Helicopters Over Humboldt: USA Today Went for a Ride

“Looking around Humboldt County, it’s easy to see how marijuana money drives this economy, from the high number of fertilizer dealers to the stores selling equipment to trim the plants for sale. One estimate from a local banker said fully 25% of the entire county economy is marijuana-related.” USA Today, California’s illegal marijuana farms force cops to wield ‘green’ stick

Image from a 2011 Cal EMA website. Public Domain.

Image from a 2011 Cal EMA website. Public Domain.

An article out this afternoon in the USA Today talks about how law enforcement is now using environmental laws as part of their arsenal of weapons to deal with black market marijuana grows. Reporter Trevor Hughes rides along in a helicopter with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department marveling at the large grows.

Much of the article recaps old news to Humboldt County residents–the environmental damage caused by some grows, the possible large profits, and the how closely the county’s economy is linked to the marijuana industry. But he does highlight some points that are less well-known. He states, “Now growers find themselves targeted by cops accompanied by code inspectors. While criminal cases can take months or years to wend their way through the court system, civil violations are far easier to prove.”

Check out the article here.



  • just read the entire linked article. Guess Trevor Hughes didn’t do any fact checking he says: “Since the country rules took effect in January, about 40 growers have completed the registration process. That’s a literal drop in the bucket, but it’s a start.” — as of 2 weeks ago the number of people that applied for a permit was around 850. Granted this says ‘completed the registration process’ So maybe he’s only talking about the people that are completely finished with the process. But idk that number still sounds really low to me. There’s gotta be more then 40 that are completely finished.

    • Many of those 830+ that the Loco published weren’t even aware that what they had done put them in the registration process. Most weren’t any where near completing the registration process.

      • well I mean I’m sure most people that turned in there registration of existing operation probably were waiting to the last minute to turn that in (i know a few people for sure) so ya it doesn’t surprise me that most of the 830 haven’t completed the whole process, but I mean only 40 people are completely done? that just sounds quite low to me. Where are all the old school growers that only dreamt of legalization? Now that it is around the corner they decided it’s too scary? Personally would have guessed probably around 100 or more were done with the whole process. Guess theres more procrastinators then I thought.

        • Lost Croat Outburst

          Yeah, well, YOU try it, hotshot. It’s a bit of a sticky, bureaucratic mess right now which many of us are navigating. It’s a big deal if you have been in the biz since the early ’70’s and are finally coming in from the cold. Yeah, you guessed, but you guessed wrong.

        • Only 8 permits were granted. So no not 40… 8 and one guy has 7 of them.

          • I think it is up to ten or twelve now but your point is still valid that the amount of permits are small.

          • Which doesn’t make sense because the state says you can only have 4 permits in your name or be connected to.

            • just more nonsense

              I believe it was the county allowing four permits per person, the state only allows two. That’s another round for people once they’ve “completed” the registration and county permitting, is trying to register with the state, who may not recognize all four county permits. Same old story we played with 215 laws, just a new smell…county makes laws exceding state legislation, state steps in and says “you can’t do that”…and on and on

        • The process takes quite awhile. Hundreds have started the process only a few have completed it.

          • As of Friday there were still only the eight (really two) that have ben issued. A few others are close and we may see some more issued this week or next. The process is slow, cumbersome and arduous. There are many many “i’s” that need to be dotted and “t’s” that need to be crossed. The biggest hurdle for now is that this is all brand new. We are dealing with both the Panning Department and a slew of Regulatory agencies that have never dealt with cannabis permits before. Many of them are trying desperately to come up with policy on the fly especially when it comes to the U or TPZ zoned places. As more and more applications make it through the process, it will become easier and more streamlined. I know there is a ton of mud slinging going on but truthfully the County is doing all they can to ensure participation. They sincerely want folks to apply. This program has some bugs that need to be worked out for sure, but let it unfold. Lets see where we are at in year.

            Truthfully one of the biggest set backs was the law suit and the settlement that came out of it. Had “Woods” and his cronies let things unfold a bit, let a “clean up bill” been written and come to the table for some more discussion probably things would be a little smoother now. But now we a stuck with a less than perfect ordinance and no way to change or alter it until the EIR is done.

        • What the gov’t is offering is regulation; not legalization in the purest sense of the word.

      • Lost Croat Outburst

        Yes, but if the quote is accurate, then the impression is that few people are registering or IN-PROCESS. That is NOT true and you know it. A false representation to the public.

        • Well, I think the point that of thousands of growers only hundreds are in the process currently is accurate. Are more people jumping in as we get to tomorrow’s deadline? Yes. But still the number compared to overall numbers of growers is small.

      • They weren’t aware “what they had done put them in the registration process” makes no sense to me. If they filed a piece of paper, it certainly put them in the process. I don’t understand what you are implying.

        • Some people’ have told me that their names are apparently on there because they went in to consult. They didn’t file paperwork. They didn’t realize this actually put them into the public record.

      • What do you mean?? That doesn’t make any sense. I have a hard time believing this. To get on the list, one must turn in a registry. They either turned one in or didn’t. Your name doesn’t go on list as someone who has turned in the registry when all you did was have a meeting.

  • Who cares? All it does is promote drug use, legal or illegal. The culture is degraded. Look around you, open your eyes, Humboldt is Scumboldt now. Crime everywhere. Other drugs rampant. Crime breeds crime. You can wave your card (or registration) all day long but that doesn’t change the fact that druggies and travelers and scavengers and dealers and cartels are here to stay THANKS to growers of all stripes.

  • It’s going to get very ugly around here!!I hope everybody takes care and be safe,not stupid

  • Hey people! You dont like it? Why dont you try living in LA Or Sac, or Oakland? Its not the humboldt i grew up in any more but, its still my home. I never expected it to stay quiet forever. Crime is where people are. It always has been and always will be. You cant escape that fact. Point is… theres waaaay worse places to live still. Drop yo ass in Mumbai and see how you feel about humboldt then Stormy.

  • Nice to see the Hypocrites get a taste of their own medicine Welcome to the Real World.

  • I have doper neighbors that saw the writing on the wall and have packed up and moved away. Hopefully more will leave when the price plummets when it goes recreationally legal. For the most part dopers are douchebags.

    • That my be, but for the most part people in general are douchbags

    • Got news for you ‘tired of weed’ it’s been almost 2 years since rec hit colorado and shit is still flying off the shelf like hot cakes. After rec hits here in cali, I strongly believe that it will be at least 5+ years before prices completely plummet. So until then get ready for more green rushers. I hope they move in right next door to you, since it sounds like your neighbors place is for sale.

      • Fed usually follows California’s lead , with that being said , not much time , better find a different line of work , just a heads up.

    • Rizzo ready for retirement

      “Some men are born douchebags, some men achieve douchebagness, and some men have douchebagness thrust upon them.”

      • How do you choose the places that you post?
        Did/do you live in the City of Bell?
        Were you personally affected by Robert Rizzo’s crimes?
        What’s his/your connection to Humboldt?
        I’ve seen your posts on the Outpost and now here… My questions are for research purposes only.

  • Keep it illegal and don’t register, or pay the price and lose your freedom to the rights and privacy of your property. Also, pay taxes that will be used to further regulate, water down, and squash the economy! What to do?

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