The Merced County Sheriff’s Office Marijuana Enforcement Team was busy this weekend serving five (5) search warrants throughout the county. During the search warrants, the Marijuana Enforcement Team eradicated 5903 marijuana plants, destroyed 129 pounds of finished product, and seized four (4) guns.

Sheriff Vern Warnke wants to remind everyone that the Merced County Sheriff’s Office will be enforcing the cultivation laws regarding marijuana that the county has put in place starting in 2018. All outdoor marijuana grows are illegal and will be dealt with immediately and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Additionally, you are only allowed to grow 6 plants indoors. If you have questions about the laws regarding cultivation and possession of marijuana, please call the Merced County Sheriff’s Office 209-385-7445.

The new County Cannabis Ordinance details are as follows:
Personal Cultivation Restrictions reasonably regulated (Ord. 9.29.060):
**Personal use cannabis plants limited from twelve (12) to six (6)
**Cultivation can occur in either 1) within a single private residence; or 2) inside a fully enclosed and secure structure located upon the grounds of a private residence. Outdoor cultivation of any type, on any parcel is prohibited.
**Cultivation must comply with Building and Construction Code, Title 16.
**Cultivation cannot be conducted in a manner that constitutes a public nuisance.
**Enforcement – penalty/consequences for noncompliance unchanged from previous Medical Marijuana Cultivation ordinance
**Administrative Penalties for unlawful cannabis cultivation(Ordinance 9.29.083)
**All violations deemed a misdemeanor; Sheriff has ability to abate unlawful cannabis cultivation (Ord. 9.29.200)

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