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, 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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8 comments on “California’s Calaveras County refunding nearly $1 million in fees to marijuana farmers
  1. George Bianchini on

    Go get them Henry! Make them sell the new police cars they bought with that money. When your finished suing them let’s tar and feather the perps as well.

  2. douglas hughes on

    The county is claiming they never intended to go along into the state’s legal market. After receiving my property tax bill, the county says, 8,560 for improvements on my land (from commercial grow business, they came up with this number across the board, based on an average for new equipment required for growing), and an increased “value” overall raising my property tax bill. They are taxing me, again, for a business they banned, it’s extremely frustrating.
    Also, if we were not to go along into the state market, then the county should not have required us to enroll with the CA waterboard (required inspection a biologist, archeologist, and a civil engineer to pass as well). Also had to form a corporation, have board member, and have everybody go through a FBI backround check. After required fencing, gates, locks, signs, etc. they still say, nah, we never intended to go along with state law. There were sooo many hoops to jump through for nothing. what bull. (let’s not forget that measure C tax).

    • Pat on

      Sue the county. All of you. For treble the damages. This kind of abuse by govt. won’t stop until they’re hit hard in the pocket book. Those current elected “leaders”… Make a concerted effort to vote them out and put in more reasonable folks that will ensure better governance and getting your money back in a timelier fashion. I’m sorry you’re going through this. Your heart was in the right place, and you were trying to follow the law. They didn’t care.

      What government is doing is sending the message ( very strongly ) that they want to have all of the authority, but the none of the responsibility that comes with it. Meaning, it’s a one way street. And it’s your tax money is paying them to do that to you. That never works. What it does do is make “criminals” out of those whom don’t respond to the imperative: “Do as say, not as I do” from a corrupt government. I say, more power to you if you do continue to produce safe medicine.

      This whole behavior by all levels of govt. is only going to increase the distrust of the “governed” population. To the point, where people like Doug will NEVER come forward, for for fear of getting really fu*ked. What kind of governance is that? It isn’t anything close to what I was taught in school. And I’m U.C. educated. I want my money back…..

    • Dan on

      I would never pay that tax bill. Tell them you’re more than willing to pay the taxes on your property – but none of the increases over previous year. Your property hasn’t increased in value based on “their assessment’ at all… and sue for the trouble they’ve put you through. Starting a business in california (i’ve done it) is next to impossible with current regulatory environment.

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