NEWS BRIEF

California’s Calaveras County refunding nearly $1 million in fees to marijuana farmers

A California county that collected fees and taxes from marijuana farmers but then banned the industry has partly reversed course after voting this week to refund almost $1 million in fees to growers.

According to Mymotherlode.com, the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors decided on a 4-1 vote to return $940,000 in fees that were collected through a medical marijuana registration program.

The move comes after a class action lawsuit was filed last August on behalf of growers who paid $5,000 apiece to register with the county in hopes of becoming fully legal marijuana farmers.

More recently, county voters ousted two anti-cannabis board members in last November’s election.

The election raised growers’ hopes that the commercial marijuana growing ban might be reversed this year.

In the meantime, the class action suit – which asks that $16 million in taxes and fees be returned to growers – is moving ahead, according to attorney Henry Wykowski.

“The refund payments … are evidence that fees were wrongfully collected,” Wykowski, one of the lead attorneys in the class action suit, wrote in an email to Marijuana Business Daily.

“It should be noted that prior to the action being filed, nothing was being returned,” he added. “This is a small step in the right direction, but is simply too little, too late. They are trying to lower their exposure and lessen the sting when we prevail. We are not backing off.”

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