Supervisor Fennell Talks About the Large Number of Notices to Abate Currently Going Out to Some Residents

Cannabis abatement letter Humboldt County

Notice to abate. Photo posted in RHBB on June 24, 2018.

Southern Humboldt is currently being blanketed with “Notices to Abate” as the Humboldt County Planning and Building Department’s Code Enforcement office mobilizes to bring several thousand marijuana growers into cannabis cultivation compliance.

To date, about 330 NTAs, known colloquially as ‘abatement orders’ and as ‘cease and desist letters’ have been served to property owners suspected of growing cannabis for commercial purposes without a permit. The Southern Humboldt community is receiving the majority of the NtAs because marijuana has been the primary economic engine in the area since the 1980s.

According to John Ford, Director at the Humboldt County Planning and Building Department, the stated goals of the program are to decrease the environmental degradation caused by illegal growing to the rivers and the endangered salmonid species, and to provide a “level playing field” to those residents who have gone to the trouble and expense of getting permits.

However, as more letters go out, there is fear and speculation about the County’s “real motives.” Some talk about the need for a community meeting to get a better understanding of the Abatement program and a community-wide strategy of response.  People speak of a fear this program is setting a precedent of government intrusion.

Several people who have received the NTA’s report they didn’t have any cannabis growing this season. Local attorney Ed Denson said about 30 people have asked for his assistance and five of those tell him they had no cannabis on their property when they “were abated.” One woman, who spoke to Lauren Schmitt of KMUD on condition of anonymity, said: “I feel like I was CAMP-ed on when I wasn’t even growing.”

She also said she feels like the process puts her in the position of “proving her innocence” instead of the county having to present evidence she was violating the ordinance.

Supervisor Estelle Fennell sat down for an hour Friday to address the issue.

First, Fennell wants people to know that “growing your own medicine” remains legal. However, the rules for medical marijuana are changing. 2018 is the last year that collectives remain a fully legal entity. After this year, a collective will only be allowed to serve four patients, and the collective must not be doing so for a profit. Fennell also said that the legalization and regulation of commercial cannabis means that a medical recommendation is not a permit to grow large amounts.  She stated,

The question for some to contemplate when they are [growing medicinal cannabis] is, if it’s pretty obvious that it’s more than personal, that’s where the abatement comes in. The abatement is only for areas that are considered to be commercial in nature. The county has absolutely no interest in taking anyone’s right either to cultivate their own personal medicine or their own personal recreational cannabis. The county has no interest in it. We really have been very strong on that.

For people who grow medical marijuana outdoors, the canopy is limited to 100 square feet on parcels one acre or smaller, and 200 square feet for parcels one to five acres in size. The ordinance posted on the Planning Dept website does not mention parcels larger than five acres.

Another topic Supervisor Fennell emphasized was “There are people in this county who would like nothing better than to see people leave their rural homes. And that is something that I am absolutely, completely against. I am firmly on the side of property rights. I am firmly on the side of having the right to live in this beautiful piece of the world. And I am really hoping that people can see that eventually, it’s going to work out.”

Fennell encourages people to come and see her so she can help shepard them through the abatement process.

There have been no reports of anyone getting an NTA focused on their home. Ed Denson said none of the people who have contacted him have received an NTA that included a charge for their cabin or home being unpermitted. Fennell said that the board has been “very strong” on this point.

However, many people who have received NTA’s have fewer than 50 plants and are growing with stored water in a manner they feel is environmentally responsible. To make this aspect of the abatement process more comprehensible, Fennel explained there are 11 areas that are considered by Department of Fish and Wildlife to be “impacted,” and require more enforcement to accommodate the cumulative impacts of the density of cultivation activity. Fennell said many people who have received abatement orders are in those watersheds. She listed them as the Salmon Creek area, Redwood Creek area, the Middle Mattole river and the Upper Mattole river, Sprowl Creek and Headwaters Mattole River, Hoaglin Creek, Little Van Duzen and Butte Creek, and the Van Duzen River.

People who live in these areas can expect abatement for much smaller patches than people who live in less impacted watersheds.

Fennell strongly advocated compliance and permitting as the best possible strategy for landowners who received an abatement notice if they want to grow in the future.  Fennell  said, “What’s going to happen as we move forward is that people who really want to grow, who want to be able to support their families growing cannabis, can do so legally, with a permit.” She said, “No one has to grow in the shadows anymore.”

When asked to speak about the complexity and the expense of the permitting process, Fennell said there are misconceptions about the costs and that the revised application process, known as 2.0, offers an easier path forward.

Regarding the costs, Fennell said,

There is a lot of misunderstanding regarding permitting. This is probably due to what happened coming out of the box, with a lot of people going to consultants to see how they could work with the county, perhaps because they were leery about going directly to the county after all these years of being outside the system. But that raised the cost of getting permits substantially. Consultant fees are very high. And then there are fees with the various state agencies, and I can’t tell you exactly what the fees are at the county, but they are very small compared to the other costs. I think the costs come in with bringing your cannabis cultivation operation into [code]compliance. Or if you are going to do a manufacturing operation, all of the permits that goes with building.

Then, Fennell continued, explaining that Humboldt County’s 2.0 cannabis rules strive to accommodate the very small cultivator, and to make the process “more user-friendly.” Persons who wish to grow fewer than 3,000 square feet of cannabis can now get a ministerial permit from the county. Fennell said, “It’s actually not that expensive, but it’s [also] not free … under 2.0 we’ve really tried to make it more and more friendly for the small growers. If you want to grow under 3,000 square feet, that’s a zoning clearance. In other words, you don’t need a special permit.” For an existing cultivator who wants a permit for a 3,000 square foot operation, according to Fennell, “you don’t have to comply with the road regulations that you have to do with the larger ones so long as you are living on site and you have legal access to water. That is a very easy permit to get.”

“The next cost, though, is the excise tax,” she said. Outdoor cultivation carries an excise tax of $1 per square foot and double that for mixed light. The excise tax is billed whether or not one cultivates with the permit and whether or not one successfully sells their harvest once it’s grown.

Fennell said, “Those are the costs I know about, but there are more. For instance, for the state, you’ve got to do a thorough and complete site plan that spells out where your garden is, where your water source is, and if you get a micro-business license, you’ll need to say where it’s processed, etc.”

When asked how likely it will be that people will lose their property in this abatement process, Fennell said, “that will only happen if they refuse to get rid of the plants when they get the notice. An abatement notice gives you 10 days to address that … Your first order of business is to get rid of the plants and to bring the hoop house down … if that is done within 10 days, then there is no fine.”

Fennell continued, “What many people have the opportunity to do, at that point, is to decide ‘Do I really want to continue to do this?’ If they do, they can sign a compliance agreement and get into the system.”

The goal of the fines, explained Fennell, is to encourage people to get into compliance. “This goes back to cleaning up garbage dumps, which used to be mainly what mainly Code Enforcement dealt with in the old days. If you can clean it up in those 10 days, you do not have a fine.”

She acknowledged that grading is more challenging to remedy but said, “[Landowners] have to work with the county and find a way to somehow address it.”

Regarding the “Burden of Proof” issue raised by the people who do not currently have any cannabis growing, Fennell said that the Planning Director, John Ford, has told her that it is legal to assume in rural Humboldt County that the presence of a greenhouse is grounds for an abatement order on cannabis. Fennell said that after a notice has been issued that “all one has to do is provide a photograph [of the site] and have an inspection” to prove any erroneous charges are unfounded.



  • yessss! end the grower greed. you had 22 years to make your illegal fortune, now it’s time to grow up. go pay your taxes like the rest of us .

    • This Is My Name

      Lots of growers do file federal/state tax returns as self-employed persons. This means not only are they paying their taxes, they are paying some of the HIGHEST tax rates for the non-wealthy earned income bracket.

      As a self-employed person who works in the forestry industry, my tax rates have varied from 15.5% up to 19.1% depending on a variety of factors. Any grower filing as self-employed is also likely paying in the 16-19% tax rate, as opposed to people who have employers covering half their tax costs.

      Certainly, many growers don’t pay taxes period, just as certainly as many do.

      • Yet in decades of reviewing all sorts of tax returns, I’ve never seen a single tax return filed as a self employed individual without accompanying business related deductions clearly related to nonfarm expenses nor a farm SE tax return showing a sizable net farm income. Nor for that matter have I ever seen a w2 issued to employees by such a business I’m not saying it’s impossible but yet very, very unlikely that, if a grower filed any tax return at all, they filed with anywhere near their actual income.

        • This Is My Name

          Are you aware of this modern-day invention called TurboTax?

          • Electronic tax returns are obviously still reviewed. Much more easily in fact.

            • This Is My Name

              Your point being….? Your claim was you had not seen any tax returns in your decades of experience that were not accompanied by deductions, etc. You’re one person, reviewing a limited number of returns. Your anecdotal experience is not reflective of the whole, sorry.

              The first year I filed as self-employed I had lost all of my receipts for tools and gloves and gas, etc…I took my paperwork to Frank Gloeggler in town. All I had were my bank statements showing deposits of earned income. He filed my paperwork for me, regardless. So my anecdotal experience would contradict your anecdotal experience. I paid out the butt for that mistake and made sure to make digital copies from there on out.

              • Your allegation that “many growers” report taxes is not supported in any way. The point was that I saw many tax returns. Never one with a sizable profit such as would reflect pot profits. Corporate ones, yes. Personal services ones like dentists, doctors, etc, yes. Farm self employment never- they were always minimal in this area. And that included the few factory type farms in the area.

                The minute that a large gross results in a small net, it becomes of interest to IRS. If IRS was interested, I would see it sooner or later. I would have seen some in that time frame if it had been a practice.

                If you think losing your receipts means something, you’ll need to make your point clearer. My point is simply large profits from pot grows never showed up. Some might report some small bit for another reason, for bank cover or when applying for government benefits, but as to paying taxes on full profit? Some commenters here would be at least somewhat familiar with the rules and regulations of taxes if that were true but they are generally woefully uninformed.

                • If you think a pot-grower would take the risk of declaring farm agriculture, you’re straddling the line of ignorance. That would certainly be a red flag.

                  Another thing to consider, is many growers would be smart enough to only claim the profits AFTER taking into consideration all their expenses, seeing as how one cannot deduct their actual expenses federally. For example. Let’s say one made $40,000 off their crop (we are talking small people, not mega growers), and had $8000 in expenses. That person isn’t going to claim the $40k, but $32,000 to “even the playing field”, so to speak, with the feds.

                  I would love to know which accountant you are, because I would never trust you with my taxes.

              • My anecdotal experience is that nearly everyone I know who is/was an illegal grower claims some of their income. They do it so they can make land payments, buy vehicles, and explain their lifestyle to the tax man. They certainly don’t claim it all as a rule though I know at least one who does.

            • Concerned Business Owner and Resident

              Attorney Patrik Griego Talks About Issues With ‘Notices to Abate’

              Follow Up Community Meeting Aug. 23 at the Mateel Community Center. Supervisor Fennell and Director Ford have accepted her invitation.

              [Orginal Article Sourced From The Humboldt Independent] Week of August 8, 2018

              Civil Attorney Patrik Griego, with the Janssen Malloy law firm in Eureka, came to the KMUD studios on Friday, Aug. 3. KMUD listeners had been invited to bring their questions regarding the Humboldt County cannabis abatement efforts currently underway. To date, more than 300 “Notices to Abate a Nuisance” have been sent to Humboldt County landowners demanding abatement of unpermitted commercial cannabis cultivation.

              COMMUNITY MEETING: At the end of the meeting on Friday, it was announced that a community meeting is being planned by Bonnie Blackberry for Aug. 23 at the Mateel Community Center. Supervisor Fennell and Director Ford have accepted her invitation. Sheriff Honsal is not expected to be available.

              Previously, in a series of interviews on the “Notices to Abate,” first Humboldt County Building and Planning Director John Ford explained the abatement effort seeks to diminish the environmental impact of the unpermitted cultivation and to inhibit unfair competition for those cultivators who have become legally permitted. More recently, Supervisor Estelle Fennell said it is the landowner’s burden to prove the greenhouse is either empty or has another crop in it, and she strongly encouraged people to abate and to sign a Compliance Agreement if they needed time to abate a grading nuisance.

              In his hour of remarks Friday, Griego addressed a number of issues including the amount of the fines, the apparent arbitrary manner in which code enforcement is responding to his clients, and the concept that the county can allege a violation without significant evidence and then lay the burden of proof onto the landowner.

              Griego expressed he has concern as he counsels clients because this matter does not have a litigation history to rely upon so he is challenged in advising his clients because each landowner who receives an abatement letter faces substantial financial risk.

              Griego said he has practiced civil law with Janssen Malloy in Eureka since 2004. He said, “We had not seen any abatement cases until a month or two ago in all my years of practice. It’s a very new thing for us.”

              Nonetheless, Griego said he is advising his clients with abatement notices to both appeal and to abate everything possible within the 10-day timeline. Griego explained, “The very first thing I say is to get the appeal in within 10 days because if you don’t get your appeal in within 10 days, the county is not allowing for any excuses right now. [Without the appeal filed,] we can’t challenge the fine amount; we can’t challenge who’s responsible for the alleged nuisance,” Griego explained, “signing the appeal means the government can’t come in and abate it for you and charge you for that until the entire appeal process is over… [However,] it doesn’t necessarily foreclose them from collecting fines eventually. ”

              –Continued —

              • Concerned Business Owner and Resident

                — Continued —

                While every client has different circumstances, and each person who receives an abatement letter needs individualized legal counsel for their specific case, Griego generally advises his clients against signing a Compliance Agreement.

                Once the Compliance Agreement is signed, the person who has signed it is obligated to fulfill its terms even if subsequent court action finds the county’s program has overreached in some way, according to Defense Attorney Ed Denson who answered a few clarifying questions for this report.

                However, Griego acknowledges, “There’s this idea of shock and awe. I can tell clients ‘this seems very egregious; I think we have some good defenses; I think the fine amounts are excessive; we may even challenge whether it’s a nuisance, I don’t think the notice is sufficient. We have lots of good defenses.’ But at the same time, the client faces that if we are wrong, that at $10,000 a day for 90 days, there will be a $900,000 lien against their property. That’s a really risky decision to make. [The county] made the stakes so high that people are afraid to fight.”

                He said the worst thing a person can do is not respond. Griego feels everyone who makes an honest effort will eventually come to a satisfactory outcome.

                For background, Griego said the county has defined any violation of the county code as a nuisance. Therefore when someone cultivates cannabis on a commercial scale without a permit, a nuisance exists. Griego in no way contested the county’s authority to abate a nuisance. He did, however, challenge several merits of the current rollout.

                Beginning with the amount of the fines, Griego said, “I think there is a very good argument that the maximum penalty that any county can ever impose for a nuisance abatement is $1,000.” Griego noted that counties do not have statutory authority to set fines as cities do, and he further added that Humboldt County’s code says that violations for the commercial cannabis ordinance are a misdemeanor. California state law, according to Griego, puts the maximum fine for a misdemeanor at $1,000 per violation.

                Griego looked to other counties to see how their abatement programs work. He noted that in Napa County, the county will initiate an abatement when people operate a winery without permits. The first violation is $100 a day, the second is $200 a day, the third and any more are $500 a day each.

                Griego said the amount of the fines is going to be challenged in the near term. “This idea that you can get up to a $900,000 fine within 90 days; that people … need to give [the county] $30,000 right away or actually lose their homestead is going to be challenged right away. I am hopeful the courts will determine these are excessive fines.”

                Griego added, “People’s means … are supposed to be taken into consideration by a hearing officer … I think the Board of Supervisors, judges, and hearing officers are not going to want, when it really comes down to it, to take these people’s properties. It sounds good in theory to have these threats that you might lose your home, but I think politically, they are not going to want to do that.”

                Another consideration besides financial means is physical ability to comply with an abatement order. Griego said he has a client with a physical illness who is not currently able to get up and take down structures. Griego said, “We did go in [to the county] and argued ‘they physically could not do the things you have asked them to do.’ The county did eventually work with us.”

                Regarding the burden of proof and the idea that having a greenhouse on one’s property is sufficient evidence that a cannabis nuisance needs abated, Griego said, “That makes no sense. If the county is going to go to a hearing and say that cultivation is occurring in a greenhouse, they have the burden of affirmatively proving that. They cannot simply say to a hearing officer, ‘Well, what else is growing in there, of course it has to be [marijuana].’ I think the hearing officer would laugh in their face.”

                Griego continued, “Even if they were correct, which I don’t believe they are, the burden of proof would switch as soon as we have … a [client] say ‘there isn’t cannabis’ or if there was cannabis, ‘we removed it within the 10 days you gave us to remove it.’

                “At that point we would have met any possible burden of proof we have. At that point it would go back to the county to somehow show that [not to be true] … The county has shown no interest in doing that. When we have had clients say there was no cannabis or that we removed it within 10 days, they haven’t gone out … to check that so far.”

                Griego said the county is not taking each violation singularly, but is taking the position that if all violations listed are not abated within the 10-day window, that the fines will be assessed on all the violations.

                “Most people can get the plants down within 10 days, and most people can get their greenhouses down in the 10-day period as well,” Griego said. “The more complicated cases come with grading allegations. It is impossible to get a permit and get the grading work done in 10 days.”

                For some of his clients, “the county has made this argument, ‘since you can’t [get the grading abated] in 10 days therefore you can’t abate the nuisance and we are just going to start at $10,000 a day.’ I don’t think that’s going to hold up. What I tell clients is ‘Do what you can within 10 days. Your actions have to be reasonable … [H]ire one of the consulting groups to come out and potentially get an application started … and proceed diligently from there …

                “I don’t believe the county argument that ‘We sent you something that’s impossible to do and said to do it within 10 days. Aha, you didn’t do this. You lose,’ will hold up.”

                At the end of the meeting on Friday, it was announced that a community meeting is being planned by Bonnie Blackberry for Aug. 23 at the Mateel Community Center. Supervisor Fennell and Director Ford have accepted her invitation. Sheriff Honsal is not expected to be available.


        • Does that make growers (“anti-tax!”) Republicans??? Lol!
          Or just like the majority of the population that want to pay a little tax as possible? (As with all constituencies, I recognize the generally hypocritical aspects of that argument).
          The Federal government has known there was an underground economy, yet it choses to maintain the unsupportable concept that marijuana deserves to be in the same drug category as heroine, instead of getting real and reaping the tax benefits!

          • General Turgidson

            Good point. So when the feds eventually allow interstate commerce, due to intense lobbying from bigAg, they will certainly apply a federal tax.

        • You are out of touch. Of course growers pay taxes. Not all growers? Sure, not all paperboys do either. But growing a plant does not mean you shuck civic responsibilities, that is just ridiculous and,if you make any money, you want to be able to spend it, and that requires paying taxes on it. Have you ever heard of a grower who purchased a home or a piece of property?

      • You pay 15% self employment tax on your net reported income and then federal /state taxes ON TOP OF THAT.

        People forget that the employer matches your deductions. (The 7.5% pulled out of a check is matched so the govt gets that 15% per dollar earned JUST to cover social.Security et etc) So at the risk if redundancy a person claiming self employment earnings pays that total amount herself, and is then taxed additionally (if she earned enough) by federal and state govt.

        • A person does not pay both self employed FICA and wage FICA on the same income. For the most obvious reason, they are different sources by definition.

          • U pay 15% self employment tax, plus ×××if your net income is high enough××× you then pay income tax on top.. not sure what your acronyms are all about . I wasn’t talking about wages. Maybe you were.

        • 3500-5800 net no need file. Never pay anyone more than 99 dollars and you won’t have employees.

    • U realize the largest business in Humboldt have been growing blackmarket for years and you have supported them. U are a hypocrite

    • Hate on the poor mom and pop… Greed comes from the county level and the state level now. Don’t ever mention greedy dispensaries either… still charging $50 for 3.5 grams when pounds are $400

      I’m calling BS on all of the red tape, codes, and nazi-style regulations…

      Too much land owner abuse and property rights abuse caused the wildfires — if they let people thin out there land they wouldn’t need to grow dope and we wouldn’t need to have these atomic wildfires!

      this is the only place on the planet where you need a permit to wipe your own behind

    • what a fraud

    • You have cancer, and the State of CA, Humboldt County, and your city are so understanding that will allow you a 10ft by 10ft area to grow your years worth of medical cannabis needs. Maybe the few plants won’t cover your medical needs for a month if your making RSO oil, but why worry, you can go buy it from your local dispensary and pay a $100 for a weeks supply. Cannabis didn’t become legal, it became a tax revenue for the State, County, and City that you live in. The idea is to make it impossible enough for anyone except the huge Corporations. In the next few years you will be put in jail and or lose your homes if you don’t follow these impossible rules. Recreational and Medical are being treated as one, even though they would like to pretend it’s not. When you go the a dispensary and they take copy of your drivers license for Recreational or Medical, that information is being shared even though HIPPA states that you must protect the medical patient’s privacy. As far as the State of California goes, you lose your rights the second you use cannabis. You can be prescribed Morphine, OxyCotin, and even drink scotch & water all day long, and still have the right to carry a gun, but walk into a dispensary and you lose your rights. You know why? Because you are now a state approved legal drug addict. So all you people out there that think all growers are out to make money, well they’re not. Some are in pain, dying of cancer, have no other way of controlling seizures, or a million other heath issues that couldn’t be fixed with a pill. Cannabis is more illegal now than every before, you just don’t get it yet. Enjoy your “freedom” while your still under the illusion that they made it legal. Just ask yourself, why are your rights being taken away from you if your doing something legal and approved by the State?

      • Hear hear !!

      • The cries of anguish here are only for the loss of the personal revenue to taxes. There was silence as long as it was ranchers, farmers, loggers, etc getting pinched by regulations and fees. Now that it is themselves caught in the government’s insatiable maw, all of a sudden they are all indignant.

        Too late. The “slippery slope” was created years ago. But don’t worry too much. It will all settle down with more rational regulation. Government is very good with the carrot and stick thing. The harness never goes away, even though there are more carrots and less stick.

      • Wrong,
        I am a recreational user, at the dispensary they do ask to see my photo ID. They do not record who I am or photocopy my photo ID. I am over 60 yo and they can see I am of legal age by looking at me. They are required to look at everyone’s photo ID or jeopardize their license.
        My rights are in tact, and you are spreading misinformation.

    • black markets matter! screw you!!1

  • General Turgidson

    no mention of track n trace?

    • In my 1911 I trust

      The presence of a greenhouse? Seems like an awful low “burden of proof”. I guess that’s why my buddy in Somme’s Bar got one for his greenhouse full of veggies. Told the county to piss off, code enforcement still showed up and slapped him with $30,000 worth of fines. $10,000 for an unpermitted structure (the greenhouse) since his land is zoned TPZ, and $20,000 for illegal grading of two overgrown logging flats that had been there for 30 years. There was no weed on the property. Estelle lies through her teeth like the rest of them. Its a big money and land grab. Seems like Humboldt has forgotten its part of ‘Merika and that we have something called the 4th Amendment.

      • Somes Bar is Siskiyou County

      • It is not about if you are a weed grower. You are still out of compliance with county codes if you have an un-permitted greenhouse. Also if you have un-permitted grading this is the same thing. Its not about people just growing marijuana. It is about property owners miss developing there properties and putting in flats, greenhouses and other structures without a permit. If you really are just growing vegetables, simply get a permit for the grading of your flats. Then get a AG exempt permit for your greenhouse. If you have those and continue to grow you are fine. Or you could try growing cannabis is a less destructive manor. If you just plan in a flat open field. If you have no structures or grading violations i have been told it becomes a sheriffs department issue. We all know the sheriffs will never get around to busting you so it really comes down to them busting the dirty sceans first.

        • [edit] What legal farm do you own or work at? If you’re so compliant you should be able to say

        • jojo your one of the few that get it. were not building a rocket ship. its about permitted building , grading, water and so on. Get your permits. build to code, move on. what a bunch of cry babys

          • At least the cry babies aren’t robots

          • get legal now that you can. this is the correct answer.

            can’t you hear the ole chicago bootleggers crying about the bottom dropping out of bathtub gin market when prohibition ended? the end of weed prohibition will reduce crime, increase quality, lower prices, increase taxes collected from both business and individuals, and increase market demand. all good for the consumer. fit in or get out.

        • Jojo- A lot of people like living here because we can; walk our dog without a leash; find parking at local beaches; not spend our time sitting in traffic; not have to get a permit for everything we do. It’s part of the lifestyle here. If you don’t like it go back to so cal where you obviously came from, and don’t bring your way of life here, please.

          • Emily, it just sounds like you dont follow the laws given. Maybe you should go back where you came from. It’s your entitlement and lack of respect that have degraded the community. There are laws in Humboldt, albeit, some are silly. Btw, it is not legal to walk your dog off a leash. It’s for your dogs safety and the dynamics of other dogs. I mean , if your dog approaches my dog (and mine is on a leash) my dog attacks your dog. You are at fault. No leash. Brighten up friend.

    • There is no effective track n trace. We all know that some very large permitted or “in the process” operations are selling their product across the country. The county is acting as their enforcers. It’s f-ed up for sure. Estelle is duplicitous and not to be trusted. She will not address this issue because it is a serious federal crime of conspiracy to collect money from the permit process while knowing the weed is being sold underground. Notice how Ford says it’s okay to assume any greenhouse in our county has weed growing in it yet they pretend that thousands of pounds being grown w/o track n trace are being kept within the CA borders? Bullshit.

      • If they don’t assume that it is totally sold inside the State then it becomes interstate commerce and that would make the Federal government the authorizing entity. It is a total fiction, everyone knows it’s a total fiction but there is no alternative under the law. It’s just that apparently the Federal government is not going to be the one to challenge it. That does not mean that someone else won’t raise the issue in Federal court.

        Someone who is not growing needs to try what Fennel said to see if the fines go away. Those that are growing will have to go through some sort of legal challenge to change anything.

      • Humboldt County ordinance fire According to this article John Ford head of the planning department said that it is legal grounds to Abate your property if you have a greenhouse and the burden of proof is on the property owner interesting so all people are guilty until they can prove themselves innocent

        • All with unpermitted hoop houses over 12×12 feet anyway.

          • According to the article it says a Greenhouse doesn’t say the size and doesn’t say if it is permitted or not if they get away with this they could make any building. Grounds for abatement you might be hiding something anywhere bend over

        • the misadventures of bunjee

          Joe, why is it so difficult to come into compliance then? Y’all have had over a year (and a couple harvests) to fill out a small packet of paperwork. Hell your average junior high math test has more pages of questions. Get busy, or get served.

          • There is WAY more involved in the compliance process than “a small packet of paperwork”. It’s a perilous, expensive journey during which it’s best to get advice from ‘Consultants’ in order to not (unknowingly) step into a hornet’s nest of legal and regulatory problems!

            • It is also a matter of legal rights if you check back a while ago the Humboldt County Supervisors paid for up-to-date satellite images and I do believe that some of these abatement notices have been put out because of these they will not mention them again because even though they spent a lot of money on these images they are just by looking in everyone’s backyard they are assuming that you are guilty no these are not nuclear bomb like in the case of Cuba are even North Korea so it would be interesting to find out if indeed they did pay for these and if they are using them to put out these abatement orders when they start taking away everybody’s rights it can be more of a issue then just a little bit of herb and just saying that having a greenhouse is reasonable cause it’s like saying if you have a bag that you must have drugs in it and Ben round is right lots of red tape and it keeps changing day-to-day still a schedule 1 drug according to the federal government

              • Actually they don’t need to pay anybody,because it was said they were purchasing an App to install so they didn’t have to rely on images from out-side sources.

            • the misadventures of bunjee

              I’ve downloaded it just to see what’s so difficult about it. Seriously, I’ve taken school final exams that were more difficult. Do your homework, and quit going outside every 15 minutes for a smoke.

              • According to what I’ve been reading is this new 2.0 is not even available until the 15th of August so how easy is it to fill out this form and get registered and what if you have abatement order in the moment according to what I hear once you get a abatement letter is they don’t recognize medical our personal use it is just cut and burned and then they’ll start talking to you about paying your fines and it is still a schedule one drug according to the federal government and the counties gave certain permits and yet the feds came in and did their damage in Mendocino so who’s to say that history can’t repeat itself and they knew exactly where to go because it was in public records and then there is the track and Trace issues I hear it can be very hard to find anybody to buy your product so you might have to go to the black market and break the law anyway they might be even be telling people that it’s okay to break the law for a little while until they can get their track-and-trace system working what a joke

            • You know this is not rocket science? Read the regulations, know that every word most likely has a specific definition and ask questions of the agency. It may be painful but it is necessary.

              Using a consultant is like using a tax preparer. It is a way of avoiding the hard work of understanding the regulations covering your own business. You are actually handing over responsibility to a person who may or may not have any better knowledge of the rules than you or care if you get into trouble after they are gone. Only if the knowledge and integrity of such people is a sure thing does it work out for you.

          • In my 1911 I trust

            There is something called RRR which happens to be the big thorn in everyone’s side. Retirement, relocation, remediation. Means you must retire your old grow site, relocate your grow site, and restore the old site back to its original condition. All must be done before you get a permit, and its no guarantee that you will get your permit. A lot of times the cost of the RRR is more than your property is worth, talking 400k + for a lot of people. And you must pay all taxes and fees while you are doing the RRR and not growing.

      • Completely wrong, Oregon and Las Vegas have great track and trace

        • 99% of permitted growers I know have already sold over half their deps black market and are complaining about waiting for clubs to buy the rest.

        • Yeah I hear that Oregon’s track-and-trace is so good that people lost most of their finances because there legal herb was sold at auction for less than it cost to produce

      • You are exactly right. The County and State (mostly the County in this case) are complicit because they have not set up the legal infrastructure for the “permitted” growers to sell their product, and yet charge tens of thousands of dollars to play in this shell game. A game that is inherently crooked because they know full well that nearly all permitted pot is being sold on the black market.

    • This is about abatement. People with permits (and those with permits are the only ones in the Track and Trace program) don’t get abatement letters.

      • Exactly- the county is protecting permit holders and permit pretenders to blow up huge grows and sell their weed out of CA. These people have given money to the county for fees or taxes. Many people have a county permit but no state permit. Many people are “in process” with the county- do not yet have a permit but are “working on it”. Some people are withdrawing from the permit process but doing it very, very slowly. These are all people who the county is excluding from abatement notices. Yet they are producing huge amounts of weed. Yet they are not included in the track n trace program. The county knows this. Estelle knows this. It’s an open secret … Where do you think they are moving their weed? The weed out of the many greenhouses the county has allowed them to grow while busting their neighbors? This is my point.

        • The giant grows that have been going in in Salinas Valley and the Central Valley and a lot of Southern California are way bigger than anything that’s permitted in Humboldt County the only thing that has a possibility of keeping Humboldt County from the huge economic downturn that it’s headed is keeping the thousands of small grows alive they should probably be patting them on the back and telling him good job keep up the good work instead they are cutting their own throat by stepping on Mom and Pop doing exactly what they said they wouldn’t do I didn’t start the fire

          • 4 Reelz… They just want to kick everyone out, then let the whole place burn down, then corporations will scoop it up for pennies, and blow up waaaay bigger scenes.. Corrupt!

            • Yep, page 1 out of the CIA handbook. First destroy a country and then rebuild it to your liking. Making sure you have all the power and make all the money.

              They are using serious weather manipulation to fan these large fires. By the time they’re done 50% of Lake County will have burnt in the last 3 years. Eventually Humboldt will burn. Time to start fireproofing the crap out of this county.

          • Big pot farms in the Central Valley and even Salinas have contaminated water table issues from decades of herbicide and chemical use. Their pot may not even be sellable by the States standards.
            More reason for the County to get behind the small Humboldt grower. Will they see the light? Or are they just seeing the green?

        • I’m surrounded by grows that received their county interim and have not yet applied for either the state permit or t&t. When I asked if they are getting state permit, they laughed. The county has set up a system where one can apply for a permit, pay some taxes, drag their feet long enough and still pull off huge, black market grows. The county really dropped the ball on that one. The only good thing about these abatement letters is they are responsible for such a high ticket on black market pounds right now. The more letters they send out, the more that price goes up. Black market growers can thank the county for all the help.

        • Exactly. Letters to mom and pop grows. My neighbors a sweet old lady with no plants in the small greenhouse and a guy in a wheel chair with a tiny greenhouse got letters. Mean while the tweekers who have been squatting in a drug house with 2 overdosed in the last 3 years and more plants then the whole neighborhood combined didn’t get a letter. Fawk this county and anyone who voted to legalize pot. Have fun paying huge amounts for weed while watching our local economy go to shit.

    • I focused my questions this time on abatement.
      Do you have questions about track n trace?

      • General Turgidson

        Kelley, great story! Your work is much appreciated. You too Kym.

        I was curious if TnT would be next in line for county enforcement. Doesn’t it make sense that at some time in the near future enforcement of MCRSA will have to be a priority to protect the legal growers, maximize taxes collected, and pacify the feds?

        Take a look at the big board! [falls, rolls and gets up quickly] They’re gettin’ ready to clobber us!

        • perchance. I have heard rumors that there will be enforcement in the near term on permit holders who violate the terms of their permit in some way.
          watch in the next few days for a report on a conversation held in the front yard at kmud friday evening. News anchor, Lauren Schmitt, arranged to have attorney Patrik Griego come talk to interested listeners about what he’s telling his clients who get these letters. We have quoted his blog, and so she invited him to give his feedback.

          spoiler alert: he doesn’t question the validity of the program, but he surely questions the manner in which it is being carried out.

          and thank you for your kind words

          • That is the root of the problem for permit holders/seekers. The county (and state?) is acting from a punitive place rather than one that is to assist farmers/farm owners who are risking A LOT in attempting to conform to the legalized system, to succeed.

    • the misadventures of bunjee

      Track and trace is a joke in the making. Enforcing it will be as easy as identifying and tracking every single jelly bean that comes out of the Jelly Belly plant in the Bay Area.

      Also, “People who live in these areas can expect abatement for much smaller patches than people who live in less impacted watersheds.”

      I’ve seen a lot of these “small parcels”; as in hillsides dug out on less than 2 acres. Or even one. It’s evident to me that people that do this type of work (and yes YOU “contractors” and fly-by-night “owner/operators” that willingly look the other way while being hired to do the work are also complicit!) don’t know or don’t care about how unstable they’re making hillsides. Good luck this winter dealing with the mudslides because you reactivated one that finally settled after 50 years.

      • wait till it all burns down… if you think there are some clearings in the forest, and you don’t like them…

    • Still monthes away from running track and trace even for the dreamers

  • This Is My Name

    Having a greenhouse on a property is not proof of cannabis cultivation. That is highly suspect “business” practices, at best, on behalf of the planning commission. Guilty until proven innocent. God bless America and all that nonsense. What size greenhouses? A 6×6 Harbor Freight greenhouse? A dilapidated old wooden greenhouse missing a top with no plants inside? Are they going to peak through the windows to make sure that small, indoor 3-4 tier “greenhouse” doesn’t have an evil cannabis plant growing in it?

    And where are the abatement orders for the Eastern Europeans out Ettersburg/Honeydew-way (Crooked Prairie, Dutyville, Wilder Ridge)?? I’ve done my best to keep up with the publishings on Times-Standard’s website; so far as I’ve been able to match up addresses with Google Earth, those locations have not received them. How is this possible, yet you send abatement orders to some of the smallest growers in the same areas? Visible bulldozing right up to the edge of Mattole Canyon Creek, TRVFD having to respond to fires multiple times each summer, every summer.

    The SoHum planning department smells like that opossum that decided to die under my house. Estelle is just as dirty and underhanded as John Ford and co.

    • Some of those Eastern European grows mentioned are in the permitting process. Just a fyi… not a defense of the actual practices being carried out on the land.

    • DuallyDodgeFrms

      Just because your on 36 an trying to put the heat elsewhere good luck [edit]

    • The eastern European growers aka Bulgarians are smart. They have teams of lawyers and advisers running there operations. What i was told is they knew to not grow this year and to take down all there greenhouses that were not permitted. They know the feds are on to them and there is a huge rico case being formed to take them all down. They are smart and are not falling into this trap, they shut there scean down and went back to Bulgaria with loads of cash!

      • lol ‘scean’

      • Pharmstheproblem

        Where do you get this crap, they’ve been raided twice already this year and are setting it back up now, they say this is the game right, they don’t care about a Rico case as you can plainly see by all the grows they continue with… You make yourself sound like an expert except none of what you say is true……

      • Total nonsense, Bulgarians didn’t go anywhere .

      • Elric of Melniboné


      • Did you just say the Bulgarians are smart?!?! Bwahahahaaaa and then you doubled down with, “They have teams of lawyers and advisers running there operation.” I’d go in and trust me I could go on for days but honestly there’s no need.

    • Thisismyname:
      Re: Visible bulldozing right up to the edge of Mattole Canyon Creek, TRVFD having to respond to fires multiple times each summer, every summer.”

      If you want to share the address and screenshot, feel free to reach me at

    • Alt right the turd reich

      Amen. I’ve long heard rumors the Eastern Europeans had someone in the DA’s office. Interestingly enough still they’ve yet to get their ticket punched. While my neighbor with 99 ( same since 2005) got chopped.

      • That’s a joke right? I’ve seen countless eastern european’s spots cut down. Btw, on average they’re the dirtiest spots of all the cultures represented in this area

    • ya, it’s pretty cool obvious the planning department is getting paid off. Out in salmon creek a whole neighborhood got notices while the huge Bulgarians didn’t, and no they hadn’t signed up.

      Another thing to think about is that the US has CIA detentions centers in bulgaria, just like guatanomo bay. They are definatley an ally of the US military. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bulgarian mafia are receiving federal protection in return for letting the US military use their country.

  • Living with sharks

    The consultants are the people making this process so expensive,THEY ARE THE SHARKS. I have done most of my permit on my own and have put up around $12,000 dollars and most of that money has been on my attorney and my water protection plan and various fees..
    I look at the permit process as if I was building a new house, I have Question I go to the various county and state departments and ask question.
    The different county and state departments have been very helpful in answering my questions.
    Thank you State and County workers that have helped me threw the process to avoid the sharks

  • There’s a lot to think about in this interview. For right now I just want to know why a county Supervisor is accepting legal advice from the director of the Planning Department. John Ford is a good man in a hard job, but he is not a lawyer and his legal advice has about the same credibiity as that of anyone you might meet on the street. The Board has counsel. The county is paying lawyers to give advice to them. Before taking or ratifying advice on what is legal for the county to do, where a mistake can cause people economic ruin, or the loss of their property, Estelle and the other Board members have a duty to consult an actual lawyer.

    • Maybe Ford’s positions are reflecting counsel’s advice? Not that being a lawyer makes any information authoritative. Every court case has attorneys arguing both for and against the same points.

    • Ah, yes, the blackbooted thugs in government could care less about the whole region burning down so long as they get their weed money…

    • Yes Ed Denson they are probably putting themselves in Jeopardy to at the very least they will not be supervisors anymore after their term is up maybe they could move to Costa Rica and screw that place up I hear it’s a paradise

  • Estelle is duplicitous and not to be trusted.

    And no John Ford, it is NOT legal to assume in rural Humboldt County that the presence of a greenhouse is grounds for an abatement order on cannabis.

    You are both so out of line it’s laughable.

    • Pharmstheproblem

      Right, and soon there will be many lawsuits against the county with the your guilty until you prove your innocence crap, this is America innocent until proven guilty…pretty sure an empty bucket isn’t proof of guilt, try taking that to court as evidence…This crap about bringing growers in compliance is crap also…The building dept is deciding what you can grow on your legally developed land with legally obtained cannabis water diversion from the state because of lines drawn in the sand… B.S. where I live was clear cut back in the sixties, now they say deforested prior to 2016… well pretty sure the land was stripped in the sixties, so what decade are they talking about….Plus one last thing, thought land ordinance where part of the general plan for the county, oh ya there hasn’t been a general plan for 30plus years… stay tune for the lawsuits

    • You are wrong, if the greenhouse doesnt have a permit, that alone is enough for an abatement letter. Cannabis or no cannabis.

      • Pharmstheproblem

        So if the greenhouse has a permit then what’s the excuse?

      • That’s right dammit! Nobody should be able to have a veggie garden on their property without a permit. Or be able to take a crap on their property without a permit. Be able to use water thats on their property without a permit. Or build a dwelling to live on their property without a permit. Breathe the air that’s on their property without a permit. Wipe their butt without a permit. Harvest game without a permit. Build a wood shed without a permit. Harvest firewood without a permit. Grade the road without a permit. Raise livestock without a permit. Have a garbage can without a permit. Reuse grey water without a permit. Collect rainwater without a permit. Store rainwater without a permit.
        The bulgarians on my hill had permit posted on their driveway over a year ago, you see this is the structure they’re used to, paying a mob boss for protection is exactly what they do.

        The abatement notice pictured in this article was my neighbor’s who received one even though he hasn’t grown on his property for over a year and had no greenhouses erected. I also have a friend in Salmon Creek that received an abatement notice, and amongst the charges was a building permits violation for a cabin that him and his family live in.

        • We No Need No Stinkeen Badgers!

          • THC: If your friend will talk to Kym or I, that would be informative. So far, no one has said their home has been included in this program. Supervisor Fennell said homes would only be included if they were part of the cultivation scene.

      • Small greenhouses do not need a permit so you can have as many as you want long as they’re small even if the greenhouse is big should they abate your property or charge you crazy amount of money everyday until you do something and most of the real craziness is the burden of proof if you can’t see something the burden of proof is on them otherwise we’ll be all bending over a cavity search at any time well Humboldt County ordinance fire is expanding beyond belief new stories coming up soon remember the County inspector who was taking bribes well lot more than that is happening The Untold Truth coming up

      • Gonthe fuck home
        Some of us live off the land and don’t need her.its to raise food for our family. You are the problem. Go back to the city

      • Technically speaking there are no permits for greenhouses. They are ag exempt structures. This is certainly true for hoop houses, and probably true for all greenhouses. If there are no permits for them, is it possible to be fined for not having one?

        • Wow thanks for the great information Ed so it also doesn’t make sense for them to be ordering them to be taken down I bet that Estelle in a few of the other supervisors probably read this comment section would make things a lot easier if they would just answer some of the questions directly so we don’t have to wait so long to get more answers


      • In my 1911 I trust

        It depends on the zoning of the land. If it is zoned TPZ you need a permit for a hoop or green house, if it is zoned AG you don’t need a permit for any greenhouse or hoophouse structure.

      • Thomas Edrington

        Greenhouses are an agricultural accessory, and don’t require any permitting in agricultural zones as long as they aren’t a permanent structure. Tomato hoophouses don’t require a permit. Even in most cannabis permits, the greenhouses don’t require any special permitting.

        This is pretty thin legal ground for the county.

      • Whether they are wrong or not, you, are not right, about anything.

    • Wish there was something we could do to stand up to them. I almost want to start buying everything on amazon and never spend a dime again locally.

  • I’ve felt for some time that the eastern europeans out in the hills are in some sort of government protection program..Otherwise, it just doesn’t make sense…But then again, what does these days?

    • This Is My Name

      The only viable conclusion is that the Board/Planning Department/sheriffs offices have all been paid off by the “mega-growers.” If anyone else can offer a reasonable, logical conclusion, PLEASE share.

      The only good thing I’ve heard come from the consultants in relation to these types of growers, the ones who have actually consulted, is that they will not approve anything if Road-dues are not up to date. This is coming from the heads of road-associations who have had some unexpected back-payments fall into their laps. However, those comparatively small sums of cash (should be requiring checks to ensure the money is legal and for paper-trails to these criminal organizations) come nowhere near covering the long-term damage from soil/gravel/water trucks parading up and down the roads for years. Nor does it cover the cost of their empty-trailers clanging and bouncing up and down the roads.

      • yes, the payoff is called the permit process, lol

        • General Turgidson

          The cash biz nature of the black market makes it easy for payoffs, ripoffs, and no legal means of restitution. Don’t blame the elected officials for getting in on the action.

    • Oh so intriguing! Right?!

    • I feel the same about the grows in Willow Creek and the surrounding areas.

    • You are right, the Bulgarians are being investigated by the FEDS in a RICO case.
      They Bulgarians own a huge investment bank in SF, thats how they could out bid everyone for the properties, and if they loose the properties they will default back to the investment bank that they own only to turn the property around to another one of there partners. They are very smart and setup there operation very intelligently. The local sheriffs are not supposed to interfere with them because they would be messing up a huge fed Rico case that was trying to be put together to take them all down.

      • How do you know of this? It sounds reasonable but I’m not sure that it would be public knowledge.

      • Sounds like you’re making this all up. Where are you getting this information?

      • JoJo
        If you have information to share, we’d love to learn about this.

      • Sleepy Alligator

        Jojo if what you claim is factual then you must be a federal employee with access to ongoing undercover federal investigations information or you have been illegally provided this information by someone who holds that position. But there’s no way you are because you would be fired and most likely charged with some type of crime for publicly providing information that would jeopardize the investigation and I doubt anyone else in that position would risk their career by telling you this information. In other words you talk a good game but I’m betting you’re just full of bologna to put it nicely. If I’m wrong and the feds do provide you with this information (including info that the HCSO have been told by the feds to let the Bulgarians grow so as to not blow the investigation) and you are an acquaintance of every Bulgarian grower in this county then my bad!

      • Nice story. So the feds have directed the county sheriff to allow them to blow up huge weed scenes for a decade and make millions of dollars because someday they might really really “Get them good!!” Hmm….

        • Feds are notoriously patient when putting together a case. They don’t mind if you blow it up for a few more years, just more fodder for them. I’ve read of them monitoring RICO subjects for 5 years and more. So yes, they would let them blow it up some more, no problem.

          • The feds have been effectively neutered in Humboldt County. They don’t give a $hit what the Bulgarians do in California. If someone other than yourself was the target of a RICO investigation you would be the last person to know. If you were the target you would know because they would be using it as a threat. to get you to rat out your homies.

      • mean while in Bulgaria were building a huge new army base. you think the Bulgarians here are low class peasants? guess again. there smart, educated and well funded. good for them. most of you on here are just jealous they did what your to lazy to do. im talking to guys with more washing machines. refers and in your fount yard than cars. cowboy up

      • You are completely spun the f out and just so you know, it’s “their” not “there,” but I’m sure it doesn’t matter when you’re swinging from some Bulgarian sack. Wow you’re an extremely special one, I almost feel bad for when that shit wears off… wait, nope, no I don’t

  • The statement that “many people have received notices that only have 50 plants” is BS. Nobody buldozed and put in hoopsters for 50 plants. Its just not worth it.
    Estelle where are the jobs you promised? “Everyone will be able to find a job in the new economy” thats what you said. More BS.

    • Gotta add this- Many of us had old logging land. So yes, we cleared an old landing w/ minimal soil disturbance and built small gardens or homesites. The damage was already done with the logging show and we re-purposed the landing, skid trail, logging road. Some of us even did it gently with mini- excavators. Of course there weren’t too many who kept a check on themselves… people got money-crazy!

      • I once had a required environmental inventory and evaluation to get a building permit. The biologist told me that there was little to worry about if the land was already in a disturbed state before the permit was issued. They just didn’t fret over losing species already lost.

        But the ticket was that the evaluation was done prior to building because of course the permitting process is supposed to prevent damaging the environment. Once construction happens, it’s too late to evaluate who is responsible for what and the unpermitted builder is assumed responsible. Which is not unreasonable as the person who builds without permit is assuming responsibility for everything themselves.

      • With the wildfires, these clearings may actually save lives… BAD planning to assume that open spaces are environmental hazards… WE need firebreaks… and “Tree Removal”

    • Hey Scoot, not all greenhouses are on graded land.

      • A lot of the flat areas around Humboldt County are Old Logging decks and I don’t think you need a permit for something that was done so long ago and was either sold as a building site are more likely already had a building on it with a permit

      • No, but if you graded you put in more than 50. 50 is not enough to live on nowadays.

  • Lots of B.S., and thank god. We almost lost that black market last year. Now it is strong as ever and legal weed is a sinking ship. Track and trace will be up and running properly before the end of the year, and the ‘legal distributors like medmen will flood every store with the same crappy product as they are doing now, for 3 to 4 times the price of blackmarket. Black market provides better selection, and better quality, at a much better price. Glad ‘official’s got so greedy at the end, and stoked the black market back to health

  • Greed drove legalisation , not environmental concern. Greed drives abatement, not concern for compliance. Greed drove mega grows also, not a desire to be free from the govt.

    If we allowed unchecked grows for this long we have also allowed a potential for unchecked politicians and county officials. One cannot exist without the other!

  • I have to say, this is not a terrible way to deal with the situation. Not speaking on the legality of it, but something needed to be done. It’s gotten out of control. And it’s working…
    Look I’m no fan of the govt coming in and telling us what to do.. and it could be a slippery slope and I hope they get kept in check by skilled lawyers. But, they have the growers on edge, lots of people packing it up and lots of lemmings signing up to be ‘legal’. It really helps out the black market which was in danger of dying off.
    And I received one of these letters last year… hey there’s a lot of whining going on but you gotta admit, there is a lot of trash that needs to be swept out in this county.

    • Well…yes. You have a point. I begrudgingly give you that!

    • So is the only “trash to be swept out” cannabis growers? So many nasty f@cking people living in the hills that do not grow cannabis. I hope the line doesn’t stop at growers.

      • This Is My Name

        Drive up Salmon Creek Road. The wide open flat stretch of road a little ways before the Thomas Road split has so many junked out cars, refrigerators/freezers, etc… sitting in the woods opposite the few houses there. Why are/have they not been given abatement orders to clean up their pollution?

        Placing old tires, filled with soil/debris, on slopes that are washing out is one thing. There is intent there to reduce further environmental degradation. Leaving your junk everywhere is a completely different story.

        • If you file a complaint, the county should evaluate it. At least there have been plenty of farmers and ranchers dinged for unpermitted or incorrectly done work. And people not involved in any business at all. Pot growers are not the only people hit with abatement notices.

  • So yah let’s kick all the dirty non permitted growers out before the legalization my family liv d here and grown organically without bulldozers and heavy equipment we used are hands and what creator gave us as food for the earth fish and earth worm castings etc to feed are family so I should maybe work for Walmart would that be before for you’ll out so I can only shop at dollar general to feed the ceo of the big box store or maybe eat McDonald’s let me know I know this none of you haters are going to pay my bills so shut the F$ck up my people was killed for this land already for the greed of the man But of course we made to much money is there such a thing babylon rulers win again thx haters

  • “The excise tax is billed whether or not one cultivates with the permit and whether or not one successfully sells their harvest once it’s grown.” Well this is complete bullshit. How do you get taxed for something you didn’t do? What if you want reduce square footage that year? This is so wrong! Estelle, please look at this one a little bit more. I know people that didn’t plant at all this year and ones that reduced square footage. do they pay the full tax bill?

    Your first order of business is to get rid of the plants and to bring the hoop house down … if that is done within 10 days, then there is no fine.” Since when did one or multiple “hoop house” become illegal? It didn’t! As long as you take the cover off in the winter, its just a simple ag structure. THERE IS NOTHING ILLEGAL ABOUT HOOP HOUSES OR GREENHOUSES! Lets not get things twisted. For some, including myself, my hoops are staying up and we are growing food. The county really needs to get heir head wrapped around this one. They are crazy to think that people will walk away from structures that are legal and food or flowers can be grown in.

    • You have a point! I put gardens in for people and for $100 I can make a nice little hoop house and fill it with produce saving a family upwards of $500 over a season by growing thier own food. These structures have had thier purpose before legalization regardless of pot, they still have purpose to their original use. Money grabbing greedy city council shame on you! In eureka it’s imperitive for ripe tomatoes so I think I’ll go around and set these up all over town! Anybody want one!?
      What the city intends to do is taxation without representation and it is wrong!

    • Ones over a very small size need and have needed permits. Whether they grow pot or food. And once something is used for a commercial enterprise, the county has always been very, very interested. They may ignore home use structures but not commercial ones.

    • That sounds pretty questionable to me too, for something to be called an excise tax when a product has never been made. There are plenty fees for simply attempting to set up a business, even if it never ends up selling a product or service at all but I’ve never seen it called an excise tax.

  • Kind of early for this but here goes. This article doesn’t state whether the NTA’s are for a public or private nuisance. There are different requirements for each, with private nuisance having the requirement for a complaint filed, usually a neighbor. Since there are no complaints on file, it must be a public nuisance. Using private nuisance law to enforce a public nuisance will get thrown out of court quickly, once it is brought to the attention of the judge.

    Assuming any greenhouse contains cannabis and issuing an NTA on the property is a clear violation of the right to privacy. There is something in the constitution about that. Since we don’t seem to be using the constitution anymore, lets try it a different way.

    Under our state code we have this;

    3482.5. (a) (1) No agricultural activity, operation, or facility,
    or appurtenances thereof, conducted or maintained for commercial
    purposes, and in a manner consistent with proper and accepted customs
    and standards, as established and followed by similar agricultural
    operations in the same locality, shall be or become a nuisance,
    private or public, due to any changed condition in or about the
    locality, after it has been in operation for more than three years if
    it was not a nuisance at the time it began.

    Now a lawyer friend of mine told me he could rip this apart, and a grower couldn’t get away using it as a defense.

    But one wonders, don’t they.

    Sure like to see someone try.

    • Logical reasons for promoting politics of the imposters, are?

      The value fiction adds to society
      The counter-productive motions
      The threat to survival
      The fear mongering
      All of the above

      Elected Humboldt County Supervisors swore an Oath to two constitutions, both land jurisdiction. Both embracing the doctrine of separation of powers. Neither legislative authority OR judicial authority of delegated power (consent of the governed), was Ever granted to the Supes. Abatement Notices based on Public Nuscience last year were ‘adjudicated’ in a public hearing Supes meeting. The service of a Notice, passed for a summons, and brought the people to the meeting. Today’s ‘Public Hearings’ are conducted in an office in the Planning Dept., where a county employee makes a legal determination for the hapless victims.

      When any PIG (persons in gov’t), assumes the judge, jury and executioner positions of an unlawful county “Tax” imposed w/out the consent of the people – We may know our society is doomed. The control freak Order Followers just can’t seem to perform the 4 main subjects on their job description-

      1. Protect the airspace above Humboldt – failure
      2. Protect the forests – failure
      3. Protect the rivers – failure
      4. Repair and maintain the roads – failure

      But they sure as hell can Tax the producers, w/out a vote, Tax the hotel/motels (bed tax) w/out a vote, & Meas Z in 7 unincorporated cities (w/out full disclosure vote), with RETIRED crony Carolyn Crnich counting the ballots and training Kelly how to keep the illusion in place by presto-change-o record a “Notice” of a Lien in the “Liens” Register Record. Skipping lawful process required in a court of competent jurisdiction, to ever, EVER, change names of the owner of record w/out any due process whatsoever!!

      Woe unto you, lawyers! For ye have taken away the key of knowledge. Ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in, ye hindered. -Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.

      Very clearly this tells you that if you look to things written by lawyers for salvation, you will not find the key of knowledge. You will remain in Babylon following Babylon’s rules.

      We can exit Egypt and circle around in the commercial desert for 40 years (its not working, lets keep doing the same thing). . .but Eden is burning, and the Federal high-watashas v the groveling State v the county bootlickers, while picking their nose deliberating who has authority to contract, who’s responsible, who will come to the aid of Humboldt and her people when traitors behind the redwood curtain collude and consent and surrender her and us to the “new normal” year-round, tech-unleashed Firestorms. It’ll be like a bunch of keystone cops running around in circles without any factual chain-of-command in place.

      • In my 1911 I trust

        The cartels are having a good year. Usually there are about 3 trespass grows on public lands busted each year. Now I know that they didn’t pack up and leave and I know that Juan in six rivers national forest isn’t getting permits either. Why aren’t they dealing with the giant trespass grows anymore? Too much work with too little reward?

    • I don’t think cannabis is classified as agriculture under California code. Which is why it is not regulated under the department of Ag. It is how they have been able to attempt to enforce a litany of arbitrary regulations.

      • The California Department of Food and Agriculture (Department) is required by law to
        regulate the cultivation of commercial medical cannabis, pursuant to Assembly Bill 243
        (Chapter 688), Assembly Bill 266 (Chapter 689), and Senate Bill 643 (Chapter 719),
        which were enacted by the California State Legislature and signed by Governor
        Edmund G. Brown, Jr., on October 9, 2015. Together, these three laws form the
        Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act and went into effect on January 1, 2016

        • “…Bureau of Cannabis Control
          “The Bureau is responsible for regulating commercial cannabis licenses for retailers, distributors, microbusinesses, testing laboratories, and temporary cannabis events.”

          And they come under the department of consumer affairs, not Ag. If it was just Ag it should be regulated as such.

    • I’m thinking the “complaints” are not coming from neighbors but from the county. You know, since they completely invaded our privacy with satellite imagery

  • Jorge Cervantes

    Trust of government is collapsing in America. I Wonder why? Can’t wait for the class action suit. “ a Judas goat will lead sheep to slaughter , while it’s own life is spared.” The eastern euro(s) have recieved abatement notices as well that’s a misconception. Many hadn’t initially because of their generous financial donations they make to the county officials. That’s how it works in America you gotta grease to play. Any good contractor or developer can attest to that. Sounds less corrupt here in hazard county in comparison to Calaveras where they collected all the canna tax from growers then banned the whole program. Fleecing of America continues.

    • This Is My Name

      Jorge, please provide a link or image file of said abatement notices. Like I said, I’ve done my best to match up addresses from abatement orders to KNOWN Eastern European addresses with no success. Obviously, errors can be made on multiple levels (Google Earth doesn’t always have the right address at the right location on the maps), but I have not been able to verify any matches. Another thing to consider, is that the person living on the land and/or cultivating the cannabis is not always the person who holds title to the land (or loan.)

      Again, please share evidence of what you are claiming for all to see to help ease our frustrated minds.


  • Not to be a snitch, but to be a snitch on a snitch, Estelle was speeding at 85 on the highway and nearly hit my car with child in it while looking at her phone. You, Ms, as scum of the earth. More than any tweaked grower ever could b, cuz you try to act like you are somebody. You’re a nobody, and when you read these comments, your heart must sink

    • snitching on snitches isn’t snitching… but its borderline… You have to be 100% sure you are doing the right thing and are not S&Iting on the game. Never snitching is best. In this case, I think you are justified. I once reported my car stolen… But that was because Eminem did the same thing, lol, so it was justified…. 🙂

  • This crap of overbearing county government making up rules for greenhouses, existing buildings, existing legacy logging roads/flats etc. has to be terminated. The fines are easily cruel and unusual and in violation of the Constitution. The burden of proof should be on the party making the claim before any fine is even attempted. Of course there are many bad actors, so make them pull their plants and quit using the water. Environmental damaging actions are taken care of by that. The rest is bs.
    ITS TIME TO START A RECALL OF ESTELLE AND TERMINATE JOHN FORD. The planning and building department should be benefiting and helping citizens rather than terrorizing and taking away their property/homes. Are we the Land of the Free?

  • “Planning Director, John Ford, has told her that it is legal to assume in rural Humboldt County that the presence of a greenhouse is grounds for an abatement order on cannabis”

    How’s that slippery slope feel?

  • Jorge Cervantes

    @This is my name. I saw this on the times standards website more then 3 weeks ago. Many had been in Different parts of SoHum Eastside and Westside. The website this morning won’t show me the notices from the past just this current week. I’m sure if your computer literate you can find them. Many of the names quickly drew my attention. If i remember correctly it was One of the weeks the Bushnell family also appeared in the notices. Hope that helps.

    • This Is My Name

      Jorge. I saw the 45-50 abatement orders from a few weeks ago, as well. I tried to find them last week for a friend and was not able to. Google search revealed nothing. I told her she should contact the T-S herself because there must be a physical record somewhere of those notices.

      To note, just because a name might “sound like the names of friends of Borat” is not proof of their origin or nationality. My last name is German. Would you then assume that I was one of those people in question? Do you get the point?

  • Same show new name

    Estelle Fennel’s character in two words?


  • Pot is so yesterday, everyone is doing meth now.

  • DuallyDodgeFrms

    Oh what about BURR VALLEY ROAD? No serious rivers? Who cares something called run off an just dirt bag growers. What about buck mountain road ? What about Titlow hill? What about Whitethorn what about kettonpom? this all is so fun to watch everyone signed up now is stuck not making money an the ones who didn’t pay money An are fucked too. Government wins once again

  • The Times Standard is harvesting big bucks from two or three pages worth of classified ads a week publishing these NTA’s…

  • The Rules Don't apply to [edit]'s land

    [Edit: You’ve got to offer proof when you accuse someone of illegal activity.]

  • thisisalrmingPAYATTENTION

    Whatever Fennel says is insignificant. what matters is the fact that a greenhouse is probable cause now and if you get a notice they are going to squeeze you for for at least 30k. and a “compliance agreement.” and the advice to just go in and talk to planning department is horrible advice! lawyer up ! we have got to stop this! look at this weeks abatements, they come out every late friday night on the t-s website… bunch in carlotta area. now look at the county gis parcel map and type in some of the apn #s. peoples houses on small parcels with: you guessed it, a small greeny next to it! why do you think it wont eventually be you? why would the planning department stop? they are on a roll. and these are not “egregious” cases, these are peoples homes. please wake up to what is happening, there has to be limits put on this vile Fords power, some parameters. this is the sound of the Thelma and Louise analogy as they go off the cliff, each abatement is somebody hitting the ground.

  • Testes, testes, one two...three?

    Last paragraph is criminal, period.

  • Why not just get property in grass valley or Nevada county? Or trinity is even better right now. Humboldt isn’t the only place to grow weed theres other counties that dont have commercial cannabis cultivation ordinances and it’s just banned out right and yet theres still thousands of massive grows. Anza in riverside county is an unincorporated community where there are thousands of illegal grows and hardly any enforcement. People even grow in Eldorado county! Humboldt wants all the small black market growers out so if they dont want your money stimulating the economy and want all the money and profits at the top with their friends who own huge farms then take your money elsewhere. Humboldt will become an ultra depressed economy drugs and crime will go way up. The real estate market will go way down, and at the end of the day all these legal permitted farms will go out of business aswell. The county has bit the hand that has been feeding the economy now it’s time for the county to suffer. You think there is a BMW dealership in McKinleyville because of HSU, logging, and mills? You people who think that cannabis has NOT been the driving economic force in this county need a wake up call!

    • There are luxury car dealers in Humboldt because they just might accept cash.

    • Crumbs off a criminal’s table is not an economy worth having. In the end criminals expect that they do not have to obey any laws, leaving endless messes for those not benefiting from criminality to pay for the clean up.

      Apparently some growers and their supporters think money makes everything right. Sort of the Al Capone philosophy “All I ever did was sell beer and whiskey to our best people. All I ever did was supply a demand that was pretty popular. Why, the very guys that make my trade good are the ones that yell the loudest about me. Some of the leading judges use the stuff.” Oh, and forget the killng a few competitors, corrupting officials, not paying taxes and plenty of rationalizations that everyone does it. Or at least would do if they were as smart as the criminal believes himself to be.

      • Canada went full legal to shrink the amount of money circulating in the black market. The black market ain’t run by the boy scouts. There are places in the states where kids are shooting each other over a $100 bag of weed. People talk about the black market like it does not have its share of problems.

      • We live in a world, country, state, city, county where the law makers and upholders do not obey the law. So remind me again why anyone else is expected to?

        • Brute Force:
          The ability to take your life and your property by the weaponized arm of government.
          Subtle Force:
          The myriad of ways you have been forever placed on your heels, which prevents you from mounting any substantial resistance on your own.

  • What about the collective cultivation defense under prop 215 that is still valid until Jan 2019? If you had all your scripts in order could you tell the county to kick rocks? Seems do illegal that you are guilty without actual evidence and you then have to prove innocence. Seems crazy! It’s going to get interesting when the county begins selling these properties. The big legal guys are going to eat em up. Such billshit the permit process is basically only for mega growrs who already made bank when ganja was illegal or big money people from out of the area. We’re going to be left with huge fsrms that employ hardly anyone and pay minimum wage… More min wage jobs just what this county needs.

    • Exactly until they are crushed by operations in the central valley and go out of business. Funny how all these regulations are made by people who have no understanding of the actual crop they are regulating or the market that surrounds it. Just like paramount farms that almost owns every almond tree and farm in CA their will be 1 corporation that owns all the cannabis in the state.

    • Pharmstheproblem

      I just want make one comment on the minumin wage thing, keep a job for more than 6 months an you probably get a raise. Then keep it even longer and you get another raise…. So on so forth….

      • Trimmers used to make 200 then it went down to 150-125 now it seems that it might go down to zero with concentrate Market going up they don’t even want it trimmed then there is the history of the price of cannabis but I’m not going to go into that right now but your outlook for people getting paid more is great butt maybe not in the dwindling economy legalization and legislation seems like it’s going to break Humboldt County

      • Where? Sure that’s how it’s “supposed” to work but the only thing I see raising is taxes, rent, insurance etc but wages? Eveb if they do go up there’s no comparison

  • Funny how siskiyou county has thousands of grows in a non commercial grow county only 12 plants allowed period, yet they have only made 5 busts alllll yr long haha. Way to go humsky drive your bread an butter out of the already Appalachian state of welfare we r already in.

  • Concerned Business Owner and Resident

    It’s clear that Humboldt County will continue to NEED some form of a marijuana economy to keep the wheels turning.

    Are there any resident groups, etc that are organizing for a class action and serious removal of Estelle Fennel and this guy at the planning department?

    Why should they get to run their own little Economic Terrorism Campaign out of Eureka?

    Maybe it’s time to contact some of CA’s widely circulated news outlets – SF Chron, LA Times, Times Democrat and ask to be put in touch with an investigative journalist who is open to covering a serious corruption story out of the north coast – a story that is ruining the economy and livelihoods of thousands of people in CA…?

    It seems like the county should be taken to task, with real legal challenge to the creation and enforcement of these current policies. Without a challenge, this whole thing just runs unchecked.

    The reason I’m asking is that this is really important (obviously) and there are more of YOU – land owners, mom and pops, etc than these local government groups and individuals currently subverting the entire economy while lining their pockets.

    It seems like with strong organization, serious cooperation of funds and community leadership, it wouldn’t be difficult to initiate legal actions against the county.

    The county system appears to be unjust and legally rife with issues that can be challenged.

    I think there would be many legal firms and private practice attorney’s (SF, Mendo, possibly So Cal) sympathetic to the north coast corruption issues that could be retained on the haphazard abatement problem and the barriers for smaller farms to go legal if desired — possibly on contingency or pro bono.

    CA voted to legalize and it seems that there should be a push for anyone who wants to be in the legal market – small or large – to have an avenue for that to be possible and affordable.

  • Abatement for ecological degradation purposes.
    You spoiled the land you are abated.

    • I got news… have you seen the fires? The “ecological degradation” comes from undermanaged forests, not dopers

    • You talking about the white man?

      • no need for ism and schism… I’m part native, and there are folks who are racist against me, but don’t be a bigot against white people… It’s not the current hippy who savaged the indians, but people who lived centuries ago

        • I’ve got native blood as well. I was merely pointing out how compartmentalized / fragmented our think has become. Hang together, hang apart.

        • My ancestor that crossed the Atlantic almost 400 years ago married a native and purchased land from a local native. His descendants were Abolitionists.
          I get it , we are all human, but the power structure has only been stopped when we are unified. This is what I would like to see.

        • The Play book has been the same since day one. How the stronger minority can out maneuver / control the uneducated majority.

  • DuallyDodgeFrms

    humboldts economy is about to go down oh wait it already has now what’s left? Herion meth pills on to the better things while all the town folks are mad ? They will be much happier with all the gangs an serious crime be ready better get your metal screen doors An your kids on drug prevention cause this shit is about to get real fast.

  • Soooo, what happened to the 6 plant recreational allowed? The county keeps calling everything grown “medical”. Are we or are we not allowed 6 plants recreational? Didn’t the State allow it?

    • it was a long article, easy to miss stuff. it does say that personal and medical are okay. personal is 6 plants. medical is 100 or 200 square feet depending if your lot is over or under an acre. city rules may vary.

      • So for Medical on less than an acre is a 10 x 10 and on an acre or more it’s a 10 x 20 if they are big plants that is about 4 plants for a 10 x 10 and 8 plants for 10 x 20 so if you are on an acre of land or less you should not have a medical personal use is six plants and if you are on an acre or more and then you get two extra plants for your medical guess if you grow really small plants the square footage could work out for you but otherwise it sucks and what about Collective medicals and Doctor recommendations and the state of California says that you could carry up to for patients on one property it seems that the county is overstepping their bounds

  • I’ll have to admit that this abatement/fine thing seems to be very effective. This legalizatoin has turned out to afford the folks running an overwhelmed law enforcement operation a platform that is called “leveling the playing field”. They are now working for the law abiding good guys. …As to Reggae…worked in town Fri – Sun. One thing is abundantly clear. A whole lot less locals attending. Plenty of parking on main street and not a lot riding the shuttle. Not a lot of “wristbands” shopping at the Blue Moon but there never really was. From what I hear the listening experience has been great . Well organized and very mellow. One has to acknowledge the fact that, with the fires, just getting here and the prospect of smoke isn’t helping attendance

    • Concerned Business Owner and Resident

      In what way is low reggae attendance, less locals shopping in town and empty parking lots in the middle of summer supposed to be a positive?

      What’s the end goal here — overstaffed law enforcement and an economy that’s collapsed?

      You should re-read what you wrote or at least explain how a ghost town is remotely a positive thing for the Humboldt Community?

      • You think its bad this year….. Just wait till most of the black market farmers are fully pushed out. Legalization just happened and local business owners have already seen significant drops in revenue. You know how many tens of thousand travelers internationally and domestically have come here to work seasonally In a underground cash economy getting paid $200 a pound to trim cannabis pounds sometimes making a years salary at a low paying job in a month or two? Where do you think those people go on their breaks and weeks off or after their work is finished? They buy meals at local restaurants stay in local hotels buy local merchandise. National tourism has been in decline for years yet Humboldt county has seen increased national tourism. I WAS one of those people that came from a east coast state years ago and got a few jobs trimming. I had a hunger and motivation to make it and spent thousands into the economy here even though I wasnt fully integrated. Now fast forward and I have been living and working here for over half a decade (which is insignificant) and have put tens of thousands into the local economy every 12 months paid taxes and dues. Helped my neighbors out, been someone that picks up a person when their car breaks down on the side of the road. Someone who picks up trash on the river bar from local trashy tweakers. I’m not the only one there are atleast tens of thousands of residents like me who came here to find a better life then the city had to offer, who believed in sustainable organic cannabis and the healing properties of it and didnt want to “cash in” on the legalization of it and commercialization of it. We understand that big business cannot grow quality organic healing cannabis just as big business could not do it with tobacco. Tobacco was a sacred healing plant to the natives of this country and used in native american healing sacred ceremonies. The quality and type of tobacco used in these ceremonies was very different then the chemically laced genetically modified tobacco of our generation (which actually has very little to none nicotine in it). Everybody knows it’s not about the environment or sustainability or good or bad, right or wrong, it’s not about the fish or wildlife! It is about money and the commercialization of an industry that was built in rebellion of other industries that were dominating the country in the wonder bread era. Industries that are responsible for the epidemics of cancers, autism, and Alzheimer’s aswell as the destruction of the environment for CAPITAL gains. What is the point of CAPITALISM? To gain capital to invest to gain more capital at the expense of humans and the planet and all nature in general.

        • Amen, brother

        • Eff the trimmigrants. They come to Humboldt and generally cause problems and have a zero positive impact on the communities. How many end up being victims or victimizers?

          So what if they drop a few c-notes here and there for beer and groceries…..big whoop. They escape paying real federal, state, and local income taxes and leave that burden to everyone else. Sooner they go away and stay away the sooner we will have a legitimate workforce that pays their fare share.

          • Why be a poor person hater? those poor foreigners are getting half to a third of what they once got… Ease up, or you will be judged harshly by God… It’s his head lettuce after all

          • Really? I think if you were to look at yearly arrest records you would see that most of the egregious and violent crimes are committed by people who are residents and reside in Humboldt. Not saying that they didnt migrate from somewhere else originally but If you click in the crime section on this website and look back I’m not sure your going to find the majority of the posts being migrant trimmers committing robberies and murders and such. It’s alot of poor mostly local tweakers that are in desperate states of poverty and drug addiction. Yes the mexican nationals come up and bring loads of heroin and meth from south of the boarder and account for alot of big hard drug busts. It is more then just a few bucks that trimmigrants put into the economy just ask local garberville business owners. This same logic is used to hate on people who migrate from outside of the country to find a better way of life. I understand that folks are pissed that the United states economy is crumbling and the days of negative interest rates are almost among us, and jobs and industries are being out sourced. I understand the frustration but it is not the migrant immigrant person with a dream that is out sourcing your job and destroying the economy, dollar, and the country! It’s CAPITALISM, and the continued redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top ruling class that has been going on since the invention of the federal reserve private banking system. It Is also the evolution of technology and the automation of common jobs by machines, robots, and computers. Now they have robots that perform some surgeries and believe me there is no nerve twitch of the hand to worry about. Please do not talk trash and generalize people who come and have came to Humboldt to try to find a way to make a living or to work seasonally they are just people like yourself!

      • Just facts no judgement as to positive/negative.

  • this place was the land of the free. A good example for the little guy stickin it to the man. American dream. You will miss it . We aint hurtin nobody . Put some love in your hearts and stop hating yourselves and your neighbors

    • The American dream for sure! I still believe we will survive. We will survive the federal government, capitalism, aswell as FEDCOIN. Just want until fiat currency is banned and the implementation of a federal reserve digital currency happens. It is already being developed.

  • Concerned Business Owner and Resident


    This is exactly my point. Southern Humboldt economy, business and tourism is driven by the marijuana economy, drawing people in from all over the world.

    I can’t understand some of these locals who think destroying smaller growing families is a positive for this economy. Trying to herd everyone into compliance grows under these current policies is also not going to work.

    All the county is doing is using unchecked policies to subverting the entire economy and create opportunities for large scale farming / corporate monopolies.

    My hope is that Southern Humboldt will take the planning dept and board of supes to task for abuse of power, position and ludicrous taxation policies.

    It’s time to check Garberville Sanitary District too — Same kind of small town BS happening there too.

    Collusion with larger pot growers to try and set better water rates for some, cost prohibitive water hook ups for others and new late fees ($15.00) per account that was the idea concocted by the GSD employees!!

    Since when do the GSD employees get a say in bringing in new fees to try and punish people in an already struggling economy. They’re also making decisions about our water rights with MINIMAL oversight. NOTE TO ALL: THIS SITE IS NO LONGER REPORTING ON GSD ACTIVITY. BIG MISTAKE!

    I don’t see how anyone can be advocating for the economic destruction of the county and dancing in the streets of our still unpaved and busted roads.

    Minimum wage work will never be the main driver of this, or any economy.

  • Over the last 10 years the US military has spent an avg of 8.3 million dollars an hour. Think about that.

    What good is bleeding our communities so that the government mafia continues to reduce our ability to pass along SOMETHING to our children besides a sick war culture where people hang their neighbors out because they haven’t contributed enough to the war machine. You ever think about where this road leads.

    Are we truly that distracted that the real mafia ends up getting over on all of us in the end…..

    Divide and conquer.

    • Most people dont even realize that MOST American citizens are not even technically required to file federal income taxes, and that the IRS is a private entity that is not owned by the united states government and funnels revenue into the Internation monetary fund.

  • a relative of mine got promoted recently at the IRS (they blaze bomb herb too 🙂

    They say they have trouble getting people who file FAKE returns to collect REFUNDS!

    A flat sales tax on luxury items makes a lot more sense in many ways to support the Federal government’s largesse. I always hear people bitch about pot because it’s not taxed at the federal level… But usually it’s when I get pulled over by a cop, who is mad at the Kalifornia tax code and has to pay 33% of their check to the man… But in the end government workers are TAX TAKERS not tax payers and in the end they are the man.

    Anyway, the IRS is busy and there are thousands of people filing fraudulent REFUNDS every year and MAKING MONEY off the IRS… They can’t keep up with the scammers. Kinda like Greece, really… Many times it’s illegals or people literally INSIDE of a prison somewhere filing fake returns to collect free, freshly printed fiat money… crazy

  • In my 1911 I trust

    We all have our vote and our dollar. As for me I will not vote for Estelle, she is going down. As for the economy, I stopped buying local a few months back. I now order all products off of eBay and what little food I don’t grow, shoot, or catch myself I buy from Costco or Winco so I can be sure my cash is sent out of county. If the stupidvisors and businesses of the county want to bite the hand that has been feeding them for the past 40-60 years, let them. They will not get my vote and they will not get my dollar. Ford will not last, Estelle will not last. These businesses that popped up during the pot boom, they will not last. They will also feel the burn long before I will. So burn baby burn, play the flaming cards you dealt

  • Can anyone help me with a real answer? Why is it legal in our county for the county to assume that any greenhouse on a rural property has cannabis in it? How are they legally able to “assume” something with out hard proof? Has there been a specific court case that has dealt with this yet? Or a case that made this legal for the county? Kym, any thoughts/answers on this??

    • What else would be inside that greenhouse in rural Humboldt County? Is it “reasonable suspicion” to assume its weed since there is practically zero chance that it is not weed. When they raid and destroy someone’s tomato crop they may have a case.

      Same line of thinking when a CHP officer sees a dude with dreds rolling down the 101 in a shiny uhaul. ILLEGAL!!!

  • It is legal to build a greenhouse up to 12 x 12 x 15 feet tall without a permit as long as there is no permanent foundation and you follow the setback rules.

  • When are Rex & Estelle up for re-election? I’m ready to donate lots of cash and sound bites to anyone who runs against them, especially Rex!

  • Estelle…Should not be relying on legal advice from the Planning Department. Should we assume every out-building in Humboldt County is growing indoor weed? BTW, she is a horrible driver. Maybe it’s her meds!

    Greenhouses…Section 105.2.10 of the California Building Code exempts “Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery and agricultural purposes, not including service systems. Seems strange to have to get an exemption for something that’s not required. BTW, TPZ does allow “General Agriculture”.

    NTA’s… do not include all of the legally required elements of the Ordinance. All owners, beneficial owners and occupants are not “Noticed” as required. In regards to publishing the Notice in the paper, I’m not sure the Times-Standard is a newspaper of general circulation in southern Humboldt. Delivery service was eliminated years ago and I’m not even sure if you can by the TS in Southern Humboldt. Apparently it doesn’t matter if Notice is not provided as required. Section 351-6(b), basically states the failure to receive the Notice does not invalidate or not affect the abatement proceedings and administrative civil fine of up to $10,000 per day per violation.

    Medical… Sections 11362.5 and 11362.77(a)-(c) of the California Health and Safety Code allows a physician to recommend what they believe is necessary for the patient, many times up to 99 plants. The one State provision that does go away on January 9, 2019 is provisions for collectives and cooperatives, non-profit mutual benefit corporations. No longer will farmers be able to claim to farm for the mutual benefit corporations as a defense for cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and distribution.

  • Fines… The county’s goal (2018-2019 Budget) is to collect $2,000,000 in fines this year and identify and abate 750 cultivation sites using aerial imagery. There are four categories of violations with fines ranging from $1.00 to $10,000 a day.

    Confiscation of Personal Property…The regulations (§351-15) allow the County CEU to confiscate personal property, including, but not limited to, furniture, furnishings, automobiles and boats, as well as precious metals in any tangible form, such as bullion or coins, when a nuisance is occurring on the property.

    Economic Impacts… Property values and local business sales (restaurants, building materials, car sales, grow stores, etc.) are down. Actually, I understand generator and diesel sales are on the rise. That’s the last thing most people want to see. However, suicides, theft, burglary, unemployment, substance abuse, domestic violence and dependency on social services are on the rise (maybe reported, maybe not).

    Humboldt County cannot compete with other legal cannabis County’s due to lack of available farmland, the cost of permitting and the local and State regulatory framework which allows for grows greater than one (1) acre. Rumor has it that the State is going to stop issuing State Cultivation Licenses by the end of the year. Apparently they have a metric based on demand and supply models. If you don’t have your local permit by then, you’re most likely out of luck!

    Buckle-up Humboldt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

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  • 10-12 years ago the Sheriff’s department claimed that they were ‘complaint driven’ which sounds then, as now, as the most mealy mouthed drivel for doing nothing as us locals watched the size of grows explode. The amount of illegal grading was off the charts. Since the current modus is to identify problem grows and county ‘funding opportunities’ by spy cam wouldn’t ya think that going after the worst of mountain top leveling/mega farms would be of enormous environmental concern and potentially lucrative to the county as they would have the most offenses to make money from? “No, olmanriver, this is about environmental protection of identified watersheds.” They aint going after the worst offenders just like they have never gone after the worst offenders. Decades later, it is still a culture war, run by small town bureaucrats in way over their pointy heads. I remember staring back at one supervisor who told me that the Big Brother spycam program wouldn’t hurt the mom and pops. ptui.
    (stepping down off my soapbox for now)

    • They stated that it would be used to go after “the most egregious grows”. But now it is being used due to “the presence of any greenhouse”. Estelle used to work for private property rights. Now she goes along with this program which attacks private property rights. John Ford said the abatement letters were to be used to shut down terrible environmentally destructive grows. Now he says they will be used to “level the playing field”. We were told that black market people were bad. But now we all know that many farms with county permits are selling on that black market…..How many lies are we going to let them feed us? Most of us- old time growers even- wanted the destructive and egregious and bad players shut down for over a decade now. But the greediest were rewarded with permits and now they are attacking the mom n pops to protect those?! We need to step up and shut this down. Recall Estelle. Send John Ford packing home to San Diego. Screw these liars who have fed us their lines of bullshit. Even today Estelle is trying to calm us down, saying things like it’ll be fine and we’re all going to have a wonderful new economy here etc etc. To me she sounds like she is just trying to keep us all sedated until it’s past the point of no return. It’s obvious she is in the pocket of some very large permitted farms in south county, buying them time, feeding us lines of crap. I’m glad we are finally waking up. Those of you who thought this fake “legalization” would be nice- you were wrong. Please push back with us. People growing medical and people growing their 6 “legal” plants should never be subjected to these letters and these civil fines. People with greenhouses shouldn’t be either. Scale the prosecution back up to the worst offenders or feel our wrath. And Estelle….How dare you?

      • Hey farce…..What did you think was going to happen when the voters of California voted in 2016 to legalize recreational cannabis? That you were still going to get a wink wink nod nod from your community and the county to continue growing your commercial weed illegally when , at the same time, your neighbors are now growing it too but legally for commercial purposes?
        No one owes you a living, and most Especially, no one owes you an illegal living.

        • Yet those people now growing it “legally” were only able to purchase the permits because they blew it up in the years prior on the black market and most of them are still selling their products on the black market. I live very close to the biggest farm in northern Humboldt emerald family farms and know tons of ppl who bought a ton of their products illegally not tracked and traced. The whole thing is a joke. Plus it’s not technically legal under federal law. A living is not something that Is owed it is something that is earned, and the goal in life is not to just to earn a living but to pursue a passion and to fight for your beliefs regardless of laws. Set your own moral compass, form your own thoughts and beliefs using critical thinking. Seems like your the one that needs to do some growing up. I think you need to define “illegally” and “legally” because cannabis is scheduled 1 narcotic hence why all cannabis business file federal taxes under 280e. We all know it’s a fact that the most egregious environmentally unfriendly mega growers and ballers with out of state investments are the ones that racked up the most permits. The family cottage style grow producing 50-150 pounds a year just to get by and make a nice living are the ones that never had a place to begin with in the legal market considering 3 acre grows are now considered “craft” size.

        • In my 1911 I trust

          This isn’t about herb, this is about the violation of property rights. The county has done a good job conflating the two issues. It is our job to separate them. Issue number 1 is weed enforcement, go for it, but do so with actual proof and evidence. Issue number 2 is the violation of property rights. That affects us all. One day you have to submit to a warrantless search of your property, oh sorry, “inspection” to prove your greenhouse isn’t full of pot, otherwise you pay $10,000. Next it will be your shop and/or garage to make sure you aren’t growing indoor. Eventually it will be cameras in your bathroom to make sure your daughter isn’t cooking meth in the shower. We live in the closest thing in the US to Russia, we have an eye in the sky watching your every move and letters coercing cash from residents with little to no burden of proof of any wrong doing. Yet you must pay, because if you don’t there is the kick to the head and the boot to the door. This is the closest thing to Russia one can ask for. All hail Czar Ford and his underlings! All hail Estelle leader of propaganda and misinformation! Just watch out for the Gestapo, they are always watching

          • Very true, you are correct there is a bigger picture to be seen. Welcome to 1984 by George Orwell. Have you seen the movie “A Scanner Darkly” that movie reminds me of the eye in the sky same concept. Just wait until defense contractors like Raytheon come out with more advanced version of R.I.O.T or better know as rapid information overlay technology, then its gonna be minority report, police arresting you for crimes you committed in the future.

        • To “Grow Up”- You’re barking up the wrong tree, buddy. I came here late-70s and have worked many jobs to be able to stay here in paradise. Firewood, shade-tree mechanics, green chain at the mill, carpenter, grocery store clerk, anything …and small-time grower. Nobody ever owed me anything it’s true. I made my own way from sleeping in a tent eating rice and beans and beans and rice. I’m grateful that growing a few plants on LP clearcut land – yes- allowed me to achieve the American Dream of buying my own piece of land and -with the help of friends- build my own small home. I know lots of folks like me that fell off Grateful Dead tour or some other ragamuffin trail and got here, stayed small and worked to heal this logged-over land while respecting our old-timer maybe even redneck neighbors. I was a vegetarian but I learned to hunt wild pig from my neighbor who didn’t even like hippies. Don’t think you know me…..Anyways…I did not like the green rush. I didn’t like the new growers who blew it up and acted like ballers. I’ve spoken out against their destructive style many times. But I have no problem with folks growing a few and even selling a few. We should have discouraged the green rush over a decade ago. But greed all around and we did not. Now this new policy rewards those who blew up the biggest grows with permits and looks the other way when they sell on the national market. Instead of focusing on terrible and large unpermitted grows they are now bringing huge fines to bear on small people with limited resources. Many people are small because…they didn’t get greedy! They stayed within their water budget. They cared. And so they never earned enough to pay for the permits and taxes and fees and engineers…or their marginal land wasn’t zoned correctly, was too far out on skinny roads, etc. I don’t want to protect the big scenes, just the small-timer mom n pops. And just from these heinous fines- fines that were designed for the biggest grows. I like my small-timer friends and I think we are part of the backbone of the community here. You may be surprised how many people you know and like and see in “real” jobs have a small greenhouse out back. Those people are not the problem. John Ford and Estelle Fennel? They have lost focus on what we all agreed was a problem, fed us a story line and are now acting without any checks or balances…Sheriff of Nottingham comes to mind.

        • Supporters made the following arguments in support of Proposition 64:

          The proposition has specific safeguards that would protect children while allowing responsible adult use of marijuana.

          The proposition would incorporate best practices from other states that already legalized marijuana use and would adhere to recommendations provided by California’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy.

          The proposition would generate tax revenue and decrease law enforcement costs, providing funding for things like afterschool programs, drug prevention education and drug/alcohol addiction treatment, law enforcement training and research on impaired driving, and other programs.

          The proposition would prevent legislators from using generated revenue for their pet projects.

          The proposition would provide an environment where marijuana is safe, controlled, and taxed.

          The proposition would decrease BLACK MARKET and DRUG CARTEL activity.

  • There’s a car dealer in Ukiah that will gladly take ur cash for those fancy big trucks and sporty cars and help you skirt the report process to your government. And may I say what happened to all the talk that it was the cartels? Dang Mexicans…lol

  • the permits are not for everyone, definately not for native americans due their parcels on rez. Give us something that is for every1 like registering your car or getting a drivers liscence. Then it is a legitimate reason to frown on non compliance. Watch “outlaw josie wales” tonight and get back with me.

  • the government wants us to lose our economy our land, and our roots. They want us locals to lose. Thats why they are handing it over to corperate greed.

    • The corporations are at the top of the food chain. Government was created to reinforce the illusion of that separation. We have been trained like dogs and farmed like cattle, and the government is the glass ceiling between the 1% and the rest of us.

  • COMMENT #215!!!


  • Is that the same john ford that was selling farmers cannabis crop insurance which turned out to be a scam?
    And just now the community is thinking of a communal response? What a joke!
    You had a chance to comply and you didnt think you wanted to. Well your all a day late and a buck short. You decided to stay in the shadows because you knew better.
    This is what you get when you don’t pay your extorters! Its over! None of it is worth losing your land over. Time to get a real job.

    • No, this is not the same JOhn FOrd.

      • Concerned Business Owner and Resident


        I’m trying to post information from the Patrik Griego Abatement talk and the system is not allowing me to post. Is my attempted post under review or being blocked? Thanks

    • In my 1911 I trust

      Growing pot is as real of a job as growing corn, only the pot growers don’t get the luxury of combines and tractors. Get off your high horse and shut yer piehole from yappin!

  • Dear California and dear friends from the Humbolt,

    Today in Washington is voting day in the first state to “legalize” cannabis for fun purposes, yes ours was five days before CO’s. I am a candidate for state legislature. One position I hold dear after fifty plus years of cannabis use for medical purposes, is to legalize it, finally. “Isn’t it legal in Washington?” I am asked. No, after the Peoples Initiative 502, cannabis became 502 more ways to be illegal. Quickly my state passed the Second Substitute Washington State Senate Bill 5052 adding 5025 more ways that cannabis would be illegal. I laugh at California’s vote to “legalize” cannabis, and wait for the surprise the voters will get after the state rolls out their interpretation of the word legalize. Ha, ha ha to you in California. Suggestion: don’t buy from the government market, support your local grower, they need it now.

  • one problem is that we have no community leaders in Sohum…
    you would think Estelle, but she is in the pocket of her Fortuna overlords and the common redneck voter, Trumpsters are her main constituency, though she conned her neighbors and by extension most of Sohum to vote for her.
    who would run against Estelle?
    who are our community leaders?
    we have none…
    ED Denson comes close…
    anyone else?

  • So just having a greenhouse is probable cause.
    Probably not but you know how it is, you can sue the
    shit out of them and after some months or years there will
    be an outcome—but who’s going to do that? ED Denson?
    remember the daze when we put remay in the greenhouses so the
    eye in the sky couldn’t see what was in them? I was pretty amazed back
    then that we even had that thin (remay) level of constitutional rights…
    but we did…
    and now?
    No one’s going to step up and sue the bastards, are they?

  • Today’s Independent has an excellent article with a Civil Attorney Patrik Griego about these notices, how to respond, and some of the obvious issues with the county’s stance… including a comparison of their excessive fines with other abatement fees in other counties.

    • I couldn’t find such an article in the Independent, but I did locate this blog post:

    • Concerned Business Owner and Resident




      At the end of the meeting on Friday, it was announced that a community meeting is being planned by Bonnie Blackberry for Aug. 23 at the Mateel Community Center. Supervisor Fennell and Director Ford have accepted her invitation. Sheriff Honsal is not expected to be available.


  • All Hail Representative Corrupt-For-Brains…

    Or, Fake-Environmentalist-For-Brains?


    Marijuana illegalization! Oh, Lord what they have done to your sacred plant…

  • Why will Kym not lets us have a conversation about the legality of Estell’s house and property?

  • After legalization, My family sat down to figure out if should we go in and try and get a permit or just continue on growing like we have been. We had a good run for many years but after legalization , we saw the writing on the wall. It took us looking at how our land fits into the new commercial cannabis ordinance, and looking at our options. Many of the commenters on this thread are misinformed about the ordinance regarding fees and taxes. and the narrative that it disfavors the “ mom and pop” growers” is really not true. There are many options , including that no permit is even required for a 200sq.ft. hoop.
    We consider ourselves a mom and pop. We had many options. We decided on going for a smaller permit under 3,000 sq ft. We used to grow about 8,000 – 10,000 sq ft but decided to scale down because at under 3,000 sq ft, there are way less hoops and regs and agencies involved as well as less taxes. We have no employees just our immediate family working our grow and we will make a good living legally. ( minimum 350 pounds and if we make $800 per pound , the $3,000 tax bill is minimal based on what we make.) Its legal now, and this was the way forward for my family, and we are happy with our decision.
    I don’t have any problem if people don’t want to go and get a permit to grow , that’s their prerogative, that’s their decision , that’s their life. But we all now know that that decision is a gamble in this new cannabis legalization world, and their decision is on them and no one else.

  • What is missing from this is the fact that most parcels are receiving notices not to just abate a grow, but also notices of violation of illegal grading, tree removal, habitat destruction, etc. I cannot believe any of these issues will be cleaned up and re-mediated in 10 days. Why not fine those bad actors for the environmental destruction? Who cares if they lose their property due to liens from fines? I’m not sure I care.

  • I would like to know about the legality of Estels home and property. she is afterall stripping half the county of their livelihood and property rights.

  • These guys are just looking for a way to support themselves and the “rigged system,” that politics have become. Lets be real; property taxes are the number one way that the county budget is funded by. They pay for the roads, schools, emergency services all county employees paychecks and retirement benefits. Guess who pays all those property taxes? The same people that they are going to run outta business. These “small business owners” also support the local economy through all of the sales taxes and purchases made at the grocery stores,grow stores,gas stations, mechanic shops, and just about everything other business; including the property tax office. Most everyone and every business that I can think of depends on cannabis money one way or another. Even the school teachers are paid by the property taxes that are paid for by selling those units of North coast sticky. People can live anywhere and grow the green sticky anywhere they want, but choose to live here because they love it here. Unfortunately in business, people have to sometimes cut corners and go bigger as the bottom line gets smaller. Going bigger means that you’re going to have to shovel more money into the economy so that you can go bigger, just to make the same amount that you used to make. This may include land grading to build greenhouses or to put in roads for access or flats. These grading jobs are often done by locals as there are some excellent equipment operators up here. This work also requires truckers, mechanics, diesel fuel for the equipment… Then maybe some gravel is brought in, contractors to put up greenhouses and consrtuct other buildings, homes, or barns. All of this means that there is more money spread around. More full time workers are needed to keep these projects going and that is usually done by more local people. All of these locals dump most of their proceeds back into the local economy by buying food, gas, paying their property taxes… I also believe that most of the growers are nature loving people and don’t want to damage or pollute this fine piece of paradise that we have, but some times the visions of $ and the fear of calling in for a permit can prevent them from doing it that way. I would also say that almost everyone has some sort of unpermitted improvements on their house or property; such as an additional deck or electrical work done to move a clothes dryer, a unpermitted spring or well. And everyone has a way of justifying what they do in life, but want to look at everyone else like they are the guilty ones. Shit, even Trump said he doesn’t pay taxes. We are all self righteous, but can justify all our own shit, and blame thy neighbors. I’ll admit even I’m not perfect. But seriously, the county has to look at how this business we call government is funded. Property taxes. And whether you want to admit it or not; cannabis $ pays for it all. Drive everyone out and you’ll push down property values and the incoming property taxes. I like to see both sides of the coin and believe that there needs to be a balance; and excessive hilltop levelling has to end. Most likely it has, because most people are not putting in more infrastructure. But $thousands a day in fines is not the way to do it. Let’s be real, at least 50% of the economy on the whole north coast is directly brought in by the cannabis business. It’s been that way for years. Most of the locals and old timers up here have also found a way to continue living up here, by either directly or indirectly being in the biz. Look for a way to capture a lil bit from all of them, oh yeah you already are; property taxes. Be smart, don’t scare people and of the money out by using your power to shut the whole thing down.

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