Calaveras County is located about 150 miles east of San Francisco. For years, it was a pro-cannabis community, but last week things took a dramatic turn. The newly established Calaveras County board of supervisors voted last week 2-3 to ban cannabis in the county.
Calaveras County Cannabis Banned Even Though it Could Save the Local Economy
The Calaveras County cannabis ban comes just weeks after California legalized recreation marijuana. This rural community consisting of approximately 44,000 residents is reeling at the decision made by the newly appointed board of supervisors.
There are currently around 200 cannabis farmers who have legal permits to grow marijuana. Calaveras County originally embraced legal cannabis, and since 2016 has brought in more than $7 million in taxes.
A 2017 economic impact assessment found that cannabis was likely the largest industry in Calaveras County in 2016. The report mentioned the “large economic impacts for a small rural community such as Calaveras”, highlighting that cannabis cultivation impacts 21 percent of the county’s total employment.
Cannabis Cultivators in Calaveras County Understandably Outraged
Growers with legal permits to grow cannabis say they plan to sue. They may also try to reverse the ban.
Calaveras County is giving those who have already attained permits around three months to dismantle operations and cease their grows.
The four new members on the Calaveras County board of supervisors are all known to be anti-pot. They previously ran on anti-marijuana platforms, and are now banning cannabis in a county that was hoping legalized herb would help with a struggling economy.
It’s believed that the ban was set in place due to the reaction of some locals with a dramatic and unexpected flood of cannabis growers in the area. While some 200 cannabis farms have permits to grow, its estimated there are over 1,000 illegal grows scattered throughout the area.
Those who have legally attained permits to attain cannabis aren’t backing down. Not only does the decision by a newly-appointed board of supervisors significantly disrupt the lives of countless people, but also threatens to destroy an economy that was starting to pick up.
Trevor Witke, president of the Calaveras Cannabis Alliance farmers’ group says, “We have known this day could come and we have prepared for this eventuality for the last year. We are going to move forward with everyone who has been impacted by this decision.”