(Ukiah) On June 21, 2016, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors approved a settlement agreement with the the Mendocino County Blacktail Deer Association. The Mendocino County Blacktail Deer Association filed a lawsuit on June 8, 2016, that challenged the adoption of Ordinance No. 4356, alleging violations of CEQA and improper adoption on an urgency basis.
As a result of this settlement, the County will stop accepting permit applications as of June 22, 2016, at 5:00pm. No new applications will be accepted following the deadline. Applications already submitted or received by the close of business on June 22nd will continue to be processed according to the urgency ordinance. The ordinance will continue to be enforced by the County until a permanent ordinance is adopted.
Over the last several weeks and months we have been pleased to work with the county and various stakeholders to advance reasonable and effective cannabis policy in Mendocino County. The process has been long; difficult compromises have been made and—though imperfect—the urgency ordinance, passed on May 17, was an important first step toward the future that we are all working for. It is frustrating to see this policy—that reflects so much good will and hard work cut short in such a manner.
This is a very frustrating outcome. The most frustrating thing is that this is not going to protect the environment. This is going to close the door on regulation, when regulation is what we need most to protect wildlife and watersheds.
Everyday we work to ensure that everyone who has an interest in getting regulated has the opportunity to participate. The abrupt action will be a challenge for many small business owners in our community. Closing the door too soon on good actors will not lead to the outcomes our community hopes to see.
The urgency ordinance was designed to minimize environmental impacts and we are discouraged by the way CEQA was used to leverage a political outcome. We call on the community to be undeterred in our efforts to regulate cannabis, even in the face of thinly veiled.
Our focus as a community must be on moving forward together with a comprehensive permanent ordinance that regulates cannabis cultivation as agriculture. We remain committed to collaboration with all stakeholders and we sincerely appreciate the counties efforts throughout this unfortunate event.