakin my mind, do this don’t do that can’t you read the sign?

  • May 31, 2018 at 8:58 am
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    Excellent news!
    Get out and vote…. we don’t need the weed stores in our small towns.

    • June 2, 2018 at 9:20 am
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      is that because we have so many businesses lining our downtown now?

  • May 31, 2018 at 1:06 pm
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    Can we get rid of all the alcohol stores too…. Because….. lol. I don’t like em. Hahaha.

    Rob, Tom, Dick and Harry all sell weed grown with God knows what and spayed with God knows what.
    Stores sell tested cannabis.

  • May 31, 2018 at 1:38 pm
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    Lein on the land what if one of my tenants is growing and the county leans my land? See if I want to do business there.

  • May 31, 2018 at 1:50 pm
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    Sheriff deputies
    DROP YOUR WEAPONS!…..
    and grab a pair of Fiskars, looks like the sheriff’s office will be busy busy busy.

    How does bogging down the sheriff help us????
    All this money to pay for cannabis enforcement by 80k+ a year sheriff’s…. Lol. Yet, no money to investigate hard drug sales.

    So dumb, if your still worried about weed and others using it. You need a hobby…. Bad.

  • May 31, 2018 at 5:08 pm
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    The truth is it’s a very small group trying to push certain Weed regulations through to line their own pockets and the green sheep follow.
    Vote NO on Measure B in November.

    • June 1, 2018 at 10:55 am
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      Yes, but we are talking plumas residents lining there pockets and spending more in town. Residents, that would have to comply with regulations.
      Very little available land for sale that meets criteria to grow. Just saying.

  • June 2, 2018 at 4:13 pm
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    @No On Measure B…..just because a few are doing the work to push regulation in no way means that a majority of the residents wouldn’t prefer regulation. Educated people realize that there is not a magic wand that makes Cannabis go away. But a regulated market discouraged an illegal market and there is plenty of the county population that sees this.

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