Get One of Those Scary Letters About Growing Marijuana From the Water Bboard? Or Worried You Might?

If you are a landowner who received one of those recent letters from the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board that urges cannabis growers to get into compliance, then you are likely worried. Something about the $1000 per day fine makes folks’ hearts beat harder.

In case you haven’t received one, below is the first two pages of a letter sent in June to a landowner in Humboldt County.

af900352-238e-426e-b231-e29d4c47104fLetters from the waterboard marijuana

Island Mountain landowners have received a barrage of such letters. In response, Tom Leroy of Pacific Watershed Associates is holding a community meeting at the New Harris Store tomorrow (Thursday the 21) from 5-7 p.m. Leroy explained, “The discussion topic is the recent letters that many folks in the community got from the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board regarding Cannabis cultivation. This meeting is being organized by myself as a representative of Pacific Watershed Associates….[W]e have been absolutely bombarded by phone calls since the letters went out.”

Leroy worries that “the deadline to get back to the waterboard regarding these letters has either passed or is looming.” The community, he worries, doesn’t understand “how serious these letters are.”

“The letters,” Leroy states, “have been quite disruptive to the community and it will only get more ugly when the next letters to unresponsive landowners come out. I understand that some folks will never comply but I want to provide an opportunity to folks that are sitting on the fence to join the revolution and move towards the new paradigm of Ganja growing and distribution.”

Leroy says that cannabis growing and environmental protection “are not mutually exclusive but it will take some work and a redirecting of funds for the average farmer.”

Below is the flyer for this event.Island mtn area community meeting notice waterboard marijuana



  • “[W]e have been absolutely bombarded by phone calls since the letters went out.” – Uhh what did you think would happen after sending out hundreds of letters that basically say ‘were gonna fine you a sick amount unless you do what we want’ especially to mostly old school humboldt growers that have been rebelling against government for years. What I also think is F’d up is nobody close to or in town that i know of has got a letter, why? my guess is because they are on county water and can suck up as much of it as they want because they will simply get charged for it. I know more then a few people with over 2k square feet of cannabis and live in town so the amount there growing can’t be the reason for not getting a letter, it’s all about the $$$. [edit]

    • Maybe it’s time to address with serious persistence, the Eel river being diverted to the Russian River/Wine grape growers. Instead of going after land owners, why not get straight to the point and start from the Initial problem.

      • Thank you! I’ve been saying this for years. The people living along the Russian River don’t even know there is a drought the last few years because the river hasn’t dropped!!!!

  • I wonder what the term ” no potential for discharge of waste” means?
    Will this cause the old trick of overbuilding land with multiple sites to break up grows to less than 2000 sq. feet each.
    There are single parcels zoned for one home that have as many as 12 homesites.

  • This seems like a similar tactic that Calfire uses to rob (illegally tax) landowners every year.

    • Calfire in Sacramento told me to mark my payments as “Paid Under Protest” in case this tax is successfully challenged, so I do, but with little hope that it will. af

    • You might think a little differently if your home was threatened as mine was last year. My $150 was nothing for the effort they put forth to save my place.

      • Henchman Of Justice


        You should pay 100% of the costs instead of relying on the theft of other people’s wealth to pay for your decision to live in areas prone to fire.

        • well I’m pretty sure one of the reasons we already pay state and federal taxes is for the benefit of social programs such as cops firefighters Public School exedra But I suppose upwards of 43% of my income isn’t enough and I should have to pay more taxes, right? even though nobody voted it in, I believe we had tea party because of that one time. I have a friend in benbow that received one of these letters and he’s on Municipal Water with a fairly small grow specially comparatively speaking to all the mega grows that I see up in the air when flying around.

          • Henchman Of Justice

            Those who support the illegal Cal Fire tax should pay the whole thing or else every taxpayer in the state should pay since the land benefits everyone, or else no one should pay, period.

            Cherry picking politicians selected a small sub group of homeowners to subsidize the whole illegal tax.

            HOJ does not support Cal Fire for its illegal taxation scheme, and thereby hopes this agency goes down too.

            Let fires burn and property owners fend for themselves if illegally taxing only a small subset of the overall is the tactic.

            As it is now ethically, city limit dwellers are barred from leaving the city limits because they are not paying taxes for the forrests and wildlands.

        • Pretty sure if you don’t live in an area prone to fire, which it sounds like you do not, then you don’t pay the Cal Fire Tax anyway.

          • I have a fire hydrant on both sides of my house and live right next to the volunteer fire department and I have to pay it.

          • Henchman Of Justice

            Then, if ya dont live in an SRA zone, stay the fuck out cuz you are not paying jack shit, but ya enjoy the forrests and wildlands, its trails, etc…so pay up moochers.

  • Henchman Of Justice

    Unconstitutional regional profiling that:

    1) Asks the respondent for information as to whether the respondent is “guilty of something”, even though the respondent has yet to understand who exactly the accuser is that gathered whatever secret information that may or may not be actual evidence of a marijuana grow over 2000 square feet and discharging something as part of grow operations (the “guilty of something” reference).

    2) If the gubbamint agency has the information of those growers who apply, then the agency would not send letters to those under 2000 square feet, unless it is regional profiling.

    3) Why would the gubbamint agency send information about a waiver if the subject parcel received a letter because the secret information suggests the subject parcel has 2000+ square foot grows and discharging something? Is that a “we know what the information is already, but we want to lure you to lie” tactic.

    4) Regardless of growing weed or not, if ya arent discharging anything, no need to respond. If you are discharging, better be under 2000 square feet or ya gonna get dinged because this letter is a fishing expedition, for to be paying a $1000 per day fine means ya actually have to be in violation of a regulation of that agency’s jurisdiction.

    5) Did violation letters precede this waiver letter? If not, group up as growers, hire a constitutional rights attorney and respond so that way the $1000.00 per day threat of fine is no longer applicable.

  • What about the giant medical grows do they get a letter ?

  • Water water water

    Won’t they have to go out and actually see that the greenhouses are actually planted and prove 100% that they have over 2000 sqft of canopy being used? Do they even have the man power to enforce this??? So they send a letter and some old timer doesn’t reply and the water board has to show up at the old timers property 2 hours down a gravel road and see that cannabis is being grown and that it is over 2000 sq ft and then they can fine you. Satellite imagery is not suffice in my opinion nor is a photo from air if it is all greenhouses especially. Maybe there filled with tomatoes. That’s the thing about all this regulation, if you have a bunch of greenhouses filled and no plants outside what can they show up to your property for??? Only suspicion that there might be cannabis in there but that is not enough for a warrant or to fine someone. They need to prove they are stuffed with weed to fine you and for that I would suspect they need boots on the ground. I would think that they sent all those letters out to island mountain so when the cops do a big raid they have water board with them to try and fine people. No water board guy is going to roll around island mountain by themselves uninvited. And there is no way all these farms out deep 36 or island mountain will get looked at year after year. So sure they will have huge legal grows but the growers of the emerald triangle have been growing for decades without permission and they are not about to stop now. Until the u.s. Starts importing weed from countries with minimum wages like 1$ or 50cents an hour the black market will thrive. Minimum wage just got raised in Cali and I’m sure it will again in a few years and as long as legal farms have all this sq ft tax put on them and water board paperwork. Working mans comp and Oshawa standards, engineering for this and that along with all the other taxes and regs. The farmer down the road will be at a major financial advantage with none of these fees and paying every employee under the table. Due the legal farm won’t have to worry about a raid but you best believe the tax and regulations will keep them up at night just as much as the next non legal farm. So you get to not worry about getting raided or busted by the water board of you are legal but you have to come up with a 100 grand plus a year for a modest size farm to essentially pay off all the enforcement teams and your local gov but the non legal guy gets to pocket that cash for years to come and how they expect to go door to door when they can’t even do that now and grows are spreading like wild fire throughout Cali is beyond me. Not to mention this is the northcoast water quality what about the south coast water quality for all the massive grows all over the la area sprouting up. Oh that’s right they get there water pumped to them from up north and grow in a desert so discharge doesn’t matter to them right? let’s not forget about all the vineyards because wine is an essential part of our diet and a needed part of our day to day life so they can do whatever they want with water. Millions of gallons a day. Nobody drinks wine for strictly pleasure like they do smoking a joint. We need to take it easy on The wine folks because they were hear first and have more rights then the cannabis farmers because of all the health benefits of that 1 glass of wine a day we all have to have. Let’s attack cannabis first because they are weak and disorganized then we can go after the wine once we establish new water rules. It makes me sick the way cannabis farmers are being blamed for everything and taken advantage of because they know they are disorganized and don’t have a senator in their pocket…. YET

    • Henchman Of Justice

      Wine first?

      Hell no, fish were first, then native water rights and area water rights.

      Wine is a subordinate use and water diverted for wine is BULLSHIT, so the water board can go fuck itself over in perpetuity.

    • @water water – I agree with most of what you said EXCEPT that the people who stay illegal will be making more money. This might be the case, but not if all the people that didn’t sign up are the first to get busted. Think about it, let’s just say around half the growers in the county sign up for this, there will then be a more streamlined ‘let’s go raid these people that’s names and property numbers arn’t on our list’ instead of the current ‘pretty much everyones growing where do we start busting?’ Also plz link where you read it will cost 100 grand annually for a ‘modest size farm’? I mean sure there’s gonna be costs but in the long run your starting a business if you sign up. If the cost of running the business is too outrageous and theres no money to be made, people will then close shop. There is no possible way that in all the stuff you sign it says that you are forced to keep growing forever, it’s just like a regular business if it’s not going well at anytime you can decide to shut it down.

  • The Water Board warned folks in certain areas for months…. Maybe this is good news in that it might slow the green rush a bit. So much pressure on the land. There are certain watersheds that they are focusing on, along with the areas with complaints.

  • Exactly, what ABOUT those 5+ acre gardens….. they pay a million cash and get to clear cut a mountain side? If we turn into Napa …. we are screwed. No one needs more than 100lbs of pot …this shit is going south..every which way

  • Everyone who farms in the open over 2000 square feet will be getting a letter I promise.the water board hired a consulting firm to look for grows they used google earth of course they also used Lidar which is use in forestry and they talked to all law enforcement across the state they are not going to miss a sole.

    • Yup. You got that right. This is probably just the first round of letters. Smart people will comply.

      • it’s not about being smart, it’s either comply or possibly be fined a unrealistically high amount of cash. This is basically ‘forced compliance’ I’m just laughing at all the people that for years were wanting it to be legalized. If your one of the pro-legalization growers and you got one of these waterboard letters AND have done just a tad bit of research about all the stuff you need to do and how much money it’s gonna cost you, I bet right about now your thinking to yourself: ‘Well shit…this isn’t how I thought it would be’

  • They have no idea what’s coming to them. This is no joke and you can’t hide from this agency. They actually have money to enforce this letter.

  • some farms will be alright basicly be alot of paperwork.5ooo square is pretty easy

  • If you grow 2000 square feet you don’t have to register unless there is environmental issues

  • Dyerville Loop is Not Alderpoint

    Sasha, it would be great if the cal fire tax $ went to fighting fires.. It doesnt. Read your next tax bill. this tax is so crooked. Non transparentIwould gladly send that much and more to any of our local fire dpts. they get there first almost all the time.. I honor any fire personel . Go try and figure out how much this tax collects a year…GOOD LUCK!

    • Henchman Of Justice

      The State over collected, aka, tax the shit outta folks in SRA zones using misinformation to levy the illegal tax only to not spend it, so a HUGE SURPLUS EXISTS!

      Some are saying the surplus is because the State believes it may have broken the law in implementing the illegal tax and wants to make sure it can refund.

  • Regional hunger games.

    • Henchman Of Justice

      No shit, pull out the arsenal of weaponry and gear.

      Wondering when a chopper goes down to a “SAM”.

  • Kneelanders just got thje scary letter. I don’t freaking grow on my residence or any where. Still I have to send a certified letter to telling them and prove it. I guess they are worried about excavation , none of that either. The amount of mud the loggers are making in the neighborhood on the roads they are making are causing way more mud going inti the streams . This is what make me most angry. Where has the water board been all the years. They should have been testing turbidly on logging sites forever. Loggers think that that would lose them their jobs? How do you like it know? Lost your jobs and dropped a big mud pile into our rivers. Where is the Balance?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *