June McLaughlin: Gold Country Development, LLC v. County of El Dorado

June McLaughlin: Gold Country Development, LLC v. County of El Dorado
CANNANNEW REPORT

Gold Country Development, LLC v. County of El Dorado  June McLaughlin United States District Court, E.D. California. (9/28/21) Slip Copy 2021 WL 4443180 Overview This Motion to Dismiss action on behalf of Defendants, primarily El Dorado County law enforcement officials, was granted. Plaintiffs established the beginnings of a hemp growing operation and were raided pursuant to a warrant. Plaintiff alleged Defendants deprived them of their Constitutional rights in violation of both 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and California’s Bane Civil Rights Act,[1] and further alleged various state common law claims, including conversion, trespass to chattels, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and declaratory relief. Holding The court granted the Motion to Dismiss. Background Plaintiffs, Evelyn A. Gex, and Christopher J. Marconi, formed Gold Country Development, LLC, also a plaintiff. Plaintiffs purchased 237 acres of land in El Dorado County to research and grow hemp. Plaintiffs purchased certified hemp seeds under the LLC as an Established Agricultural Research Institution (EARI). Under California law, an EARI is expressly permitted to cultivate and produce hemp plants with a THC content greater than 0.3% if such cultivation “contributes to the development of types of industrial hemp that will comply with the 0.3 percent THC limit.”[2] Unlike industrial hemp growers, EARIs are not required to obtain a laboratory test report of THC levels thru random sampling.[3] In July 2019, a search warrant was issued and shortly after over the course of nine hours, about 25 deputies and agents seized 5,500 hemp seedlings, 450 Pa Khang hemp seedlings, and 12 medicinal marijuana plants, along with funds, computers, and documents. Plaintiffs were ordered off the property at gunpoint and handcuffed. Witnesses informed deputies that the seeds were hemp and the marijuana plants where for legitimate medicinal use. The hemp seeds and plants were destroyed without THC testing. Plaintiffs sue for…

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Source : June McLaughlin: Gold Country Development, LLC v. County of El Dorado

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