Marijuana ordinance mediators tapped by Nevada County sheriff |

Marijuana ordinance mediators tapped by Nevada County sheriff

Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal identified two county officials to potentially serve as arbitrators in the medical marijuana ordinance administrative process, according to a letter written to the Nevada County Board of Supervisors by Royal.

Victor Ferrera, program manager for the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services, and Mike Sypnicki, program manager for the county Probation Department, were recommended to serve as the two “hearing officers” who will judge appeals under the county’s medical marijuana ordinance.

The board of supervisors will decide whether to approve the two appointments today during its regular meeting.

Under the controversial ordinance, which was enacted in May by the supervisors, the NCSO was empowered to serve abatement notices requiring property owners growing medical marijuana to destroy their plants or alter the grow operation enough to be in compliance with the regulations.

If a property owner receives a “Notice to Abate” and feels the notice is in error, he has the right to file an appeal, which is heard by a “hearing officer.”

Ferrera “understands, interprets and applies local, state and federal rules, regulations and laws,” Royal wrote in the letter, saying those credentials qualify him to be a mediator.

Sypnicki has “experience in local and state laws, oversees court services for probation (and) makes sentencing recommendations to (the) Superior Court,” the letter states.

The two arbitrators will be assigned to cases on a rotational basis based on availability and areas of special expertise, the letter states.

The county counsel’s office, which helped craft the ordinance, will provide training to the hearing officers and provide a independent legal adviser as required.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email or call (530) 477-4239.

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