Fresno County supervisors voted 5-0 today to approve an ordinance that prohibits all cannabis cultivation, both indoors and outdoors, regardless of patient status or other circumstances. Absent possible legal action, the new Fresno County cannabis ban takes effect Feb. 6.
Medical cannabis patients and advocates filled the board chambers in downtown Fresno, and all but one speaker opposed the ban. The exception was a female resident of Squaw Valley, one of several rural areas in the county where large-scale growing is being blamed for crime and nuisance complaints. After hearing more than an hour of public testimony, the board approved the ban with little comment on a motion by Chair Andreas Borgeas. Sheriff Margaret Mims, whose office is charged with enforcement, did not speak during the hearing.
A companion ordinance is set for consideration by the Fresno County Planning Commission on Thursday at 8:45 a.m. (Facebook event page), with final passage of that ordinance set for late February. Violation of the new growing ban carries fines starting at $1,000 per plant, and growers also could face misdemeanor charges.
This post will be updated as more details come in. Click here for a Fresno County growing ban recap.