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Published November 29th, 2017
Cannabis growers in Bollinger Canyon respond to allegations
Medicinal cannabis in Bollinger. Photo provided

Three Bollinger Canyon residents who were referred to in a recent article regarding cannabis growing in that area contacted this newspaper to give their version of what was happening in their neighborhood, painting a picture of small family organic farms growing medicinal plants, far from any nefarious cartel activity.
Lamorinda Weekly had reached out to one of these residents prior to publishing the Nov. 15 article, "Cannabis in Bollinger Canyon," but did not get a response before press time. The Bollinger Canyon residents who contacted this reporter following the article publication asked that we do not print their names.
The first grower indicated that his operation was small, in the area of 40 plants, and was started a few years ago for medicinal purpose only. He added that he uses organic methods with what he grows and that the production is distributed to elderly people suffering from different conditions through a nonprofit called Rocky Ridge Collective. One of his neighbors who also grows plants in the area indicated that he owns a farm in the remote area where vegetables and fruit trees are cultivated next to cannabis plants grown for medicinal purposes. He also says that he uses only organic growing methods, since he lives there and wants to preserve the area's quality. The third grower reported similar activity, though he does not live on the property. He added that five land owners grow only small quantities in the area.
The first grower said that he contacted other Bollinger residents to inform them of what he was doing and they never registered any complaint. His two neighbors confirmed that they were happy to discuss the issue and invite their neighbors over to address any concern. He acknowledges that a county code inspector came to visit his home and issued a code violation, nothing criminal, asking that the plants be removed, which he did. A second grower was also visited by the code inspector. He says that he has a state permit to grow medicinal cannabis and had not been informed of the county's restriction. Both say that they are in touch with Supervisor Candace Andersen regarding coming county regulations.
The Bollinger residents added that the trucks seen on the road are likely going to construction sites that are up that road, and that workers at harvest time are more likely to go to the wine production facility also in Bollinger than to harvest cannabis. The first grower says that he employs one person from time to time that he drives up the road himself; the second and third ones say they do not employ any outside labor.
The first resident explained that gunfire noises are likely from poachers in the area hunting for wild boar and deer. He says that he does not own a gun and that he has confronted some of the poachers in the past, as well as someone who created a shooting range in Bollinger. He noted that a few years ago large growing operations were dismantled in the nearby open space area, but that no one in his neighborhood was involved with these activities.

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