Antioch Man Ordered to Pay $2.8 Million For Illegally Growing Cannabis

Press Release | Filed Complaint | Judgment

(Woodland, CA) – December 21, 2018 – Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced today that his office has secured a judgment against a cannabis cultivator, 28-year old Daniel Lopez from Antioch, who had grown hundreds of cannabis plants in Yolo County without a license. The Honorable Kent O’Mara issued the judgment which requires Mr. Lopez to pay $2,808,000 in penalties and to comply with Yolo County’s cannabis laws.

Yolo County law requires commercial cultivators to obtain a license from the County before cultivating cannabis. The District Attorney’s investigation found Mr. Lopez planted and cultivated 600 cannabis plants in the County without a license—and he did so after being previously informed of the need to have a license before cultivating. Unlike licensed cannabis operations, Mr. Lopez’s plants were not tracked to ensure against diversion into the black market, the plants were not tested to ensure against excessive and harmful pesticide use, and his property was not inspected to prevent the many environmentally harmful practices commonly associated with unlawful cannabis operations.

Based on its investigation, the Yolo County District Attorney’s office filed a civil complaint against Mr. Lopez in December of 2017. After Mr. Lopez impeded progress in the case and ignored several court orders, Judge Thomas Warriner issued terminating sanctions against him that ultimately resulted in a default judgment being issued against Mr. Lopez.

“Yolo County law is clear that commercial cannabis cultivation is prohibited unless the cultivator holds a County license,” said District Attorney Reisig. “This judgment sends a strong message that these rules serve a purpose, one of which is to protect the environment.”

The Yolo County Cannabis Task Force and Yolo County Department of Agriculture provided significant assistance in the investigation and prosecution of this matter.

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Image depicts an aerial view of the cannabis grow