Tulare County cracks down on medical-marijuana sites
TULARE COUNTY – Tulare County is targeting medical-marijuana sites suspected of violating the county’s two-year-old medical marijuana ordinance.
Last week, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department issued seven Notices of Violation to the owners, occupants, or lessees at four medical marijuana grow sites near Visalia, Ivanhoe and Seville. The notices required these sites, whose locations were not disclosed, close down their operations within 10 days.
If the four sites do not comply in time, the county will file for a preliminary and permanent injunction to enforce compliance, according to Tulare County officials.
“Tulare County will not tolerate illegal medical marijuana operations in our unincorporated areas,” County Supervisor Chairman Mike Ennis said.
The ordinance these sites have allegedly violated was passed by the Tulare County Board of Supervisors in 2009. The ordinance states medical marijuana collectives and cooperatives can only be located on land zoned for commercial or industrial use within the unincorporated county. The ordinance also has a requirement that marijuana must be grown in enclosed structures, not outdoors.
Last month, a Tulare County Superior Court judge found medical marijuana cooperative, Foothill Growers Association, located in Ivanhoe, violated the ordinance because it was on agricultural land. The cooperative moved to Exeter, but is in the process of appealing the judge’s ruling.
Tulare County officials, however, say they are on a mission to keep such cooperatives from being a problem in the county.
“Medical marijuana operations like the Foothill Growers Association and the others who received notices of violations are a major threat to the public safety of our residents,” Ennis said.
Visalia Times-Delta / Tulare Advance-Register – Pot cooperative to appeal court ruling, move to another site
The Foothills Sun-Gazette – Medical marijuana moves to Exeter
Valley Voice Newspaper – Marijuana Dispensary Operator Will Move to New Location