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File #: ID 23-1216    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Action Item Status: Passed
File created: 8/2/2023 In control: City Council
On agenda: 8/10/2023 Final action: 8/10/2023
Title: Approve a Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Fresno and the California State Office of the Attorney General (OAG) to develop a Cannabis Administrative Prosecutor Program (CAPP).
Sponsors: City Attorney's Office, Mike Karbassi, Nelson Esparza, Miguel Angel Arias
Attachments: 1. CAPP MOU 8.10.23 - Combined - FINAL.pdf, 2. Cannabis Administrative Prosecutor Program FINAL 6.15.23.pdf




FROM:                     ANDREW JANZ, City Attorney

                                          Office of the City Attorney


BY:                                          ERICA CAMARENA, Chief Assistant City Attorney

                                          Office of the City Attorney





Approve a Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Fresno and the California State Office of the Attorney General (OAG) to develop a Cannabis Administrative Prosecutor Program (CAPP).




It is recommended Council approve the attached Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to authorize the City to integrate the resources of the OAG with the powers the City has, to undertake speedy and efficient enforcement actions against illegal land uses that constitute public nuisances. 



The OAG seeks to partner with the City to leverage the unique powers and tools the City has to enforce zoning ordinances, abate public nuisances, and provide resources to maximize the effectiveness of these enforcement tools.  A CAPP can be implemented by entering an agreed upon MOU.



The OAG has long been concerned about the impacts of unlicensed commercial cannabis activity to California’s residents, environment, and those who endeavor to operate legally.  The OAG believes this is a statewide problem that cannot be addressed by any one agency or through the adoption of a single enforcement strategy.  For this reason, Attorney General, Rob Bonta, has authorized the implementation of the CAPP. 


Through CAPP, the OAG seeks to partner with the City to provide investigative and administrative prosecutorial resources to implement or expand already existing expedited administrative enforcement programs within the City, to specifically address illegal cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and retail operations.  The OAG’s staff will work with and on behalf of the City to undertake administrative enforcement to address unlicensed cannabis activity as a public nuisance and to recover the costs of enforcement.  The OAG believes a joint effort between their Office and the City, based on the use of existing tools will create an opportunity to increase the scale and efficiency of our efforts to reduce and eliminate the illegal cannabis market.


The program will seek to recover all costs of enforcement and abatement through voluntary settlements and abatement liens in accordance with local ordinances and procedures adopted under the authority of Government Code section 38773.5.  As with any type of administrative enforcement action, the CAPP will seek to recover costs through settlement and stipulated agreements where the property owner voluntarily abates the nuisance or unpermitted cannabis activity on the property.  As part of any settlement and order, the CAPP will seek to recover the fully weighted cost of staff time, mileage, contractors, expenses, and use of equipment incurred by the City and OAG.


Where there is no settlement, the CAPP will seek to obtain an administrative order and abatement lien, which is considered super priority and takes first position over a first deed of trust mortgage providing security to recover enforcement costs.  If a property owner does not pay the costs of enforcement within the timeframe specified in the applicable local ordinances, the enforcement costs will be added to the landowner’s property tax bill.



By the definition provided in the California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines Section 15378 this item does not qualify as a “project” and is therefore exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act requirements.



Local preference is not implicated because this item does not involve public contracting or bidding with the City of Fresno



There is no significant fiscal impact other than staff time. 



City of Fresno - Office of the Attorney General: Memorandum of Understanding

Power Point Presentation