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Illicit cannabis hiding in plain sight in SLO County

The signs around the field of budding cannabis plants growing in rural San Miguel say the grow is part of a legitimate and legal research project. And, neighbors believe the plants are part of a permitted Cal Poly hemp research program. But the grow is not.

The site is not registered with the county. Research hemp farms require a county registration and need to follow county regulations such as not utilizing lights in hoop houses and having at least a 400-acre parcel, said Marc Lea, SLO County’s assistant agricultural commissioner.

It’s not clear whether the cannabis plants are marijuana or hemp.

If they are marijuana plants, the rules are much more strict.

The property owner, Jeannot Nahmias, told CalCoastNews that the cannabis plants growing in hoop houses on his property belong to him. He offered to pay the reporter when she asked about his failure to register the grow.

“What do you want from me?” Nahmias asked. “Do you want me to pay you? I pay you. I pay you.”

After he was told that reporters aren’t bought, Nahmias denied he was growing cannabis. He later called back, and then handed the phone to a woman who threatened to take legal action against CalCoastNews, alleging harassment, and then repeated Nahmias’ assertion that there was no cannabis growing on the property.

The 81-acre parcel on Estrella Road in rural Santa Miguel includes multiple vineyards that surround a home as well as the cannabis plants. While neighbors have voiced concerns with the odors from the grow, calls to the county have gone unanswered. Some neighbors have taken the lack of action as proof that the grow is part of a legal research project.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Karen Velie on Cal Coast Times

Published: March 09, 2021

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