Equity Grants for pot cultivators
“The County staff increasingly seem to inhabit a parallel universe that by my lights is a freak and horror show”
I understand that staff is proposing that Penalty Relief Project (PRP) applicants receive “equity grants” up to $70,000 based on a report entitled “Sonoma County Cannabis Equity Assessment.”
The only ongoing PRP application in Bennett Valley is located at 4050 Grange Road.
The owner of the property and operator of this grow, has six felonies for defrauding the state of California and environmental crimes. Public records indicate he lives in a $5.5 million home in Hillsborough. I doubt he has ever lived in Sonoma County.
Another PRP grow at 4065 Bennett Valley Road is owned by same person. The operator, who lives in a multi-million dollar home in Tiburon with a wharf for his yacht, received a cannabis permit for this property but isn’t growing because he can’t meet the conditions of the CUP. Does he get $70,000 for this grow (or non-grow)? I doubt he has ever lived in Sonoma County.
A third PRP on Matanzas Creek Lane withdrew its permit around June of this year and has abandoned cultivation. It is owned by a wealthy Chicago law firm. Will they will receive $70,000, too?
What does $70,000 represent in the tax base? The current annual real property tax on our home is about $8,500 (bond payments are additional). I understand that the county receives about 30% of the $8,500, or about $2,550 for my home. Thus, $70,000 is about 27 years of property tax that the county can devote to the sheriff, roads, public health, and other societal needs.
I can’t emphasize how offensive these giveaways are to my family and my neighbors. The County staff increasingly seem to inhabit a parallel universe that by my lights is a freak and horror show.
-SOSN Member, Bennett Valley Resident