‘If You’re Not at the Table, You’re on the Menu’: A Call to Action From the Humboldt Cannabis Council
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The following letter to the editor is from the thirteen member Humboldt Cannabis Council (HCC). This group recently formed and is reaching out to the grower community with the following letter.
First, here’s their mission statement:
The Humboldt Cannabis Council offers leadership in a dynamic time for cannabis regulations and policies. We bring diverse professional expertise to engage industry, cities, counties, and states that are seeking information, solutions, and best management practices. We represent many stakeholders from the world’s largest brain trust of all things cannabis. We strive to offer independent advice for the cannabis community & government regulators as legal and social landscapes change.
To Humboldt Cannabis Farmers:
Time is running out to continue to be a legal cannabis farmer in Humboldt County. The Planning Department will stop accepting commercial cannabis Application Forms at 4pm on December 30, 2016, in order to perform an Environmental Impact Review throughout the whole of Humboldt County which is expected to take 2 or more years. The provision in SB 420 affording legal protection to patient collectives and cooperatives (your Prop 215 grow), will sunset one year after Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) licenses have commenced. After that, all cannabis collectives will have to be licensed under MCRSA, except for individual patient and caregiver gardens serving no more than five patients. Being in compliance with county regulations is a MCRSA requirement.
Farms working towards compliance with MCRSA and Prop 64 licensing are procuring water rights, working with California Department of Fish and Wildlife, improving their land to remove environmental obstacles to their businesses, and turning their red dots to green on county maps. Those tasked with enforcing regulations and the law will then target their resources according to information gained during the EIR and permitting processes. There is only one modern proverb that comes to mind: “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”
Filing an Application Form and associated fees before the deadline, and committing to finishing that application, even if it takes months, is the best way forward for an existing or proposed cannabis farm (http://www.humboldtgov.org/DocumentCenter/View/340).
Now is the time to do the hard work of formalizing your family farm’s resources & practices into a legacy that your children can proudly and publicly share with the world. It’s time to step out of the shadows and gray markets and begin to drive the local economy from the front seat. By becoming fully permitted and complying with regulations, you will be assuring that your environmental impacts are minimized and that you’re not at risk of being heavily penalized by enforcing agencies. Please, join us in creating the sustainable cannabis future that we know can exist, not just for our community, but for our country and the world.Signed:
Joanna Berg, Dirty Business Soil, Certified Soil Scientist/Co-‐Owner
Stephen Dillon, Humboldt Sun Growers Guild/True Humboldt, CEO
Stephen Gieder, Northcoast Horticulture Supply/Humboldt Green, Executive Director/Owner
Paul Hagen, North Coast Environmental Law Office, Regulatory Compliance Attorney
Hollie Hall Ph.D., Hollie Hall & Associates, Watershed Resource Specialist/Owner
Ken Hamik, Hummingbird Wellness Center, Co-‐Owner
Brad Job P.E., Pacific Watershed and Associates, Civil/Environmental Engineer
Tom Leroy, Pacific Watershed Associates, Certified Engineering Geologist
Dan Mar, High Tide Permaculture, Certified Permaculture Designer/Owner
Gretchen Miller, Kiskanu, Cannabis Therapy Consultant
Joe Moran, Humboldt Green, Senior Planner/Operations Manager
Nick Robinson, Timberland Resource Consultants, Forester
Seer Snively, Humboldt Green, Technical Specialist