Former Trinity County Sup. Terrence Mines and another plaintiff have sued Trinity County, saying county officials intentionally stalled transfer of a cannabis license and cost them more than $8 million.
Mines owns property on Lower Road in Junction City, which is licensed for the cultivation of cannabis on 10,000 square feet of the property, according to the complaint filed Oct. 1 in Trinity County Superior Court by the Tepper law firm from Laguna Beach.
Since 2017, Mines has been attempting to transfer that cultivation license from the Junction City property to a 240-acre property on Steel Bridge Road in Douglas City owned by Chris Dwyer, the other plaintiff.
Transfer would have allowed the plaintiffs to cultivate 44,000 square feet (one acre) of the Steel Bridge property, according to the complaint.
Noting that in 2017 Mines grossed $260,000 from the sale of legally cultivated cannabis generated from the Junction City property, the plaintiffs calculate that the increase in growing space would have brought in $2,288,000 minimum over two years.
With increases in cannabis prices over the past two years, they figure that the larger area would have brought in $8,008,000 over the two years lost.
According to the complaint, plaintiffs were strung along to believe their request was being acted on.
Named as defendants are the County of Trinity, County Administrative Officer Richard Kuhns, County Counsel Margaret Long, former Planning Director Rick Tippett, and others from the county building and planning departments.
The complaint states that the defendants refused to act on Mines and Dwyers’ request because they’re against the increased use of county lands for cannabis cultivation and plaintiffs are not from Trinity County. Discrimination against Mines who is of Jewish descent is also alleged, as well as Mines having been “an outspoken supporter of President Obama and Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton which ran afoul of their (defendants’) outspoken support of now President Trump.”
Long and Kuhns didn’t respond to emails seeking comment on the lawsuit.