One woman's business has been abruptly shut down after officials claim she violated the law. The California woman was allegedly maintaining several properties that allowed the cultivation of marijuana plants. During her initial court hearing, her criminal defense was not revealed, and she indicated that she would need a translator during future court meetings.
The woman, whose native language is Cantonese, also did not make her bond and is currently being held in the county jail. Complaints by neighbors is what led to the revelation that her properties were being used to grow the controlled substance. Even though marijuana has been legalized in the state, in order to grow and distribute the plant, a person must have the proper permits. Officials claim the woman did not hold the correct permits and was not allowed to use her buildings for the grow operations.
She will face criminal and civil charges in relation to the incident. The civil penalties include a fine of $500 per plant, which could reach a sum of $2 million due to the large number of plants in the eight properties. Her criminal charges include five counts of maintaining a place to furnish a controlled substance.
Changing marijuana laws may have led to the confusion surrounding the woman's properties. Also, a language barrier may have led the woman not to be able to explain that she was permitted to house the grow business. Her criminal defense will likely be revealed in future court appearances in the coming weeks. In California, marijuana charges can still be considered a serious crime. A person facing such charges may wish to obtain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can assist in building a strong defense.
Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Marijuana grow houses lead to criminal charges and civil penalties for Sacramento woman", Brad Branan, March 20, 2018