Annals of Legalibition 9/21/18

Annals of Legalibition 9/21/18
Since the start of last year, code enforcement staff members have forced more than 600 unpermitted cannabis operations to close and billed more than $435,797 in fines, according to a Friday statement from the county’s planning department, Permit Sonoma. The county said it quickly responds to cannabis-related complaints and forces operators to comply with county rules.

Maggie Fleming, spokeswoman for Permit Sonoma, said the statement was issued in response to community feedback and a “lack of understanding that the county was taking action” against cannabis businesses operating without permits.

“We really just wanted to educate people on the work that’s been happening,” she said…

The county said it has received 682 complaints about cannabis cultivation on private property since January 2017. So far, staff members have inspected 662 of those properties, forcing 638 to stop growing and allowing 24 to continue operating while seeking a permit. Another 20 inspections are scheduled “in the near future,” the county statement said…

Tawnie Logan of Santa Rosa-based Canna Code Compliance said removing illegal operators is “absolutely essential” but the county has been “woefully underperforming” its processing of permits for cannabis growers.

“Operators are going broke. They cannot continue to afford to play the waiting game that the county has put them in,” said Logan, former executive director of the Sonoma County Growers Alliance. “It’s offensive … to say that they’re investing so much money and time into illegal operators while they continue to be understaffed and underperforming for the businesses that want to be compliant and legal.”

About The Author

Fred Gardner

managing editor, O'Shaughnessy's.