Tanjila Ahmed

Calaveras County, CA Measure Could Let Residents Vote to Ban Commercial Cultivation

Voters could have the opportunity to decide on banning commercial cannabis cultivation in Calaveras County, California after elections officials certified a petition to allow the issue to be determined in a special election, the Calaveras Enterprise reports.

However, the County Board of Supervisors could bypass citizens by adopting the measure immediately, or they could delay the process by asking for reports on the measure. Once those reports are completed, the board would have to either “adopt it” or schedule an election, County Clerk Recorder Rebecca Turner said, noting that the board “[doesn’t] have a lot of options.”

If the board decides to schedule a special election, it could happen as soon as May.

During the Board of Supervisors meeting, citizens from both sides of the fence voiced their concerns over the proposal.

Michael Falvey, a Mountain Ranch resident, said that he would rather see regulation than an outright ban, saying that a ban would just allow illegal growers to flourish.

“A ban is not regulation.” He said in the report. “I want regulation. I want the sheriff driving up the driveways. With a ban, you won’t have that.”

Members of the Calaveras Cannabis Alliance urged the board to send the issue to voters and thanked Sheriff Rick DiBasilio for his work eradicating illegal cultivators.

The proposal, while banning commercial operations, does permit personal-use growing up to three plants, which would only be allowed with a county permit. Under Proposition 64, which legalized adult-use cannabis in the state – citizens are allowed to grow up to six plants for personal use. Prop. 64 does not permit local government to outlaw personal cultivation.

If passed, the county would forfeit tax revenues from the legal cannabis market.

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