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CA county sends hundreds of cease-and-desist letters to unlicensed cannabis farms

California’s Humboldt County is taking more steps to crack down on its still-thriving underground marijuana market, having sent about 330 cease-and-desist letters to locals it believes may be growing without the proper permits. The county Planning and Building Department is mostly targeting growers in areas that have a particularly high impact on the environment and to establish a “level playing field” between licensed cultivators and those growing illegally, according to the local news website Redheaded Blackbelt. Some recipients of the letters contend they’re not growing illegally, however, while others may be confused about the legal limit for personal cultivation. County Supervisor Estelle Fennell told Redheaded Blackbelt the aim is to bring small-scale farmers into the regulated system and that any farm with 3,000 square feet of canopy or less can get a “ministerial permit” from the county. “That is a very easy permit to get,” Fennell noted. She encouraged any growers with questions to contact the county government to begin the licensing process. “What’s going to happen as we move forward is that people who really want to grow, who want to be able to support their families growing cannabis, can do so legally, with a permit,” Fennell said. “No one has to grow in the shadows anymore.”