Mendo Board of Supes: ‘Retain Outside Counsel’ in Response to Federal Subpoena of Ziptie Records

Mendocino CO. Board of Supervisors met yesterday to discuss the federal government’s subpoena of records from its Ziptie Program which allowed medical marijuana growers to purchase bands for up to 99 plants in order to provide medicine to patients.  After a period of public comment in whichpeople involved in the medical marijuana industry locally”urged the Board to protect those involved in the program, the board agreed in a private session to have their County Counsel “retain outside counsel” and “take appropriate action.”

The Ukiah Daily Journal (UDJ) has been requesting to see the federal subpoena and, finally, through the Public Records Act gained access and published the subpoena yesterday.According to the UDJ, Fifth District Supervisor Dan Hamburg believes the federal government may be “after the money (from the 9.31 program).” However participants in the program worry that the records which include “records of inspections, applications, and communications, to include emails, with Mendocino County 9.31 Program permit applicants [and] permit holders” may be used to go after the medical marijuana growers themselves.

Today, the Emerald Growers Association, a medical marijuana group, which has taken an interest in the matter issued a statement celebrating the Mendocino Supervisors’ actions.

In Ukiah yesterday, two members of the EGA Board of Directors and our amazing pro-bono legal council, Khurshid Khoja, hand delivered legal arguments to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and also spoke during public comment to implore the county to NOT hand over the personal and financial information of legally-compliant medical cannabis farmers to an over reaching federal government. After deliberating, the board voted in favor of patient rights by directing the county attorney to hire outside council to address the federal subpoena. A sincere thank you to the Mendocino County BOS. Hooray for Justice!

The County could incur expensive legal fees by this action.  However, several attorneys have offered their services Pro Bono.



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