ICFA Calls Hum. CO’s Planning Commission Meeting Today “Crucial”

Kristin Nevedal from the International Cannabis Farmers Association

Kristin Nevedal from the International Cannabis Farmers Association

Kristin Nevedal, Chair of the International Cannabis Farmers Association which has an office in Southern Humboldt, says she believes today’s Special Meeting of the Humboldt County Planning Commission “will be crucial to attend in order to influence the direction of the final language.” The meeting will offer a public comment period which will allow people to address concerns they have with the ordinance. (The ordinance is posted below.)

Nevedal has provided a copy of a draft letter that she believes hits some of cannabis farmers’ main concerns. We’ve provided the full letter below but in brief, she argues,

I am experiencing a number of challenges with the process itself. The County’s resistance to issuing permits, restrictions on ownership and the newly proposed 1000 foot setback for all open-air cultivation and flammable extraction activities. Combined, these provisions pose significant challenges to Humboldt County’s local cannabis farmer and the regulated development of the County’s commercial cannabis industry as a whole.

Nevedal urges farmers, If you plan to attend and comment, bring 14 copies of your comments with you. These will be submitted to the clerk during public testimony. You can also email comments to khayes@co.humboldt.ca.us. 

Here is the International Cannabis Farmers Association full suggested letter below that can be modified to fit each grower’s concerns:

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is xxxx. I am a landowner in Southern Humboldt and an applicant for existing cultivation, and xxxx. I’m writing today to express concerns regarding the draft Commercial Cannabis Land Use Ordinance (CCLUO), published for the November 30, 2017 Planning Commission meeting. As a landowner in Southern Humboldt, applying for existing ‘open-air’ cultivation, I look forward to engaging in the newly regulated cannabis market place and potentially investing in other local cannabis related businesses.

As I work my way through the application process in preparation for January 1, 2018 State licensing, I am experiencing a number of challenges with the process itself. The County’s resistance to issuing permits, restrictions on ownership and the newly proposed 1000 foot setback for all open-air cultivation and flammable extraction activities. Combined, these provisions pose significant challenges to Humboldt County’s local cannabis farmer and the regulated development of the County’s commercial cannabis industry as a whole.

Community Support Facilities

As an existing open-air cultivator, I’d like to thank the Planning Commission and Staff for moving provisional permitting forward. However, I still have concerns regarding the County’s resistance to issuing permits for centralized processing, nurseries and distribution until such time as a new ordinance is passed. Without such support facilities in the County, provisionally permitted farmers will face limited access to the legal marketplace come January 1, 2018. For this reason, I would like to express my support for the proposed language in the draft CCLUO which allows for the transportation of commercial cannabis with a business license and suggest that the County give permission to these business holders to apply for a distribution transport license at the State level. Additionally, it will be important that the County issue community support facility permits in an expedited manner to ensure legal supply chain access for our community’s farmers.

Manufacturing

The County’s proposed manufacturing requirements could pose significant challenges to farmers and manufacturers wishing to engage in ethanol extraction methods, including tincture extraction methods. Based on the County’s proposed definition for flammable extraction, all ethanol based extraction activities will be subject to the County guidelines proposed for flammable extraction. On November 16, 2017, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued State Emergency Regulations for manufacturing activities, clarifying Volatile and Nonvolatile Manufacturing criteria. Under the State’s Emergency Regulations, ethanol based extraction activities have been deemed Nonvolatile Manufacturing activities. We respectfully request that the County Planning Commissioners reconsider how ethanol extractions are categorized and consider allowing such extraction methods in nonflammable extraction facilities.

1000 Foot Setbacks

The County’s current draft language proposes that all commercial cannabis activity be setback one thousand feet (1,000’) from any RA zoning district, mapped Rural Residential Neighborhood Area (RRNA’s), Community Planning Areas as identified under 55.4.1.5(b), the Sphere of Influence (SOI) of any incorporated city within the County of Humboldt, or Tribal Lands. The one thousand foot setback restrictions are also referenced in Alternative 6 as a Special Area Setback for Odor Mitigation specific to Open Air Cultivation Facilities and again in reference to Flammable Extraction facilities under 55.4.8.2.1.3. While the proposed setback language is clear regarding the applicable Community Planning Areas, the Spheres of Influence, and Tribal Lands, it is not clear regarding RA zoning districts and mapped Rural Residential Neighborhood Areas (RRNA’s).

What qualifies as an RA zoning district? What qualifies as a mapped Rural Residential Neighborhood Area (RRNA)? According to the General Plan maps, RA designated use properties exist throughout the Southern Humboldt area and in close proximity to most urban areas. How will, or will, the RA overlay affect Open Air Cultivators and Flammable Extraction Facilities? What is a RRNA? How will RRNA’s affect these setbacks in regards to Open Air Cultivators and Flammable Extraction Facilities? Additionally, how will the 1000’ setback from neighboring residences be applied? Will Open Air Cultivation Facilities and Flammable Extraction Facilities qualify for variances such as under 55.4.6.4.4(e)?

Encouraging Enclosed Cultivation Facilities could significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions and negatively impact air quality. Both Flammable and Nonflammable Extraction Facilities will be important to the future development of products originating from Humboldt County. We urge the Planning Commission to consider the exclusionary zoning impacts that a one thousand foot (1000’) setback would have on otherwise appropriately zoned manufacturing and industrial zoned parcels.

Standards for Noise From Cultivation Sites

The proposed performance standards for cultivation related noise could result in challenges relating to excessive nuisance complaints. The proposed language is incredibly broad and the requirements for establishing and documenting ambient noise levels will be incredibly onerous to achieve and are subjective in nature.

Artisanal Branding

The recent draft also proposes significant changes to the Humboldt Artisanal Branding. Under provisions 55.4.13(a) and (c) the draft proposes removing the outdoor cultivation requirement and replacing it with a requirement for the product be cultivated using exclusively natural light. We do not believe that this change is consistent with the original intention of the Artisanal Branding program’s intention to create a branding pathway that protects the small traditional outdoor cannabis farmer.

Permit Counting and Restrictions

In closing, we’d like to encourage the County to eliminate the restrictions pertaining to permit counting under 55.4.5.4.2, 55.4.5.4.3, and 55.4.5.4.4. The mentioned provisions appear to be left over language that was primarily applicable to the four (4) permit cap. If the Planning Commissioners are in support of transitioning to restricting permit holders to no more than four acres of Commercial Cannabis cultivation permits then eliminating the above mentioned provisions would provide clarity to the new language.

I want to thank the Planning Commissioners and County staff for considering the concerns expressed in this letter. Please see the following pages for language specific concerns and suggestions.

 

Sincerely,

Your Name

Title, Company Name

Below is the Draft Commercial Cannabis Land Use Ordinance. The vote on the draft is likely to be held mid-December.

OR-17-002 Draft Ordinance
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46 comments

  • Even though the voters have spoken, the county drags their heels and obstructs every option in the vain hope it all just goes away. They hate us, they want it as difficult as possible. So it’s the black market that wins again.

    • I don’t think so. I think the County just doesn’t know what it’s doing.

      • Lining It’s Pockets! NO foresight what-so-ever….

        Goodbye Humboldt’s hard-earned Name and infinite future financial possibilities….

        At least Cannabis is now mentioned on the 35th page of the new Southern Humboldt Visitor’s Guide.

  • It needs to be six miles from an easement…

    Not fair that lawful people be subjected to neo hippie stank.

  • I so despise saying this , but,, why don’t we all just (quit claim) on our land and give it all to the supes & building dept. ?
    Is that not the county goal ?
    Just cant wait to be homeless in Hum .

  • tired of all this

    Never fear, what ever they decide it will all change in a week or a month when pressure from one source or another is felt. We have watched this clown show for 22 years now and the only thing that is certain is, it will change.

  • By all means let us not inconvenience dope growers and dealers, none of us others have any rights.

  • Humboldt and its clownery! It doesnt cease within the building and planning department people. Its a total shit show.
    And im still pissed to pay these clowns to get talked down to. Mary Jane is nice but watch out for the others!

  • let’s get this straight. dopers have been making tons of cash , tax free doing illegal activity but mostly sitting on their asses for 9 months a year , for 20 years, now it’s legal these greedy assholes are crying about paying taxes and abiding by rules which the rest of us have been doing all along . waaah …. Cry me a river [edit]

  • fuckwalterwhite.com

    Oh,for all those growers that can’t fill out paperwork or write a letter…

    Just put your name on this pre-typed letter so you don’t look like unprofessional slackers

  • I’ve tried many government sites to get a copy of this current amended ordinance. Where can I find it to print out?

  • If the Growers had half a brain they’d be lobbying to drop the CUP’s. Talk to them (growers),ask them what their plan is? Same plan as every other half-brain grower (no plan). They’ll all get slaughtered.

  • Who would open air cultivate in a commercially competitive market? Would someone here please explain to me why Humboldt grows the best Marijuana? You have one shot at this.

    • it takes three things to cultivate plants: light, good water, and skilled people. The triangle has a natural abundance of all three.

  • A lot of people paid so much money after getting scared into starting the process for compliance as it was explained to them through the criteria that the county issued a year ago , now all the money / work put in can possibly be 1000 ft off ? Wtf ! These farms that are in “good standing” pretty much had the green light to go for it and a lot did and with no legal out for their crop it goes black market . The people who paid in complain about others that haven’t yet they don’t turn down black market buyers thus evading taxes and a plethora of other violations . The county is fucking everyone in every position but the carrot on the end of the string is getting rotten it’s been a year , sooner than later the county is gonna throw there hands up and call in help.

    • The $10,000/day letters were a shot across the bow. The county has retreated for now but those letters demonstrated what could really happen. Next year the state will begin it’s cleanup of grows. It will be brutal. And who will they begin with? All the filed permit seekers who then bailed out. They have all your info and your admission of your intent to grow weed! Anybody continuing with the process will be required to take part in track-and-trace where you will be destroyed in the glutted marketplace by the VERY big corporate factories. Enjoy your wonderful “legalization”! My only joy will be watching those who sold out their neighbors and stepped on their heads to get ahead crumple and sob. It’s been a dirty, sleazy last few years.

  • Sessions Is Getting ready to have MJ policy so watch out .20 years ago I was doing a service call at a redway business and a couple came upstairs to the bookkeeping office . I was working on a computer line in the corner .this nice looking young couple stated they were the DEA and wanted some customers account records .The bookkeeper asked do you have a warrant ? They said give us this account or we shut down your business and take every account and every record out of there .Long story short the county will hand over everyone’s name in one second

  • Artisanal Branding should apply first and foremost to cannabis that is cultivated in highly controlled, clean facilities, ie indoors. The giant outdoor growers have hijacked this process, in a form of regulatory capture. We need stringent limits on the size of outdoor farms!

  • Why would Ms. Nevedal wait until the afternoon of the meeting to publish this information? I believe she is actually incorrect regarding the setbacks. If a permit is requested within 1000 feet of a City boundary, or within the City’s SOI or within a Rural Residential Neighborhood Area (RRNA), a Special Permit is required. The activity is not prohibited, you just have to jump through another hoop.

    The apparent reason for the recommended setback and required Special Permit is due to the odors associated with cannabis. Personally I believe the odor is only a problem because it emanates from cannabis. My gosh the cow manure odor in Ferndale, which I believe is much more obnoxious, is apparently okay with most. Ever been to Modesto or Turlock…WOW! In Gilroy it’s garlic, in other areas it’s green onions, in Smith River it’s lilies, in south Eureka and Fortuna it’s the wastewater plants.

    As evidenced by local school officials they are frustrated with the County regarding the recommended 600 foot setback from school bus stops. The State regulations do not require a setback from bus stops, nor should the County. I guarantee you there are existing cannabis operations within the 600 feet that go unnoticed.

    The Artisanal Branding language should be a concern to all. Humboldt County is already at a competitive disadvantage with the majority of the State due to onerous and costly local permitting requirements. The one feather in our cap, is the Humboldt name.

    We should all be truly concerned that the County’s major economic activity will likely be eliminated for the most part over the next couple of years. The cannabis industry affects everyone in the County. It provides thousands of good paying jobs, where dollars are spent locally which in turn provides hundreds of additional jobs. Everyone should read Jennifer Budwig’s (Redwood Capital Bank) paper on the economic impact of the cannabis industry. Unemployment will rise, dependency on social services will rise, crime will rise and property values will plummet.

    In regards to the newly implemented fine and citations provisions ($10,000/day, up to $900,000), this will result in most of the cited walking away from the property, leaving the “note” holders (many times older folks) responsible. The fines run with the property. They too will let the property be foreclosed on. Of course no one will purchase the property because of the liens. The County will ultimately get the property and then be responsible for any clean-up.

    • Ms. Nevedal and I spoke early this week and she got me the information I requested on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the problem with mainly writing all my own stories is that I often get behind. I take responsibility for this not getting out earlier.

    • Saddened by all this

      Skyisfalling, you are pretty much spot on. Thanks for a thoughtful and intelligent response to the skullduggery and ineptitude that surrounds us😊

  • Its a joke! Cant sell your weed this year at a decent price? Wait till next year. LOL People up here are in a bubble. I suggest you look at the rest of the state and really see whats going on. Huge ag biz style farms are taking over. Being in Humboldt is a hinder, not a help. The Humboldt growers who linked up with distributers and already have a brand and an outlet for their cannabis are getting little compensation for their product. Emerald Cup will be the last chance for cultivators to sell any product. Enjoy it while you can. I hope people have back up plans and haven’t invested every bit of the money into the dead industry. Look at land prices. Falling land prices and lots of available farms to purchase should be an indicator. What was 1.5 million last year is now $550k-650k and even less. In 2018, there will be a ton of properties for sell at a great price. If you have any working money, you might want to start looking at buying up foreclosures. The problem with that is who the hell wants to live in Humboldt if you can’t sell weed?????

    Have you noticed there hasn’t been one comment about how good things are going? Where are the farms that are doing well? I wish they would chime in. Are there any??? Honey Dew, where you at? Alpenglow, whats the haps? Eden busting moves, but are they moving any product? Lets here from the Humboldt distributers…. set the record straight. Please comment how well things are going and how well things will be for Humboldt farms next year. Please, bring something positive to this conversation.

    • I have not seen this drop in land prices that you are refering to. I hope you are correct though.

      • I haven’t exactly seen the drop, but the Real Estate mag is FULL of 1M+ properties. FILLED.
        A ton of new agents with adverts therein as well.. Ain’t the time to sell!

    • Properties are in major oversupply and are not selling. Even at the lowering prices. Prices for well grown outdoor are the same as last year, and are holding steady at around 800 or more. It’s not the end of the world yet, it’s just, work harder for less money, as usual. Considering it takes at least $400 to produce a pound, (my estimate with labor included), it’s getting harder to make the numbers work. I agree with farce that the track and trace is going to be the death knell for all permitted people. It’s going to be a very saturated market.
      I think the smart people are going to make it for a few more years, the high-overhead greenhouse grower types probably not. I’m looking forward to a shift towards less idiots in the hills, so people who really want to live here can have some peace.

    • “…who the hell wants to live in Humboldt if you can’t sell weed?”
      And that’s why everyone is sick of green rushers and entitled 2nd generation growers. Go away then. If you’re not here for the trees, the rocky coast, a rural life away from the hussle and bustle of a city, friends and family, but only for weed and money, then good riddance! Don’t let the curtain damage your frail ego on the way out.

      Also, $400 a pound to produce? Man, the realities of running legal businesses and the slim margins that come along with it will really be an eye opener for people used to making $100-$1000 a pound in profits. Agriculture is a lifestyle, and it’s not known for its cushy profit margins. It’s about to get real.

  • Just wait till there “final” plan. Lol. The government is laughing. Pay pay pay. Then pull the rug… don’t worry, the wizard of oz will show himself soon.

  • No one wants to buy outdoor weed, the clubs in CA only want indoor, most of witch they grow themselves, Outdoor is poised to flood the edible and hash markets where its a better bang for the buck. However very few people have a legal facility up and running thus this years crop will not be made into legal products, Also all the distributors and fat cats of yesterday are no longer on top, they struggle to sell a few units when they used to move boxs. Next year people are being told the track and trace system will improve prices. Definitely been a bad year, and just to clarify technically on prop 215 its not black market if you claim the sale on taxes and pay the sales tax, collectives are allowed to give the medicine back to there patients and receive reasonable compensation. You can still make sales to your collectives members until 2018. So its not technically black market till after that date.

  • Nothing pos to say but at least mine's paid for

    Lots of prime properties are sitting on the market 450 days and more .. or being relisted a season later at 20% off after languishing 8-9 months and still no bites. The snap up of farms has ended in the crash of mjj values. And people are afraid.. the owner carry arrangements that looked sweet and highly doable 4or5 years ago are looking like an albatross around the necks of the contract for deed holders. And those carrying the note don’t want their grown over bulldozed and waterline strewn homesteads back but buyers may be forced to forfeit as landpayments of 2-3k /month can no fly in this CRATERED mrkt.

    Yes land values are screaming to the bottom. and like “perspective”says who wanna liv in Humboldt if u no can sell any marywanna….

    • Hey man, we just all need to give to K-Mud and the Mateel. That will save this community.

    • The great shake out of 2018 approaches. What a year its going to be. The sad thing is most farms are going to get strung along, giving them false hope. The first wave of buying clean product from a licensed company will seem like everything is going to be ok, until the big boys first dep pulls start rolling in. At that point, Humboldt cannabis will no longer be needed.

  • The laws are there to protect people from noise, air pollution; glad the county is doing their job.

  • Off with another box of oh’s for 1200/per unit a couple days ago. I’m not quite sure what all this doom and gloom talk is about. Cali is always flooded this time of the year. We also grow more vegetables and fruits then our state consumes. That’s why we export green stash. Import green cash. We have always filled the orders of our great nation. We will proudly continue to do so. If your buyers are chislers find new buyers.

    • 1200? I would make some assumptions: you are fronting it or taking it out of the area. OG is so 2015 haha.. just teasing I’m glad you are doing well. Just probably taking more risk to get that price I would guess. (And you will deny)

      • @Emily Risk equals reward. Nothings really changed. Just more desperate not well connected growers these days in these parts. It’s not the end of the world. Early retirement for some of these clowns will be a good thing. Trust me. The dig may actually go back up. Then Mabye we can enjoy our sleepy little hamlet the way it once was again.

    • Yeah just like those guys on those shows about moonshine. They seem to be really raking it in with their black market hooch. The writing is on the wall. Be thankful you made it this long.

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