NEVADA COUNTY (CBS13) – There is a cannabis crackdown in Nevada County, but this isn’t the kind of crackdown you’re used to seeing.
A new dedicated team of deputies is now going door-to-door to make sure medical marijuana growers are following the law.
The change comes after hundreds of complaints from concerned neighbors.
It’s a growing problem in Nevada County, pot growers coming in conflict with their next door neighbors.
Now a new county ordinance is trying to curb the complaints.
A two-man team is carrying away cannabis crops no longer in compliance with the new county law.
“The ordinance was designed to improve the quality of life in Nevada County,” said Sgt. Guy Selleck, Nevada County Sheriff’s Department.
So far, 200 complaints are keeping the two-man fulltime team busy.
“The complaints were basically driven from the odors of marijuana,” said Selleck.
Nevada County supervisors passed the controversial new rules last May, setting strict limits on a number of things, including the size of the garden and distance from neighbors’ homes.
Under the new ordinance, detectives are cracking down on a grow that was 20 times too big and too close to its nearest neighbor.
“I believe I’m targeted, because of my vocalness (sic) of support of medical marijuana,” said grower Bruce Brennan.
Brennan was arrested Thursday for his oversized operation that investigators say was likely to be illegally sold; but he says he’s simply trying to help people incapable of growing their own medicine.
“I’m in an agricultural county that I came and settled in this county for a specific reason. It’s a medical necessity,” said Brennan.
But some neighbors say it’s a nuisance and they want deputies to weed out the law breakers.
“If I had to smell it all the time, I wouldn’t like it,” said Marilyn Karbowski. “I think it’s right that they should crack down on the growers.”
The sheriff’s department says they will investigate every complaint, and if someone is in violation they will have five days to get into compliance or face fines, and the possibility of losing their crops.
Now, along with size and fencing restrictions, medical marijuana grows cannot be within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop and no one can have an indoor and an outdoor grow.