Maldonado cleared of growing illegal marijuana on ranch
Former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado and San Luis Obispo County code enforcement officials have confirmed that Maldonado’s South County ranch was indeed growing industrial hemp, not marijuana, as reported by the Sheriff’s Office two weeks ago.
Maldonado’s public relations firm said in a news release Thursday that San Luis Obispo County Code Enforcement staff informed Maldonado this week that a county investigation into his organic industrial hemp grow has been closed and no action will be taken.
Code Enforcement Supervisor Art Trinidade confirmed that Maldonado provided the neces- sary documentation, including lab analysis of the plants and evidence that they are being grown in association with agricultural research institution Terra Focus LLC.
“I am grateful that this case is closed, and that San Luis Obispo County officially recognizes my legal right to cultivate industrial hemp on my ranch in San Luis Obispo County,” Maldonado said in the news release. “Furthermore, by resolving this matter so quickly, San Luis Obispo County Code Enforcement acknowledges that at no time did Runway Farms or myself ever have an illegal 30-acre cannabis grow on my ranch as reported ... by local media outlets.”
Maldonado added that he plans in the near future “to publicly share more about my