Cap on Marijuana Farm Size? CGA Files Suit Against State Agency to Stop Stacking Cannabis Cultivation Licenses

marijuana buds in a garden

Closeup of marijuana buds ready to harvest in a small garden. [Photo by Kym Kemp]

Press release from the California Growers Association (CGA):

[Yesterday] the California Growers Association, a California Non-Profit Mutual Benefit Corporation and the largest cannabis trade association in the state, filed a lawsuit challenging the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s decision to allow unlimited stacking of cultivation licenses.

Proposition 64 was clear that it “ensures the nonmedical marijuana industry in California will be built around small and medium sized businesses.” Specifically Proposition 64 and its implementing laws are clear that small and medium sized businesses are provided five years to establish and transition their operations before the state may issue large scale cultivation licenses.  Regulations recently adopted by CDFA, however, create a loophole by allowing a single corporation to obtain and aggregate unlimited smaller cultivation licenses to operate a cultivation site larger than the legal limit.

The decision to move forward with the lawsuit came after nearly two months of careful consideration and a unanimous vote of the CalGrowers Executive Committee. “We took our time with this because we wanted to make sure we got it right,” Allen explained. “Generally we think the agency is doing a good job, this is not a broad complaint. Our concern is very narrow in scope, but the implications are huge.”

Representing more than 1,000 cannabis growers and businesses in communities throughout the state, Allen said the consensus to move forward was clear: “Prop 64’s five-year ban on large cultivation licenses was included specifically to account for many Californians’ concerns that locally-owned and community-minded businesses would be replaced by a small number of powerful, consolidated corporations. Unfortunately, CDFA’s regulatory decision allows these interests to quickly corner the market, while tens of thousands of small and mid-sized businesses are still working to fight local bans, raise capital, or establish operations in compliance with new rules. We could not stand by while a single regulatory decision threatened the future of so many hardworking Californians.”

Despite the disagreement, Allen is staying positive. “Our government has checks and balances for a reason. We look forward to an opinion from the judicial branch to help settle this disagreement so we can move forward collaboratively and ensure as many businesses as possible are able to participate in the regulated cannabis market.”

Attachment: Complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief, as filed

See more at the Mendococino Voice by clicking here.

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61 comments

  • Liberals afraid of Corporate Liberals.

  • I think they forgot to use the word “restricted “ AND regulated cannibis market. 90% will fail. The force will be strong in the corporations young Jedi….

  • Small dope growers vs big dope growers.

    May they all rot in Hades.

    • You can tell people to rot in hell but can’t say wook?

      • Yep. I don’t allow slurs. I do allow people to say rot in hell (particularly since I don’t believe in hell, it doesn’t seem like a threat.)

        Here are the guidelines I use to decide what to delete. The guidelines are designed to promote civil discussion–They are not designed to promote my point of view:

        1. Civility is valued by the moderator.
        2. Insulting other commenters will get you deleted. Do it too often and you will get banned.
        3. No slurs–racial, ethnic, gender, political etc.
        4. Try to add value to the website by offering information, art, humor or, most of all, thoughtful discussion.
        5. Free speech is valued by the moderator and sometimes that trumps civility but don’t push it.
        6. Also, grammar, punctuation, spelling criticisms should come from parents, teachers, and bosses not anonymous people on the internet. If you can understand what someone says, refrain from telling them how to edit their comments. The one exception to this is me. If I make an error, politely pointing it out is fine.
        7. Punch up. Mocking people in positions of authority is acceptable, sometimes even helpful. Mocking children, the disabled, those suffering from misfortunate, those in a minority who don’t have power is something a bully does.
        8. Don’t threaten or encourage violence.

        • Ok. Im pasting that kym.

        • Kym likes to pretend to be left-leaning, but she will leave inflamitory right-wing calls for political violence because she “doesn’t take them seriously.” Every day someone’s calling for someone else to be killed or deported or beaten in these forums.

          • Sometimes I miss something. Feel free to point it out by commenting under it but if you take “burn in hell” seriously….I think we are just on a very different page. Deported is a political opinion and will be left. Killed (unless advocating for the death penalty for a crime) will be deleted. Beaten will always be deleted.

            I try to be very fair and I suspect sometimes in my attempts to be fair to points of view I don’t agree with, I go overboard. But it is a very hard line to walk.

            • KIM I AGREE, YOU MAY NOT BE RIGHT YOU MAY NOT BE WRONG BUT YOU STILL RUN THIS SITE.

            • Will do! How about the current story about the spyrock child molester for starters. You’ve got three or four people calling for him to be killed.

              • I’ll go back and look but if they are talking about or could be talking about capital punishment then I will leave them.

                • I did delete one that I had missed that talked about handing the suspect over to them but the rest are talking about or could be talking about capital punishment. I am against capital punishment and have been for 40 years but I’m for the free exchange of ideas and capital punishment is part of that free exchange.

        • I’m.not sure you’ve ever met a real wook, or born again wook like me. It’s not a slur if I identify as one. Plus, as someone that has never had to deal with wooks, it’s funny that you are the only person I have ever heard call.the term wook a slur and I find it wierdly hilarious and dangerioisly delusional and wrongly sensitive. Cheers anyways

    • “Though Shall Not Judge” comes to mind….. Jesus had long hair and wore sandals…. God made the herb George Straw (You Sir, are No Jack Straw from Witchita)

  • Just a cap on legal grows? Lmao

  • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

    Better idea is to put a 20 year cooling off period on marijuana farming, in the meantime impose a life sentence for any marijuana possession or offer banishment forever from the country.

    This would allow enough time to figure out the regulations behind devil’s lettuce, and jail or banish members of The Marijuana Caliphate.

    It’s easy to see how legal weed isn’t possible until The Caliphate has been broken, it’s members jailed or banished, and a plan to recover from their all out war on nature is set up.

    The only way marijuana can move forward in the legal area is the take down of each and every marijuana grower.

    • Hahahahahahahahahaha spits coffee…

    • Ur addicted to either pot or pot profits. Most of CHUMPS posts are deliberately provocative and never to be taken seriously. He should change his name to Squirrel because all the dogs get hysterical at the sight of a post with his name on it.

    • unbridled phillistine

      You are too late! Like tryn to put the tooth paste back in the tube, too late to go back. Cali has got a taste of that tax money and will never give it up!

    • He is, but is best to let him make his stupid comments and do not respond. If you don’t respond, you don’t validate his nonsense, which at this point is clearly a mental issue.

    • Elric of Melniboné

      You’re a funny guy.

  • That’s cute. But the prop was written in such a way that they (the BIG corps) could do exactly this. Everybody read about that 5 year limit on grow size but did not read far enough to understand it was only a “suggestion”. And that everything would be really decided by an appointed state board (that would really be stacked with reps from the BIG corps). The place to make things right was in the voting booth voting against this massive BIG corp giveaway deceivingly labelled as “legalization”. But…people were so fired up about “being free” or whatever they thought this “legalization” was about that they actually attacked people like me who were trying to inform them of the many faults with this particular form of “legalization”. So good luck, Hezekiah! Good luck, everybody! Everything you are doing now is a rearguard action, the horses have left the stable, there is rarely if ever justice at the state level and y’all gave away the store. Some were greedy, some were just stupid but you all got played.

    • Kym- Is my comment really still waiting to be moderated? Is there something I said here that is not acceptable? Or is it because I called people out by name in the past? I have never posted false info on here…perhaps very uncomfortable info w/ names included but never false. It has saddened me to see what’s happened to our great community over these last 20 years and even more to see the destroying greedrushers rewarded. I know a lot of inside scam info (like Riverside Farms 12 acre permit last year) perhaps too much. Anyways- perhaps you can lmk what my personal guidelines are? I feel like you hold back or delete my comments when I mention anything to do with the weed issue. I know that my POV is different from yours- you actually endorsed “legalization” and also publish puff pieces about some of the winning greed rushers. I get that we are very different in our mindsets!

      • Sigh…I was gone most of the day. Your comments are on moderate because of something you did a while ago that I’ve forgotten about so it is probably time to let you off the list. But there was nothing in these latest comments that would get them deleted. However, some days I just can’t be available to moderate so it takes awhile to get to comments.

        I’ve removed you from the list, but please follow the guidelines below.

        Here are the guidelines I use to decide what to delete. The guidelines are designed to promote civil discussion–They are not designed to promote my point of view:

        1. Civility is valued by the moderator.
        2. Insulting other commenters will get you deleted. Do it too often and you will get banned.
        3. No slurs–racial, ethnic, gender, political etc.
        4. Try to add value to the website by offering information, art, humor or, most of all, thoughtful discussion.
        5. Free speech is valued by the moderator and sometimes that trumps civility but don’t push it.
        6. Also, grammar, punctuation, spelling criticisms should come from parents, teachers, and bosses not anonymous people on the internet. If you can understand what someone says, refrain from telling them how to edit their comments. The one exception to this is me. If I make an error, politely pointing it out is fine.
        7. Punch up. Mocking people in positions of authority is acceptable, sometimes even helpful. Mocking children, the disabled, those suffering from misfortunate, those in a minority who don’t have power is something a bully does.
        8. Don’t threaten or encourage violence.

      • Where is Riverside Farms located?

  • Ive read from multiple sources that the limit on farm size was removed from the legislation.

    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/7650062-181/california-releases-cannabis-regulations-with

  • Thank you CGA for your efforts to protect the small craft farmers. We built this industry on quality, community and respect for the benefits the plant gives back. What has happened to the industry is a shame, but we must adapt to survive. Your giving us a chance to hang on as big Ag and big money looks to take over. It’s an uphill battle, but it’s a fight we must join together to win.. it feels good having our voice heard at the state level. Thank you

  • Reminds me of the “Robber Barron” days in the late 19th century when straw men were commissioned to buy small timber parcels and sell them back to big timber. Now we have a state government agency in the pocket of big cannabis as a Broker Barron.

  • Finally, a lawsuit you can believe in!

  • Lol, are they really that naive? Most of CA’s and the USA’s agricultural sectors are dominated by big Agro-business. A bunch of wishful thinking at best this group advocated for legalization and they got it. Why they would think small farms would be protected is beyond me. Just look at the way local, state, national and global politics work. You need to think as government and corporations as the same entity. Instead of filing your pointless lawsuits these growers should be focused on putting resources into developing their craft brands.

    • Why did people think small farms would be protected? Your board of supervisors talked that talk all the way to the bank, at every meeting, every interview, preaching the importance of protecting small farmers. The legal farms are gigantic compared to any clandestine op we’re used to seeing.

  • SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESS OVER LARGE whether it’s hardware, clothes, restaurants, or cannabis!

    In this transitional stage, of black /free market based businesses trying to adapt to legalization, with fees and regulation based costs rising, while the sale price of pot falls, our small business people, who ARE THE ECONOMIC BACKBONE OF THEIR COMMUNITIES need all the help they can get!

  • The “legal” farms are huge. That’s the county’s board of supervisors doing. They could have facilitated small cooperatives from the outset. They all need to be voted out of office ASAP.

    • Lots of the “legal” farms are scab farms with scab workers — carpetbaggers, if you will…. The old school folks and back to the landers would never sign up to break the law. Libertarian land owners are an endangered, wildly libertarian species here. Sux. Just because a legal 7 acre grow is legal, doesn’t mean it isn’t just as bad or worse for the land than what it replaced — thinking otherwise is a fallacy. The legal dispensary folks have been robbing growers for decades, and now they have the RED TAPE loving, bloated SACTO crime syndicate government saying that 7 acres is ok for him, but 7 plants is illegal for you….! WICK WICK WHACK… This was the last pro-free market Murikana place around… Now we have corporitism. Weed-Mart is coming…. Humboldt weed was tested by growers for decades (people use a magnifying glass and tested product the old fashioned way, smoking it), and moldy stuff meant low pricing. Now you will have to compete against Weed-Marts always low bulk prices…. and dispensaries will charge $20/gram…

      • And for all the talk about conscious growing practices, salmon safe etc; there is no cover crop growing on the 7 acre emerald farm right in the middle of willow creek. It looks like a mess. Cut and run. And it’s on an old plywood/veneer site, but I’m sure it’s fine. Its legal so it must be ok.

        • Fuck EFF. Lots of farms that used to be under their collective have now quit working with them. All they did was swindle folks into signing over their 215. Their farm in Willow Creek is embarrassing.

        • well as long as its legal then….lol

          Not hating on EFF (the playa)… very smart people. It’s just the rule change that is completely hipocritical.

  • The funny thing is, the only real hope of finding employment with a farm is with big operations. That is not available if all the farms are “mom and pops”. My mom and pop business has been destroyed by this law. I want a job in the industry, good fucking luck.

  • god forbid our supes would join or actually do more then unconstitutionally tax our growers. scumbags

  • The fact is that NONE of this was to benefit small growers. Corporations passed the rec law along with misguided citizens who thought that “legal” weed would end crime,environmental damage and make it convenient for smokers. The latter part is true. This planning and permitting from the start was to stomp out weed growing in the emerald triangle while filling the pockets of political powers. Many fell into the trap of greed…powered by fear. The plan has worked and this is just the beginning. MANY will fail. I’ve looked at tax reports of small farmers who haven’t even been paid yet…it’s devastating. I have never supported legalization. It’s to hard support a small pot “farmer” since I dont buy weed to smoke. Never have,never will,and yes I smoke. Good luck out there small farmers,you will need it. The vultures (corporations) are circleing

  • Here is a spot of free help for you “small growers who are struggling to comply”…

    Legal marijuana sales totaled $6.7B in 2016, and grew to $10B a year later. There are nearly 1,000 marijuana startups on AngelList, with an average valuation of $4.1M (if you take out high flying Eaze and Baker) but only 100 job opportunities open today. 🍁

    Meanwhile, Flexport’s long list of open positions is comparable to the entire cannabis industry on AngelList put together. 📈

    The five year-old startup is innovating in the trillion-dollar freight forwarding industry, facilitating a complex logistical networks of trucks, trains, ships, and airplanes all over the world on land, sea, and in the air.

    Until recently, this was being done through a series of faxes, emails, and Excel spreadsheets before Flexport came along and indexed all the available carriers into a searchable database, offering free easy to use software that handles everything at scale.

    In 2016, TechCrunch’s Josh Constine called Flexport “The unsexiest trillion-dollar startup” – referring to the vastness of the opportunity that’s ahead. For context: the global logistics industry is $8 trillion and expanding, and the opportunity to innovate has never been greater.

    Below are some of the “unsexy” startups that are building software for trillion dollar industries that are ripe for innovation. Check out the full-list on AngelList.

    P.S. Keep your Talent profile updated in case the right opportunity comes knocking your way.

    “Unsexy” Startups Disrupting Trillion Dollar Industries:

    Fieldwire is bringing software to the construction industry 🚧

    Checkr is automating background checks for on-demand 🚙

    Sighten is the energy operating system for the solar industry ☀️

    Shippo is the API layer for the shipping industry 📦

    Human Dx is a worldwide effort to improve patient care 🙏

    True Accord is using machine learning to reimagine debt collection 💲

    Affirm is a credit company that doesn’t try to put you into debt 💳

    Qumulo lets enterprises store massive data sets at scale 🗄

    HomeLight is brining a money-ball approach to real estate 🏠

    Transfix is disrupting trucking logistics with lean automation 🚛

    Haven is automating logistics (Flexport’s closest startup competitor) 🚢

    Get a job at a startup now. Or search on Indeed using Cannabis! Good luck!

    • This is very interesting, thanks. Do you know of a similar list for “Venture Capitalists?”

    • The pot stock bubble is the very worst…. Every rich person who ever smoked a joint is going to be the Pablo Escobar of weed. Talk about a crowded trade — it will bust and the speculators will go broke. It used to be you started from seed. Now you start with a seed round and a founders round, and then comes dilution and accounting tricks…. I hope actual police officers understand who is the real crook in this ponzi.

  • Whenever any political language gears around “to help you”, it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want their help. If you sign on the dotted line, you are paying for a permit to allow them to help you. If, years down the road, you no longer need or want their help, you will face undo misery, snipers, attack dogs, exaggerated fines, arrest and a huge smear campaign. We’ve already witnessed a few of the smear campaigns. (tarp on the ground polluting mother earth, for instance).
    It’s either mandatory that you have to sign over your liberty and your private property rights, or it’s not. Make sure the language is clear and precise.

  • Kym Kemp: You deserve an award for all you do here!

  • all good things must come to an end.oldhippy.

  • Kym, Could you tell us if there is any incorporated town in Humboldt where it is legal to grow 6 plants personal use outside in the back (or front) yard? or any in the state?

  • One Acre Cap….please

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