But four new board members were seated this month after winning election in November on campaign promises to ban marijuana.
“We have known this day could come and we have prepared for this eventuality for the last year,” said Trevor Witke, president of the Calaveras Cannabis Alliance farmers’ group. “We are going to move forward with everyone who has been impacted by this decision.”
The farmers also said they may try to qualify a ballot measure to reverse the ban.
Marijuana has deeply divided financially Calaveras County, the famous setting of a Mark Twain short story located about 150 miles east of San Francisco.
Sheriff DiBasilio estimated the county, which is about the size of Rhode Island, has more than 1,000 illegal farms in addition to the 200 licensed farmers and the hundreds more who had their applications pending. The influx has caused a backlash among residents and led to the ouster of some leaders who approved marijuana cultivation.
Ban proponents complained that a sudden influx of new marijuana growers dramatically changed the region’s makeup and damaged the environment.