Voting Yes on the Humboldt County Cannabis Excise Tax Will Be ‘Cultivating County Prosperity’, According to Proponents

Marijuana garden buds harvest

Outdoor marijuana garden [Photo by Kym Kemp]

To tax or not to tax, that is the question. On August 9, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will vote to place a Cannabis Excise Tax on the November ballot. Sunday we posted a press release from Humboldt County’s Cannabis Chamber of Commerce which opposes this measure.

Several proponents recently approached us to give their reasons for backing the tax. Patrick Murphy of California Cannabis Voice Humboldt and Emerald Family Farms summed up the basic pro cannabis tax argument by saying that the tax will improve the quality of life for all residents of Humboldt County. “The tax will provide the funds necessary for cultivating county prosperity,” he argued during a conference call yesterday.

Natalynne DeLapp, the Executive Director at the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) agreed with him. “The rising tide floats all ships,” she said. Right now she argues, Humboldt County government is chronically short on money. “If we do not bring money into the county, there will be ten, twenty, to thirty million dollar shortfalls.” This, she argues, will force cuts in mental health services, law enforcement, fire departments, etc. The Cannabis Excise Tax, she said, will collect money from marijuana growers that can be used to improve the lives of everyone.

The language of the proposed tax is fairly simple. You can read it in a minute. Eureka law firm, Janssen and Malloy, posted it on their blog site. We’ve shared it below:

Humboldt County Commercial Marijuana Cultivation Measure. To maintain and improve essential services, including public safety, job creation; crime investigation/prosecution; environmental cleanup/restoration; children/family mental health; drug rehabilitation; other County services, shall Humboldt County establish a $1 – $3 per square foot, based upon type of grow, annual commercial marijuana cultivation tax generating approximately $7.3 million annually until ended by voters, with all revenue for the County, none for the State, annual audits, and public review?

One of the concerns that Humboldt County’s Cannabis Chamber of Commerce (HCCCC) brought up in their earlier press release is that though the measure calls for the money gathered to go to drug rehabilitation, environmental cleanup, mental health services, etc. the current way the measure is structured means that the money can’t actually be targeted to certain problems. It must go into the general fund.

Isaiah O’Donnell, President and co-owner of Northern Empire Organics and an executive board member of Humboldt Cannabis Business Alliance argues that while this isn’t ideal, it is necessary. He pointed out that the way our county works is that the tax can be passed in only one of two ways.  One way, he said, requires that “you get 66% of the vote and only then you can dictate where the money is spent.” The other way requires only a simple majority of voters but then the money raised must go to the General Fund.

O’Donnell said he believes that the Supervisors will make sure the money is spent in ways that are most needed. “We feel like our Supervisors are working with the cannabis industry,” he explained. “…[W]ith the correct amount of lobbying, we can get them to spend where it needs to be spent….We can create a boom cannabis economy.”

HCCCC’s press release worried that small farmers would be hurt by imposing a tax as they struggle to come from the black market into the legal world of permits and fees. Patrick Murphy, even though he is pro the Cannabis Excise Tax, said,  “I believe that craft mom and pop farmers should be exempt or have a really reduced rate.” Yet, he pointed out, “We see that an excise tax is popping up in every single county…and some are very alarming. $1 per square foot is very fair….. It doesn’t get any lower.”

Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association, stated, “It is a reasonable rate and reasonable tax program. Humboldt County has done a great job. It is a great public policy in action…Larger commercial growers will be paying their fair share.”

A sampling of counties around the state shows the proposed Humboldt tax is on the low end. Yolo and Calaveras counties are about double Humboldt’s rate. Sacramento Bee states, “Calaveras County voters are expected to vote on a marijuana tax in November that would impose a $2-per-square-foot annual levy on outdoor commercial gardens – the vast majority of the county’s cultivation – and a $5-per-square-foot fee on indoor grows.”

But other areas have even higher proposed taxes. According to a Cal Norml article which worries that high taxes could “kill California’s golden ganja goose,” some of the proposed fees are 25 times as much. The writer states,

Cathedral City, which is proposing charging $25/sq. ft. cultivated, plus $1 for every gram of cannabis concentrate and every unit of cannabis-infused product; and Coalinga, which is set to enact a $25 per square foot tax for the first 3,000 square feet, and $10 per square foot thereafter. Monterey County, which just voted to put a measure taxing farms at $15/square foot, and automatically raising that rate to $20 in 2020 and $25 in 2021. In addition, the Monterey proposal would tax nurseries at $2-$5 per square foot, and gross receipts at $5-10%.

Even though the tax is lower than in other areas, Murphy believes, the money brought in can help the area. “Humboldt County is a great place to live,” he said, “but we think we can do better.”

Recently he stopped in Napa County. “Quality of life is high there,” he said. He thinks with the Cannabis tax, Humboldt’s quality of life would also improve. “There are some problems up here that can only be solved by funding,” he argued. “Within 5 to 10 years [of the cannabis tax being implemented], we could reach comparability with Napa.”

“I think together we could enact lots of ideas that came from lots of different sectors,” Murphy said. “I think our crime rates will go down. We could have treatment for drug addicts. Make an investment in infrastructure.”


HCCC’s press release pointed out that the law as written doesn’t account for bad years that might cause crop failure. They argue that a tax should be “based on actual volume of product produced and sold, rather than cultivation area, due to unforeseen yields, hardships and successes.”

Essentially, the pro supporters respond that the tax is low enough, as O’Donnell said, that “even having a really bad run,” a farmer should be able to afford the cost. O’Donnell argues, “We have the lowest funded schools in the state. We need to fund infrastructure.”  He states that even though growers have contributed to the community through donations, “It is time for growers to pay taxes like every other business.”



  • O.k. gonna break this down for everyone. So yea I agree that 1$ dollar to 3$ per square foot is not that much HOWEVER…The permit process alone will cost thousands of dollars for someone else to do for you UNLESS you are really above average at comprehending the whole process and legal obligations that you are required to fulfill. Most people are not and will need to hire a lawyer to do most paperwork for you/ explain a lot of stuff for you. Next we have the ‘If your grow isn’t 100% already up to our specs you need to fix it before Dec,31 2016’ (This could range from buying watertanks, grading roads, permitting buildings, ETC.) This could cost anywhere from nothing to 50k+ (maybe more depends on situation) Next we have the huge price drop for Lbs that is right around the corner, not to mention nobody has a clue how much you will be taxed on top of the lower price. And lastly this 1$ – 3$ dollar per square foot is really just not a smart way to do it. For example, a person that grows a 100×100 sq foot area but has plants that are 12 feet tall is probably gonna make more money then the person that grows the same sq foot but only has 5 foot tall plants or perhaps grew a different and less chunky strain ETC. Think about it, it’s just not very smart or fair really. This whole ‘come into compliance’ has been way too much of a cash grab already. Isn’t legalization great? I really hope this ‘sq foot tax’ falls flat on it’s face.

    EDIT: this tax would in no way encourage smaller farms. If i can pay an extra 5k and get to grow an extra 5k square feet why wouldn’t you want to do that? the profit margin would literally exponentially go up for you the bigger the farm you have regardless of the extra few thousand in taxes. this tax proposal makes absolutely zero sense.

    • Henchman Of Justice

      When city slickers who want to grow discover that the fees and taxes in Humboldt are lower, they may just move here.

      There is a reason why taxes and fees should be equal tjroughout the state with mj production……….to ensure mass overpopulation of growers won’t materialize in any one area.

    • I agree that there are going to be profit differences with the different strains that produce differing weights but wouldn’t that also exist if pounds were taxed instead? Say OG is popular and Trainwreck isn’t. The OG grower will get more for their pounds than the Trainwreck grower.

      • kym, where did you hear that the legal Lbs wouldn’t also be taxed on top of this tax? I mean I don’t know but everyone I’ve talked to has said that they ‘probably’ will be but nobody has actually stated that they will be for sure. Any info you have about this would appreciated.

        • I wasn’t saying that the pounds wouldn’t be taxed. (There is almost surely going to be a statewide Cannabis tax on top of this tax and it has yet to be determined) I just questioned whether the tax would be more fair if the county taxed pounds instead of cultivation area.

          • Cannabis will be taxed like gasoline! It’s going to cost an arm and a leg at the retail level. Glad that does not effect me.

          • Lost Croat Outburst

            Good for you. Exactly right.

          • Thomas Edrington

            Not only more fair, but more profitable for the County and, most importantly, ut’s the actual kind of tax they’re selling. What they’ve proposed is not an excise tax, it’s a parcel tax, which requires 66% majority at the polls.

            The Supes were in such a hurry to get something on the ballot, they failed to get something *good* on the ballot. Cannabis farmers coming into compliance don’t mind getting taxed, but they deserve to be taxed in a way consistent with agricultural practices.

      • The bottom line is anyone who doesn’t play their game of papers, permits and FEES. Will still be a criminal,which is the way they want it. They don’t care about profitability or the public best interest obviously. If they did there would be an industry left in Humboldt other than “medical marijuana”
        The one last thing they didn’t have control over was the weed. The first mention of marijuana legalization was immediately followed by its taxability. Tax overburden was what began this country. Unfortunately there is nowhere else to go throw a tea party and obviously the mass population is bought full in to their ideals and propaganda.
        You can’t use the water on your land, you can’t even use “your land” without permission. NOTHING SAYS FREEDOM LIKE A PERMIT!!!
        People need to start thinking for them selves. Whats it going to be after weed value is nothing?
        Sir William Blackstone wrote “a free man need not be governed in his entirety”

      • Lost Croat Outburst

        Yes, as always in a free market system, those who provide the most popular product at the best possible price are going to move more product, make more money. That’s how it is supposed to work. All discrepancies cannot be fixed by regulation. So, you tax producers at point of sale to distributor or customer. That’s the measure. Free to succeed, free to fail. Oh, hell, I was trying to respond to the Kymster.

    • The statement ‘If your grow isn’t 100% already up to our specs you need to fix it before Dec,31 2016’ is not correct.

    • A Real Ma Grower

      I agree with a tax but this square foot one just sucks! It means someone from the county will have the right to snoop around your property! I call bull on that!

  • Henchman Of Justice

    Natalynne is funny. She jokes away all the recent local sales taxes as a way to justify a “rising tide floats all ships marijuana excise tax”.

    The proponents can always pay the tax voluntarily.

    No need for opponents to pay the tax.

    Oh wait, that defeats the purpose of the insider profiteers forcing others to subsidize the profiteers’ cost basis.

  • Look a bit south. Oakland has handled this greatly to the advantage of both growers and the city. Growers invested in good lawyers and pay high taxes but, in return, Oakland protects the growers very effectively. Also look at the laws in Berkeley and in San Francisco.
    All of these localities are great potential customers and have invested in the legal grounding of Cannibus production and sales.

  • Let’s see if the county can fund a serious rehab plan to not overload the jail with drug related crimes. Most of the counties crimes are drug related one way or another.

    • How much are vineyards taxed per square foot??I don’t see why cannabis should be taxed or treated any differently then any other crop, what about hay fields or corn?No need for new laws or taxes, use the ones that already exist.If cannabis gets taxed differently then other types of agricultural farms it’s discrimination

      • Thank you.

      • Lost Croat Outburst

        Thank you.

      • Thomas Edrington

        Vineyards are charged an excise tax (a tax on a transaction, not a parcel feature, importantly) of $3.30/gallon on sales, on or off the farm.

        Of course, they’re not subject to the stringent track and trace programs imposed in cannabis farmers, so who knows how much they cheat.

  • CASH IS ALL WE HAVE? so till the banking system kicks in we show up with rubber bands. Anyone ? anyone ?
    Also where are we processing. ? Maybe the county can help with some zoning for that. Now where are we selling it. No one is educated as in the consumer on why they should use organic sun grown. Oh wait. It tested with some mold spores. Send it back. Oh wait. You just fronted it. That’s the current model. So yes. Let’s pay tax on something we may never get payed for. Anyone? Anyone? It’s a bit of a rant. Had to get it out.

  • A tax that favors a water intensive method of growing.

  • its only a plant

    They lied about the prop 7 funds .We have seen only law enforcement promotions new prosecutors new police hires grants to eureka for the cops to police the homeless police funding in fortuna .Sheriff funding for policing at the airport .And a dribble to the local fire depts in comparison they hold that one up like a flag .They stopped answering police calls in sohum to pass prop 7 .Now they also stopped fixing the roads . They Should Have Just Told THE Truth and Said That Prop 7 Money Could Be Spent On Whatever They Politically Felt Like! The state will tax the water board will tax .The county permit fees and a state sales tax .Then they have a new road tax for the fall ballot also .They tax the shit out of us for nothing really in return

  • I don’t see one word about improving the education (not the buildings) to improve the education we need a better system to really prepare our kids teaching them to think and solve problems like they will have to in real life!! Teach them how to recognize the different emotions so they can better understand how to handle their emotions as they grow older especially as hormones change.
    Then they can make better choices for themselves. We have to share with teaching our youth.

  • Stay under ground people… dont let them try to control a market that cant be 100% controlled. And make you pay taxes, permits, water, out the ass for a fucking plant. And what if you pay allllll that and your still not in compliance? Do you get fined? Or do you get busted? Dont let them tell you that your safe and legal just because THEY say so.

    Example… cops are supposed to “protect and serve” when was the last time a cop made you all feel safe? Same difference to me.

    • veterans friend

      I agree 100%. The black market is the only sensible option until they remove/nullify ALL laws pertaining to cannabis.
      Legal should mean legal.
      AND to tax someone on the sqft of their garden, which might be blighted by any number of disasters & never make it to harvest is patently absurd

      • Lost Croat Outburst

        Sorry, but no, your rationale does not comport with reality. This was the same idea that promoted “skateboarding is not a crime” meaning that ‘boarders” could just skate anywhere all the time with no safety gear ’cause they were hot shit. All “freedoms” such as driving and drinking have legal limits and regulations.

        I definitely agree that the idea of a pre-tax really sucks and reflects the greed-head attitude of government and a lack of understanding about agriculture. In farming, you can have a major or total crop failure, as you suggest, at any time. Since the idea is to track buds from farm to consumer, the wholesale price to the distributor is THE point of incoming money to the farmer and can be taxed on that basis. How are grape growers taxed? What’s wrong with that model? Or, are we still in punish, punish, PUNISH mode?

    • A Real Ma Grower

      I agree to a point. As long as marijuana is a Schudule I federal offense, there will always be black market. I wouldn’t be surprised if Emerald farms gets popped by the Feds!

  • Greedy wishful thinkers. Politicians and financial predators. Humboldt is going to Hell! GIMMEE GIMMEE GIMMEE. Sad. sigh!

  • Typical Liberal California. Hit you with more taxes from every angle.
    So there’s going to be a county excise tax, a state excise tax, a possible city tax, a water-board tax a new fancy county “certification” tax, state income tax, federal income tax (no deductions), payroll tax, sellers permit tax, sales tax, distribution tax.. Probably missed a few.
    Good luck stoners.

  • Mao Zedong Lazar

    Mao thought that he could catapult his county past its competitors by herding villagers across the country into giant people’s commercial communes. In pursuit of a utodopian paradise, everything was collectivised. People had their work, homes, land, belongings and livelihoods regulated and permitted. In collective canteens, food, distributed by the spoonful according to merit, became a weapon used to force people to follow the party’s every dictate. As incentives to work were removed, coercion and violence were used instead to compel famished farmers to perform labour on poorly planned irrigation projects while fields were neglected.

    A catastrophe of gargantuan proportions ensued as the Department of Public Health and Welfare couldn’t provide enough free government money and pay for the ruling class public pensions. Extrapolating from published population statistics, and the homeless count on the streets of Eureka, historians have speculated that tens of millions of people died of starvation. But the true dimensions of what happened are only now coming to light thanks to the meticulous reports the party itself compiled during the famine…

  • So a 10,000 sq ft grow (100×100 ft) would be taxed at $10,000 or $20,000 for ‘mixed light’. This is a concept crafted by simpletons. Of course our county needs more money , but this is a hugely unwise way to try and raise it. The only reason cannabis farming has prospered way out here is because of prohibition. With legalization, it can just as easily prosper elsewhere where better conditions would permit it to.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Well, yeah, kinda, maybe. The typically abundant food supply in America does tend to cloud our judgement. It has to be grown somewhere, domestic or imported. This takes land, sun, water, machinery, labor. Are you willing to pay 15 or 20 bucks a pound for potatoes so somebody can make a killing growing pot on that same land? Cali Ag water is pretty much spoken for, even in a good water year. It may turn out that well-watered mountainous parcels with long, hot summers may be the only place left for small to medium operations producing a premium product. If the price does not drop too much, this could remain possible. We’ll see.

      If re-legalization can stop people from being ground through the legal meat grinder as I was, then we have to try it.

  • oh, so we want to do this so we can be like Napa, now? You mean pretentious and overrun with carte blanche to suck up every drop of water they can pipe onto their shaved hillsides?

    to me, this is not a selling point; just another excuse for another onerous tax.

  • When are people going to learn that Government is not your friend. Government does not exist to help you, it exist to perpetuate & grow itself , if people are helped in the process it is minimum. It helps just enough people to justify it`s existence.
    Government is not something that the governed people can control, after an amount of time this tax will be a boondoggle and a burden on the common man.
    The amount of money spent on paper work and administration will be more than the tax brings in. You will need lawyers, CPA`s , secretaries along with their health insurance and retirement and 401 k, this will overburden the system requiring another tax to pay for this tax. please wake up, or let someone else drive.

    • Honeydew Bridge Chump

      If voting was dangerous, they wouldn’t let you do it!

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Nice try, Ronald Reagan, but after 36 years, the jury is in: the middle class is tanking, the rich are richer than ever and it’s NOT money they are trickling down on us. If you hate government so much, stop using the public roads, tell our military, police, firefighters to get the hell out when you need help.

      The forms I got from the County seem to really, really suck because there is no automatic diversion for, say, less than 200 or 300 sq. feet. It’s all geared to thousands of plants and and ocean of water. Very sad and disappointing. This is what I get for not being more involved.

  • Voters are drooling over the concept of having big daddy government legalize it, regulate it & tax it. You kids ain’t seen nothing yet if they win. Bwahahahaha.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      I just don’t want to get arrested and the agony involved with it, again. Is that OK? I don’t want anyone else to either. I don’t want to see the environment destroyed. Amazing how many people just don’t give a damn about what happens to you in a felony court case. It needs to end. See how much laughing you do if you get snagged for serious poundage. Grow up.

  • Not Surprised at the Misinformation

    Since when do the largest of the large growers like EFF and Alex Moore get to say what small farmers can and can’t afford?! Natalynne needs to check her math…the county is already in a $200million budget shortfall. The money from this tax ($7.8mil) is hardly a drop in that bucket so there is no way anyone can say this money is going to go towards what the ballot measure proposes when it’s going to the general fund. Also, since people are unaware, this tax as structured isn’t an excise tax, it’s a parcel tax and a ⅔ majority is required for that regardless if the funds are earmarked or not according to California law. I love it when people who don’t understand taxes or the laws governing them are the ones advocating for this nonsense. Also, Kym, if I understood HCCCC’s comments correctly, the tax on yield they advocate for is based on wholesale sales of $/per pound AND the weight (same as Ag) which accounts for the problem you mentioned.

    • How does the “wholesale sales of $/per pound and the weight” work? Could you explain that? Or tell me where I can find the answer?

      • Thomas Edrington

        Check out the BoE’s Tax Guide for Agriculture. It lists other excise taxes, every single one of which is a tax on a transaction, not a feature of a parcel. Spirits are taxed by the gallon at a flexible rate that can be implemented at wholesale, distribution, and/or retail.

        The design for this tax has never been used for any other industry. The only tax scheme it resembles is a parcel tax on a development feature.

  • I have zero problem with the tax !I do however have a problem with lies .There is no way this tax revenue will go anywhere but to unfunded calpers debt..stop the lies’s going into the general fund i.e. To settle debts.

    While pension reform legislation reduced the pension contributions for new employees starting in 2013, the enhanced contribution rates for the older employees remained set. CalPERS contribution rates have increased during the years due to these factors along with retired employees having a higher life expectancy than CalPERS predicted.

    Fast forward to 2015: The county now owes $220 million in unfunded liabilities and is obligated to contribute $28.5 million toward CalPERS costs during this fiscal year. Currently, the county can only afford to pay off 21 percent of what its obligated to, Smith-Hanes said.

  • Taxes based on yields, not area. This tax was not well thought out. HCCC supports a tax of some sort, just in a more appropriate form, as do I.

    Agricultural excise tax models are based on volume. This tax directly violates property owners and Proposition 13 by hiking property tax by activity.

  • Thomas Edrington

    I laugh my ass off anytime somebody tries to wave the CCVH flag. It’s been dead for over a year, but people still need a title to feel important and relevant. Drop me a line sometime for the full scoop on the rise and demise of CCVH. Since their breach of contract with me and subsequent demise, I’m no longer under an NDA.

  • First they create hate & fear campaigns, then they regulate & tax it. The more junk studies they can put out, the higher the taxes, fines, fees.
    Look what they’ve done to the vaping industry, which, btw, was a mom & pop industry until big tobacco, big pharma & the fda got their hands on it.
    Ben Swann, the Fda’s war on ecigs.

  • This should be a simplified tax situation, tax product sold… Not square footage. What other industry gets taxed by sq ft..? Cash grab.. Offer a path fair to all and ppl will walk it.

    • The problem is that you really can’t trust all growers to accurately report their sales voluntarily. I mean ever since cultivation took off here lying about how much you’re growing is pretty much commonplace. I will say that the number of agents and size of the and the scale of the enforcement apparatus needed to enforce any regs. will be huge. And the entry of “revenuers” like those who bust moonshiners for tax evasion will add a whole aspect to the pot scene. Gonna be a brave new world out there.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Yes, exactly. Very succinct. Tax at the point of sale. Period. That’s the irrefutable proof of the money you made. Also, don’t forget that if a tax-per-plant scenario is followed, those who plant seedlings will be paying for 50% males, which are worthless.

  • If everyone bands together and stays underground then there will not be any money to run all these new departments created to tax the shit out of growers, stay underground and preserve your way of life. Sit back and watch these government entities collapse because everyone bands together and decides Not to Legalize. If this all goes through it will only push growers out of California, except the big corporations! Look at what happened to alcohol after prohibition stopped. Know of any “artisan liquor” companies or families that survived that roll out? People still get busted for making moonshine even though liquor is “legal”. Pardon my French but every grower in this county needs to band together and say fuck you to the government rolling in here and strong arming the industry. If no one participates in their games how do you think that will work out for them? P.S. Just because it’s legal in California doesn’t mean the Feds won’t wipe you out, even after you’ve become “compliant”!

    • The beginning of the end

      I totally agree with you however you’re living in a fairytale land. Black market growers can’t even get together to fix their roads and improve their neighborhoods, share water, do community outreach. Example: Two men live in the woods next to one another for multiple years during one of those years one of the men pisses the other man off over something trivial, now you want those two men to settle their differences to beat the government, give me a break. They Can’t even settle a difference over something trivial. We men are silly creatures and are far too greedy to settle our differences to take on something on like you propose. Banding together and underground don’t mix by nature. Banding together means you need to organize which means forming groups and lobbying and having weekly or monthly meetings so if you truly believe in what you say you should start with your local neighborhood street country Road group and organize yourselves as a black market unity sort of group but that will never happen because most people in the black market are nothing but words and fear change because the black market forces you into secrecy. The people coming forward are the voice and the people in the shadows stay in the shadows. Do you have a road committee or voulanteer fire department for your neighborhood? Do you have water storage that’s organized in case of a neighborhood fire and maybe every few parcels has a walkietakie? If your neighborhood doesn’t have that but you want to organize a standoff in the black market it sounds like unorganized chaos. The dream sounds great but once you pencil it in it doesn’t play out. The black market growers will step on one another and jump ship the second there’s a leak. Unfortunately all the legal grows will fund the demise of the black market grows and it will get ugly before it gets pretty. Also the black market is shrinking when places like Massachusetts and New York and Florida go legal and anyone can buy a bag of weed from a Baskin-Robbins typesetting those black markets instantly closedown leaving less and less market share out there across the United States to go into. Five years from now how many states will be legal and all of those states will literally suck the life out of the black market. Will an eighth cost more in the legal dispensary in Massachusetts sure, but people will pay that extra $10 an eighth for the easy access and 20 flavors versus the one or two flavors there guy down the street has in his basement. The black marijuana market in the next 5 to 10 years will shrink down to nothing once all the states have a neighboring state that they can drive an hour to to buy whatever they want

      • You make many valid points. I am not suggesting anything other that everyone should just “Not Conform”. No organizing or other bullshit. Everyone doesn’t need to “come out” and let everyone know their business. Keep it ALL private business and keep the governments hands out of it. Do your best as a human being, whatever your business. Outlaws grouping together to force their ways is no better that big government grouping together to force their ways…no one agrees on everything but if everyone just raised their standards a bit it will raise the whole industry up without government involvement and endless rip off fees bankrupting all the little guys. Just don’t participate. If no one participates the government plan collapses, it’s that simple. PS I was born and raised here.

    • Mom and Pop making Moonshine are allowed up to 1 gallon in their possession at any time. And small (boutique) tobacco farmers get 5 acres without industry taxes and standards being levied. af

  • Good article and discussion. Writing letter to supes now. We’re long time (35 year) residents who are navigating through compliance. Process and costs are really challenging but we live SoHum and want to see our rivers and mountains clean again. In principle we support reasonable excise tax. However, referendum wording imposes the tax on amount of cultivation area DECLARED, not actually planted, according to the Planning Department. The problem is in the wording of the proposed tax when applied to the MMCLUO definitions. The County’s outdoor cultivation area classifications jump from 0 to 5,000 square feet to 5,000-10,000 square feet, for example. So if you declare a “small cultivation, outdoor” area, which is defined as 5k-10k s.f., but only plant 5,001 s.f. you will be taxed at the declared 10k s.f. cultivation level. This incents everyone to max out their grows, not what want. The wording of this tax needs to be revised to specify the tax will be assessed on “actual planted cultivation area”. If you agree, please feel free to cut and paste into your own letter to our supervisors. Thanks.

  • Farce That was great but to add to that Patrick Murphy still gets 3000 a lb(out of state) meanwhile all the current medical cannabis providers are lucky to get 2000 a lb in this state. So yeah we(California medical cannabis providers) could do a lot of lobbing with over a 100% more profit! I’m also concerned because Paul Gallegos Was da when they raided Patrick’s 299 spot and I believe there’re working together now? So his quotes are not very accurate or hold any credibility. Not our family!

    Secondly kym it seems like it’s a conflict of interest to take quotes from two organizations leaders that are either dating or just sleeping with each other. Seems phishy that a romantic bond between two regulating entities would’ve been created at this junction of regulation, Especially when one of them was married just a few months ago. Sorry but this news source needs to step it up and inform the people about who you take quotes from. [Edit–Not aware of any such relationship and the important information is that everyone quoted here is a proponent of the tax, the anti tax info comes from a press release.]

    Maybe a board member from the planning commission could clear this up sense they hold a seat on one of the group boards that you took quotes from?

    This has gone to far, sorry but humboldt is a small county and the trees have ears and eyes.

    Lastly kym please look up Jim woods speech from the Mateel, the mmrsa meeting. And remember how he said he was just a simple dentist and not a politician? Then you can look up his lobbyist friend from the dental assiocation that tool money’s from Patrick and Hezekiah, that was quoted in latimes. But woods is the good normal everyday type of guy?!?!? [Edit: Not understanding what Woods speech has to do with what these folks have to say that is pro tax?]

    So wtf now! We need new associations and groups of like minded medical cannabis providers and not leave it up to these few little groups that are vertically integrated with each other.

    Humboldt you deserve better, just like woods/McGuire said it should start up here we created it and carried the burdens of proabition sense 1983!

    Kym thanks for having this platform for me to splat a little bit of information that has been personally gathered.

    • Kym because they’ve all been connected from the beginning and they are cga,epic,emerald fam farms. Of course these group want quick taxs they all ready sold us up river. Woods is there partner and his words and auctions need to be used against himself and shown that he lied to us from the start of this regulation mess. I beleave that we should deffently tax It but not before we work out the details and have a safe secure transition to legitimacy. Don’t forget they’ve been dragging there feet for 20 years to except 215 is real and if the government would’ve dealt with this years ago the environmental damage would not be as bad!

  • Let’s begin by saying anyone who thinks that Humboldt County will become the next Napa is delusional. It is obvious that there is lack the understanding of the government’s obligation to make a healthy community. Our local government and Supervisors have failed and refused to address the economic challenges of ALL sectors of Humboldt County. To think that things will be “All Good” when tax revenue is received from the Cannabis Industry is an absolute joke. First of all, after being very active in Humboldt politics for over a decade, I can tell you they are lying to you. This county has refused millions of dollars from various outside sources which would enhanced our quality of life. They have refused millions of dollars which would have addressed animal welfare and environmental issues.
    Let’s start with the former Chief Executive Officer of the Work Development Board who was fired recently out of Placer County for incompetence. She came from Humboldt County money and had no clue regarding the working class let alone what upward mobility means. She made no effort to seek the appropriate funds so that we would have a diverse working environment. Misappropriated hundreds of thousands in nursing retraining funds with NO OVERSIGHT!!! Told me that it was not an entitlement to retrain me into a nursing position that was not at the bedside. Ended my nursing career!! It is sad to meet women in this community who were enrolled in the nursing program at HSU and were left hanging when the program were cut. Look at the papers on how many nursing jobs are available. Our geriatric population is in crisis. Humboldt Counties nursing homes are about to close because of lack of staffing. The Dairy farmers cannot find help. The nonprofits cannot find help. The small businesses cannot find help. The lists goes on and on.
    The County is using the “Cannabis Tax” issue as a diversion. A way for everyone to look the other way so that they can increase their yearly six digit salaries even higher. Supervisor Fennel does not give a shit about anyone except which concerns her personal objectives and catering to a niche which is pushing our diverse community away. She does not care if you starve or if your children are used for prostitution. She does not care about women or Lesbians, small business, startups, etc.… Estelle is in it for herself. Her “Proven leadership” is a “F*** You” attitude if you do not kiss her ass.
    I really resent the fact that with my 10 plus years’ experience working in the Bay Area as a RN (CCU, ICU, Burn Unit, and Hospice), it is not seen as a value to Humboldt County Government. In fact, it is obvious unless you pay off our government officials you are nothing. No gratitude, loyalty, reciprocation, respect, just back stabbing bullshit and godless behavior. The lists goes on & on. When they are called on their behavior they retaliate & target those who have given years of their lives to making Humboldt County a wonderful place to live. Well, it used to be, but is no longer.
    I would like to see a poll of the business’s, nonprofits, and anyone else who is having difficulty surviving outside of the Cannabis realm. I would like to see the Cannabis activists support those who bring value & quality of life to the community. I would like to thank those in the Cannabis Industry who have supported me and my work and understand the difficulties we are facing addressing the animal welfare issues.

  • “Police in helicopter,
    search for marijuana.
    Policemen in the streets,
    searchin’ for the Cali weed!”

  • Editing function disabled. Have to add to previous post: Humboldt won’t be shipping cannabis LEGALLY!

  • Jorge Cervantes

    It’s about freedom. What I want for the end of prohibition is simple, just eliminate all criminal penalties for the cultivation, possession, sales and transportation of cannabis, that’s it. Free the weed, this is what I and many others have been working for ever since Prop 19 way back in 1972, 44 years ago. There are plenty of laws already on the books to deal with environmentally destructive agricultural practices without inventing more. No permits or licenses are required to grow corn, peas or hay.
    Local control is minority rule, designed to take freedom from the majority, and stifles free enterprise.
    One must ask why are we letting the prohibitionists make up robust, discriminatory, monopolistic corporate rules for the rich, designed to kill the small organic farmer. Small farmers pay taxes on their crop, it’s called income tax!! Prohibitionists and politicians have proved over the last 100 years that prohibition, no matter how well intended, always creates crime, criminals and victims, and protects no one but the rich. It’s time to free the weed, free the people, let freedom ring in this country known as freedom. Just say NO to the re-criminalization of cannabis under the guise of legalization. Just say NO!

    • Amen brother! The best, most informed comment yet! It gives me hope that people will read this and amend their understanding of the situation. It really is simple when you sit down and think about it. Listen to the Gange Father! He’s the only one making sense in a sea of confusion right now. Blessings to you my friend.

  • Jorge Cervantes

    Patrick Murphy
    Hezzikiah Allen
    Ryan Mcintosh
    Dirty jersey Brian ( fagon dragon)
    Kevin jodrey
    Goofy lobbyist guy from Texas
    Owner of humboldt ag supply
    And the rest of these clowns.
    Are all currently under federal investigation.
    Especially (((Mr. Mcintosh. ))) His own idiotic banking practices will ultimately lead to the demise of these emerald family Flammers. Remember Al Capone.

    • I’ve wondered the same thing with Emerald Family Farm.
      These green rush transplants haven’t been around Humboldt long enough to realize that these type of guys go down federally big time.
      They’re running a huge racketeering ring and advertising it all over the Internet! Absolutely mind blowing!
      Let’s see how much of a “family” they are once they’re wrapped up with mandatory minimums.

  • Would someone with the means please do more study to find out if the one, two, three plan has any relation to real facts . Mixed light method could use less water but might incur higher labor costs. Why would the method with the lowest cost to produce have the lowest tax rate.Has knowing all the facts as to these things become irrelevant.

    • I believe the idea is that the least environmentally invasive would be charged the least.

      • I have noticed the emphasis on water conservation has been dropped.
        In addition there are no admissions that there are two mixed light methods.
        The tax almost drives people into full blown all year full grow lighting as there would be pressure to maximize yield because you might as well go all the way.
        Aesthetics are different than environmental. I get it, you think hoops look ugly.
        When filled with vibrant green they look as pleasing as any other vineyard or crop to me.

  • The Delivery Guy

    I think it’s safe to say that the new taxes will not end up being used to help this county, but rather, to help the established local elites buy more vacation property or stuff more cash into overseas banks. The ONLY reason our roads are being worked on right now is because the state dangled money in front of the county’s face and said “use it or lose it”. None of the funds earmarked for road repairs ACTUALLY goes towards road repairs. And the roads that are repaired out of having to show SOMETHING being done, are done in front of Supervisor’s homes or Main St. Eureka, where the tourists drive. This county keeps on coming up with new ways to tax us, a cent here, half a cent there, etc etc etc…..and none of that money goes toward what it is supposed to. I think the growers need to band together and charge the country for them to set up shop here or go setup shop in a different county that isn’t filled with greedy elitists.

    • Confirmation bias, look it up. Typical statements not supported by actual fact. That would be you.
      Me as well for all that matters.
      Easier to posts myths and exaggerated rumors I guess.

  • Seems a little early to tax square footage of production space given that the legal infrastructure hasn’t even been completely ironed out yet. Not to mention that nobody has even set up a farm that is 100% in compliance. It’s only going to slow the process of fixing culverts, roads, water storage, etc. if we divert resources to another tax.

  • How do you tax something that does not exist? Just because someone has garden space, no matter how much or little, no crop is guaranteed, none , zero.
    This is absurd and certainly unconstitutional! These greedy supervisors also should stand straight and take their punishments when higher courts rule this unconstitutional.
    No crop is guaranteed ever!!

  • On top of taxing something that isn’t guaranteed or doesn’t exist, the fed still declares all this illegal, these greedy scumbag embezzlers aka supes are taxing a crime,..think about it!

  • Thomas Edrington

    So, it’s not clear to me that the Supes have actually managed to write up an actual excise tax. If you look into the definitions, what they’really attempting to pass off is a parcel tax. This would mean that after all that polling and cutting corners around their promises to make this poison pill easier to pass, they’ve shot themselves in the foot by requiring a tax scheme that requires a 66% majority at the ballot box.

    We’ll played, Supes.

  • Tax my tomatoes. Tax my water collection barrels. Tax my native fermentation gut flora benificial bacteria that makes an alchol byproduct bucha. Just cuz yer the human of the year doesn’t mean you can get away with bullshit headlines. Fucking sellout.

    • Your more of the sellout for keeping up with this website. Shouldn’t you disconnect from the grid to be fully free and NOT a sellout?

    • The headline accurately reflects the article which is a story about why pro tax people support it. The piece about the anti tax people has a headline that accurately reflects that point of view.

      • The problem is these “people’ are all from the same money group, of course they agree. Teddy signs the checks.

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