New Times San Luis Obispo

Court backs Megan's Organic Market in county's cannabis lawsuit

Peter Johnson Sep 14, 2017 4:00 AM

A San Luis Obispo County Superior Court judge ruled against SLO County on Sept. 13 and its motion seeking authority to abate the cannabis plants of local medical marijuana delivery service Megan's Organic Market, effectively preserving a harvest that will benefit nearly 2,000 patients on the Central Coast.

File Photo By Jayson Mellom
HARVEST Judge Charles Crandall sided with Megan's Organic Market co-founders Megan Souza and Eric Powers in a Sept. 13 ruling.

SLO County filed the lawsuit in July, declaring the grow—a half-acre site on property in rural Los Osos—a public nuisance because a building on the land has an unresolved code case. It was the sixth such lawsuit filed by the county to stop local cannabis cultivations that are allegedly out of compliance with an urgency ordinance.

But Judge Charles Crandall sided with Megan's Organic Market and ruled that the alleged code violations on the property "have little (if any) connection with the cultivation activity" and that the county's case for a preliminary (or immediate) injunction did "not outweigh the harm" that abating the cultivation would cause.

"An injunction at this time would result in the loss of the crop, along with revenue from its sale, as well as certain capital expenditures," Crandall stated.

Jesse Hill, the attorney representing Megan's co-owners Eric Powers and Megan Souza and property owner Susan Veley, called the decision a "win" for the group.

Powers said he was glad that the harvest could move forward this fall.

"That was the important thing," he said.

County Counsel officials told New Times they are still pursuing a permanent injunction for cannabis grows on that property. How Megan's and other cultivators will find their footing is unclear since the county has not adopted a permanent ordinance yet, and its current draft suggests capping available permits at 100.

"We'd like to stay here," Powers said. "This is where we've lived most of our lives. This is home." Δ