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Cannabis Drone Pilot Program Approved

Nevada County is joining a number of rural north state counties in using drones to help enforce cannabis ordinances. County Supervisors have approved a pilot program. A Grand Jury report stated, earlier this year, that only around two to three-percent of the estimated 35-hundred to four-thousand illegal grows have been converted into legal grows. Speaking to the Board, earlier this week, the Director of Code Compliance, Jeff Merriman, said they received 167 neighborhood complaints last year. But 32-percent could not be verified, due to sight obstructions and barriers. He said some of the grows are also fire threats…

click to listen to Jeff Merriman

But Supervisor Heidi Hall, the only “no” vote, had cost feasibility and privacy concerns. She said helicopters and planes can investigate more questionable grows at a time….

click to listen to Heidi Hall

The majority of public comment during the two-hour hearing seemed to agree with Hall’s privacy issues. But Merriman said staff usually has to re-inspect illegal grows fairly often, to make sure they’re now in compliance. Supervisor Ed Scofield said drones are a step in the right direction…

click to listen to Ed Scofield

The 10-thousand dollar pilot program is scheduled to be implemented in April of next year and last around six months before it’s reviewed for effectiveness.

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