On October 26, 2020 King & Spalding filed a lawsuit on behalf of a local group of commercial cannabis growers against Trinity County, California. The suit alleges that Trinity County has failed to act upon the growers’ pending cannabis cultivation license applications without good cause; has failed to concede that the Board of Supervisors amended the current cannabis cultivation ordinance in 2019 to eliminate a prior restriction preventing growers from using more than one license on a single parcel of property (“stacking of licenses”); and, has wasted County resources by not cashing cannabis license application fees, or returning application fees, to which the County is entitled. The growers allege that the foregoing has violated their federal and state constitutional and statutory rights. They seek a declaratory judgment and to recover their attorneys’ fees.
The growers addressed these concerns to the County in a September 2020 demand letter in the hopes of avoiding litigation, but the County failed to provide any substantive response, leaving the growers no alternative but to file so that the issue can be resolved before the upcoming growing season. It is estimated that the County’s continued delay, and wrongful conduct, will cost the growers over $50 million if they cannot begin the planting and cultivation process for the upcoming season. Likewise, if the voters approve the pending ballot initiative that will tax cannabis cultivators, the County stands to lose millions of dollars in tax revenue.
King & Spalding’s core trial team consists of Charles Correll, Jr., Troy McMahan, and Cason Hewgley.