In the Emerald Triangle, at least 15 farms were raided by the Fish & Wildlife Service after applying for county licenses. [tweet this] Underground cannabis growers have come out by the thousands to apply for county growing licenses in Northern California, an attempt to be part of the new legal industry. Unfortunately, environmental agencies are using these applications to target gray market growers.
Why is this happening?
Yet another example that the legal framework surrounding cannabis is weird. The Fish & Wildlife Service say they’re just doing their job to enforce environmental laws. Local regulators and industry advocates have penned letters asking state agencies to cool it, arguing these targeted raids on licensees and applicants will have a chilling effect on those trying to get legal.
But isn’t cannabis already legal in California?
Yep, since 1996. But California failed to create any real regulations around cultivation. With the passing of Adult Use, lawmakers are really scrambling to get it together but don’t expect state licenses to be granted until 2018. In the meantime, counties have put together their own licensing programs. Since May, Emerald Triangle counties have received more than 3,500 applications. The volume of applicants has overwhelmed the system, leaving many stuck in legal limbo. In Mendocino County, only 3 of 700 applicants have been successful.