Information provided by San Benito County Public Information Officer David Westrick.
On April 17th, the office of the San Benito County Agricultural Commissioner, along with members of local law enforcement, served an abatement warrant in the 300 Block of Ladd Lane for hemp operations in violation of the San Benito County Code.
On Tuesday, April 14th, the Office of the San Benito County Agricultural Commissioner and the San Benito County Counsel’s Office began to expedite the abatement process by preparation of an abatement warrant. The application for the warrant requested the abatement of hemp cultivation in the 300 block of Ladd Lane, on property where hemp cultivation is prohibited pursuant to the County’s Hemp Ordinance. The warrant request was filed on April 16th, and the warrant was issued the same day.
On April 16th, Moore, via his attorney, asked the court for a restraining order against the county to stay the abatement. The honorable Judge Rodriguez heard the case on April 17th at 11 am and ruled against the stay/restraining order, which allowed the County to proceed under the abatement warrant previously issued by the Court.
On April 17th, at approximately 1 p.m., members of the San Benito County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office and the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team went to the property on Ladd Lane and abated nearly 7000 plants weighing approximately 6100 pounds.
It should be noted that previously in March 2020 Kevin Moore of Opa Farms and the locations property owners had been given a 10-Day Notice that cultivation activity needed to cease. It was determined that Moore failed to obey the March 2020 Notice from the Agricultural Commissioner.
There is a legal process for the commercial cultivation of hemp in San Benito County, which requires registration with the Agricultural Commissioner’s office. A copy of the San Benito County Code related to hemp cultivation may be obtained by emailed request to email@example.com.
No arrests were made. This was a code enforcement action to abate a public nuisance.