Mendocino County suspends pot permit program | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Mendocino County suspends pot permit program

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) – Mendocino County’s permit process for medical marijuana cultivation has been suspended pending the outcome of a Southern California court case that challenges the legality of issuing permits for activities that are barred under federal law.

The Press Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/wyJGo1) the permits allowed medical marijuana collectives to have as many as 99 plants under a fee structure that included inspections and zip-tie ID markers for each plant.

The annual permit application and initial inspection cost $1,500, with each zip tie issued costing $50. Monthly inspections cost $300 to $600 a month, said Sheriff’s Sgt. Randy Johnson, who oversees the program.



The popular program generated more than $660,000 for the Sheriff’s Office from July through December.

But County Counsel Jeanine Nadel advised the sheriff to suspend the program this year, pending the outcome of a case known as Pack v. Superior Court of Los Angeles. A state appellate court has ruled the permitting process in that case exceeded local government authority to regulate marijuana.



The case is pending before the California Supreme Court, which has until Feb. 8 to decide whether to hear it.

The dispute stems from a challenge to the city of Long Beach, which adopted an ordinance requiring permits for medical marijuana collectives. Like Mendocino County, it charged fees for its permits.

But it has since repaid permit holders an estimated $700,000, Nadel said. “I don’t want our county to be in that situation,” she said.

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Information from: The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, http://www.pressdemocrat.com


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