With the cannabis season in full swing, County staff have been extremely busy processing permits, conducting inspections, and responding to neighborhood complaints. Cannabis staff have recently collaborated with the Sheriff’s Office and State agencies to address numerous egregious unpermitted grows in Nevada County. These sites contained thousands of unpermitted cannabis plants, numerous fire/life/safety building code violations, and numerous environmental related violations.
As you may have heard, our county’s cannabis enforcement team gave a presentation before the Board outlining a proposed pilot program that would use drones to assist with enforcement of illegal grows. I was and continue to be very concerned about how this program may potentially violate our privacy. I don’t think the program contains sufficient safeguards around the images the drones will collect, so I voted against it, urging the cannabis compliance team to stick with other methods we already know work, including flyovers in planes and helicopters. Unfortunately, it did pass, so I will be monitoring the program and continue advocating for safeguards to our privacy.
Lastly, in September, county staff will present a cannabis equity grant program and assessment to the board. This grant will provide funds to those who have been negatively affected by cannabis prohibition and will hopefully assist in bringing more legacy cultivators into the permitted market.