Class action suit filed on behalf of cannabis growers in California county

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A class action lawsuit was filed in an attempt to win back roughly $16 million in taxes and fees paid to a California county by cannabis growers that were hoping to gain local and state licenses.

The suit, filed Aug. 3 against Calaveras County in northeastern California, alleges county officials “unlawfully compelled” cannabis growers to pay “exorbitant, mandatory registration taxes and fees” in 2017 before banning all commercial marijuana cultivation in January 2018.

“This is a case of taxation without representation,” plaintiff Andrew Greer, CEO of Golden State Herb, said in a news release.

Greer called the county’s move a “bait and switch” because officials took marijuana company money to help balance the county budget and then voted to ban their businesses.

The suit seeks a refund for all cannabis taxes and fees paid to the county, which totals $16.3 million, according to the release.

A hearing in the case is scheduled for Dec. 5.