Tuesday, December 5, 2023 | Back issues
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Officials Mum on Medical Pot Subpoena

UKIAH, Calif. (CN) - Both Federal and Mendocino County officials declined to comment on a federal subpoena for financial records regarding the county's medical marijuana ordinance, a local paper reported.

Under County Code 9.31, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office has been able to issue permits exempting medical marijuana collectives from the county's 25-plant limit, allowing them to grow up to 99 plants, according to the paper.

"Under 9.31, the Sheriff's Office still sells zip ties for $25 apiece, which can be affixed to plants to show they are grown in compliance with state law. The popular program had brought in about $500,000 for zip ties and permits for the Sheriff's Office before the permitting program stopped in March," the paper reported. However, after the U.S. Attorney's Office threatened to file an injunction against the ordinance and seek legal action against county officials who supported it, former County Counsel Jeanine Nagel proposed that the exemption permits stop being issued, according to the paper.

County officials told the paper that the subpoena demanding the county's financial records had been issued in late October, but declined to say more. The paper quotes representatives of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and U.S. Attorney's Office as saying they could "neither confirm nor deny" that a subpoena had been issued.

Kym Kemp, a writer for The Lost Coast Outpost, a Humboldt County blog, noted that this recent action could have potential repercussions for legitimate growers of medical marijuana. In an e-mail, she told Courthouse News, "If the records subpoenaed include addresses of growers, the concern is that the growers may be arrested and their crops taken away even though they are the growers who are most interested in following the law."

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