‘Small Is Beautiful, Especially Small Taxes on Small Farmers’: Demonstration Planned by Cannabis Growers in Supes Chamber Next Tuesday

Garden o Cannabis garden

Small outdoor cannabis farm with plants in October of 2015. [Photo by Kym Kemp]

An association of small cannabis farms is planning a demonstration next Tuesday in the Humboldt County Supervisors chambers and are urging farmers across Humboldt County to join them.

They’ve issued the following press release:

If the goal for cannabis compliance is to eliminate environmental degradation, reduce the black-market sales of cannabis and bring existing farmers into the fold; many things that Humboldt County, and the State of California, are doing are having exactly the opposite effect on small farmers.

Typically, when new business ventures are presented to a county or municipality with their tax revenue, new jobs and economic growth, local governmental authorities give these companies tax credits, fee waivers and financial incentives to attract their businesses to the area. What the County is currently doing is exactly the opposite: High application fees and taxes up front, significant engineering and compliance costs, and unrealistic regulations are driving the compliance seekers back under the trees, back into their diesel consuming indoor grows and out of the process toward a governable industry. We urgently encourage the County to consider incentive programs to encourage small farmers to move forward in this process. Currently, government agencies are only using a big stick and beating the small, willing and compliant permit seekers back out of the system.

An example of an incentive system at work is currently evident with United Airlines expanding in Humboldt County because they are being given tax breaks, incentives and encouragement to do business. The Board of Supervisors and local leaders have given United reduced docking fees and assurances of full and profitable planes. These are carrots to encourage new business. The County should take a similar approach with the small cannabis farmers seeking to join the regulated market.

We recognize the complexity and fluidity of the process and the fact that the County is getting a lot of pressure from other agencies and environmental groups to slow environmental degradation, reduce the black market, monitor water use, and save the fish and amphibians. We appreciate the County’s hard work moving this process forward and believe that small compliant farms can be the County’s ally in this effort. Small compliant farmers are willing to pay reasonable fees for entry into the cannabis market and strive to make our farms as environmentally friendly as possible. However, the current heavy-handed taxes and fees, coupled with ballooning compliance costs and an ever-lowering market value for the cannabis that we produce are seriously imperiling the future viability of our farms. We believe that the extreme up-front taxes represent a short-sighted vision, and the County should look at the potential medium- to long-term economic benefits including sales and employment tax revenue resulting from a healthy legal cannabis economy built on small farms.

The Salmon Creek Association of Small Farmers hopes that the County will consider the following request:

  • Repeal the 2017 taxes on Interim Permits. The levying of 2017 taxes appears deceptive, did not provide any additional benefit to those farmers that were taxed, and unfairly penalizes the earliest and most willing permittees.
  • Reduced taxes on 2018 Interim Permits. These permits provide minimal certainty to the small farmer and therefore should not be taxed at the full amount.
  • Consider developing a system for rebates or deferred tax payment plans targeting small growers that is exactly the opposite of the payment plan sent out with the 2017 tax bills – “pay in full by February 28, 2018 or get fined an additional 25%”. That is not a way to build trust in a new government program or foster new economic growth.
    Find a mechanism to cost-effectively leverage enforcement of the ~8,000 non-applicants without relying on small farmers taxes.
  • Work to streamline the compliance process for those small farms where environmental degradation is NOT occurring.

Small is Beautiful, Especially Small Taxes on Small Farmers.

Signed by The Salmon Creek Farm Association of small, outdoor, farmers looking for carrots, not sticks:

Huckleberry Woods, Hope Springs Farms, Cherry Valley Farms, Fire Robin Farms, Bamboo Farms, All in The Roots Farm, Grindstone Ridge Gardens and others. For further information write to salmoncreekfarms420@gmail.com. The time of the demonstration will be announced later.




  • Mites don't care about fancy farm names

    ….*ever-lowering market value for the cannabis that we produce *….

    Taxes. 8000 unpermitted grows. Or not . The fact remains : The bottom has fallen out.

  • Why is it a benefit to the county to have thousands of small grows that are impossible to monitor, can be placed where there are many neighbors to be impacted or water to be misappropriated and who have never demostrated respect for the law in their previous incarnations? Monitoring of businesses with a historical contempt for the law will be very expensive. So either they pay or the public pays or it doesn’t get done. Having fewer larger grows at least gives the public a chance of having controls applied, however those who look for income equivalent to the old illegal, wild west days would prefer otherwise.

    • Yah, the Walmart playbook, because that worked so well…

      • It wouldn’t exist if it didn’t work for their users.

        • It’s great for the Walton family and the Chinese wannabe millionaires who run the sweat shops and poison the air and water. All we get is cheap crap and an exodus of US jobs.

          • People seem to like cheap crap. The issue is whether they will pay a local business more money than a non-local for the same cheap crap. And, if you look at what has happened over the last few decades, the answer is clear.

            So complain as you will, it makes no difference. Those local businesses that gained the trust of their customers through being honest and reliable will survive. Those who were in for all they could get will not. It’s too late to declare yourself a good neighbor after decades of flipping your neighbors off.

  • At least all creeks and rivers are filling up from all the tears. Suck it up.

  • Salmon Creek Farms! Pretty bold statement you’re making ! Sounds like if it doesn’t work out for you you can just go get a job with the authorities smells like your style . Every one makes their choices! Seems like you forget where you came from !

  • To get pot legalized it was claimed that it would benifit everyone with all the money it would bring in new taxes. Now the new taxes are being sought and we hear nothing but complaints. Why do you think the board of supervisors and our state legislation jumped on board the legalization push. Just like the increase of growers and size of grows, government greed takes over. Society demands changes and then complains about how it used to be. We don’t enforce the laws we have, but will make new ones to that do nothing to fix the problem. We don’t punish the criminals, we reward them while punishing the members of society that try to obey the law. Society is doomed to fail on the path it is on until it starts accepting responsibility, and quits worrying about being politically correct.

  • “High application fees and taxes up front, significant engineering and compliance costs, and unrealistic regulations are driving the compliance seekers back under the trees, back into their diesel consuming indoor grows ”

    No. The current prices make diesel grows unprofitable, even if they are black market.

  • I notice that they did not list capping the size of farms. Thats is very revealing as to who those people actually represent.

    • They did Capp the size foo, but the state just lifted any Capp and Senator mike Maguire Et al are trying to claw that back with new legislation .

  • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

    It’s just time weed left the Tri County area, or Trump should treat them as the terror grouping growers are by using the military.

    Sick of snowflake growers and soy heads complaining about taxes they never paid.

    I’d pay 5% more in sales tax to eradicate dreadlocks, but you don’t hear me crying that it won’t happen…

    Ban weed and tofu, too.

    • My brother has dreads and does not eat soy. It’s actually bad for your health, especially in LG quantities. Did you know, you actually eat more soy currently, than my dreadlock brother?

      Don’t believe me? Go into your cabinets and read the ingredients on your current groceries. You will find more than 75% of what you already buy, has soy & other fillers, that only help the food companies profits go further.

      Did you know soy works like estrogen? Do you have lil man boobs? Guess what, it might not be from, lack of exersize but from the soy & other fillers, you ingest unknowingly everyday.

      So before you speak on a subject, you obviously lack basic knowledge & facts on, do a lil research cause, you sound silly when you truly are eating what you preach chump!

      • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

        Like a fake dreadlock, or processed food sold by Cysco, you have no idea as to my diet.

        One thing that isn’t in it is marihuana.

        Dopers are always so quick to hide their addiction through nonsense comments.

        We don’t want dope growers in The Tri Counties, get over it, move back to your slums.

        • With a J boy! Looks like you may have made it to fifth grade

        • 😂Hit a nerve? That’s the most real emotion, I’ve ever heard come out your wacky doodle comments.

          You sure u don’t smoke? You do seem paranoid. And your comments always disappear round harvest time, as other commenters have pointed out in the past.

          Ya always attack & accuse commenters, that don’t agree with you, of addiction & other various insults, like an addict, as if you keep them filed on a desk, like an old address rollerdex, next to your stone age desk top, hanging by yourself or hiding from any that unfortunately even gives a damn bout ya, if your lucky.

          It feels of the very essence, of the claim your against. Lots of your behavior today seems to be leaning towards tendencies you preach against. Instead of trying to read between the lines, hiding in your closet, you would have read that I’m no dreadlock myself Mon & I do not smoke thee coke or sensimilia I-ther.

          I think you really just might be reacting to the fact, you read into some of your food & just realized your taking estrogen, 😂!!!!

          I know, its upsetting, most folks are,when they realize what’s been going in their body. Its a natural reaction, I mean, a-hole or not, your still human, so it makes sense! Its ok Chump, let it all out. Its ok to let those emotions out, you probably have plenty extra to expend, right now! There there, it’s ok! Shhhhh!😂

        • Elric of Melniboné

          Remember the 7th step.

        • Chump you know Don’s kid is in the medical MJ business right? So is Warren Buffett…Most growers where you live are RIGHT wingers…lol… maybe that’s a dream of yours… jumping for Trump. Methinks you run a legal 7acre and don’t like competition!

    • I agree chump on the tofu. Soy is destroying more land than weed EVER will!

    • Pleasantville Mayor

      Ban all pot smokers and truck drivers. Ban the long hair. Ban all pot culture.
      Bring us back to the good old days 1940’s. Make Garberville like Pleasantville.

  • I’m not a seller, buyer, or user, but they make a good point. The only ones being punished are the one’s trying to comply with the regulations. In their haste to grab money, the government didn’t think it through. Never pass a law you don’t have the ability or the will to enforce. No wonder the marijuana culture has a huge distrust of big government. We’re proving them right, and I have sympathy for their plight.

    • Wouldn’t it be great if every business burdened by taxes, fees and regulation just ignored them? The Squires Housing Inaction Technique.

    • In the end, the only way to enforce regulations is to have fewer growers. So if permitting takes big big bucks (which I suspect many historical growers have despite the crying), that is going to thin the ranks to managable levels.

      Then those who have invested a substantial amount will have an incentive to meet the regipulations regarding water and land use, chemicals, labor laws, etc. Not good for wildcat growers used to raking in profit with both hands but much better for everyone else.

      Wow. The stress of having to live with what you have previously voted for other people to bear while excusing yourselves must be really traumatic for you.

  • But, but…this is Humboldt.
    We have AMATUERS in every position of power. Look at the public defender debacle, the planning commission. The airport a great example. County roads.
    Nothing gets done here in any kind of rational or professional manner.

    • Lol even most businesses are a joke here, honestly I love Humboldt beautiful county but there’s a reason I drive to redding to go the dentist/oral surgeon, shit I won’t even have my car worked on in Humboldt cause of the level of unprofessionality. There’s not enough competition. Very small number of businesses not alot to compete with so qaulity of goods and services remain low and cost extremely high. Lol most businesses here don’t even keep normal hours not to mention alot that are only open half the year (at least in willow creek). That seems to be changing now as the cannabis economy begins to crash all these faux businesses that functioned as fronts need to actually remain open and make $. Also seems more populated now during the winter because not as many people making a half mil in 6-8 months then leaving for vacation for the winter. I’m happy the dope yuppies have to actually work all year round now. They never really were passionate about the plant anyways just in it for the love of money. People were so used to being able to sell all their product instantly not that way anymore. Bye bye 10 thousand dollar lift kits, and flashy show trucks, jet skiis, and lavish vacations. It’s a shame cause it really does mess up the image for the people who care about the plant and the environment and want to farm sustainably. Not all cannabis farmers are greedy and corrupt, but government on the other hand well that’s a different story.

      • What a rousing chorus of “Nobody Likes Me, Everybody Hates me, Think I’ll Go and Eat some Worms.”

        Why should you expect integrity in others when you’re so careless of it where pot is concerned?

    • I agree, the lack of professionalism in this county just might break the camels back

    • I hear a supervisor lives in an unpermitted house on illegally subdivided land

  • How about give it up go get a real job ?

  • never should have trusted the politicians… we watched many a “small farmer” turn into a “big polotician”. i watched a many of my neighbors tout the next big social gathering, or mixer, handing over their cash in stacks to the allens, brunners, jodreys, and fennels of the cga, ccv, representing those hoping for change and representation…
    what happened to all that cash from the hands of those growers that evening in eureka? i watched as the ryans, betsy’s,patricks, susie’s, johns and eds all forked over large ammounts of black market support dollars. estelle even showed up at the pearl to shake hands, as the new trustees of the movement counted stacks at the private gathering. it was all gonna be for the farmers, it was all going to create the change desired, in favor of the mom and pop. behind closed doors. what idiots.
    ohh you fools. put a man or woman into polotics, and hand him or her tons of money and watch what happens… there is always someone bigger, badder, with way more money than you. who will grease the same palms with more than you did. and your heros and reps, just become politicians. hope you got receipts, but i watched you didnt. where did all that money go? well it got spent, thats for sure. and it wasnt near enough to secure your best interest. but the guys that you handed that money to, well they all have their permits now. thanks to your donations.
    the small farmer never had a leg in this race, never…this is california. money talks. and honestly all the money that just got wased on little guys permittimg processes? you guys had all that cash just laying around? should of kept it burried and gtf out, while the gettin was good. i thoght they promised you a mom and pop permit? they promised! you had seminars about it. about what they promised they were going to do for you, the mom n pop. you had a voice. you earned it. even paid for it…or did you? the stupidest thing is that you couldnt see this coming. remember the first scam…medical, 215…how many of you were giving out your meds for free to all the patients represented on your collective agreements? how many of you were only asking for “just compensation”? its always been about the money. and because you had no integrity in your words or truth, you now get to live this new truth. corporate grows are here. so cal no longer needs your weed. east coast O.G. market will soon dry up for us here.period. you screwed yourselves. but there is light…at least when your all on your own, you can still just F%$K yourself..have fun with that…

    • I wonder if you were even there at that meeting for Fiona Ma.
      The whole focus was a meet and greet for her, Fiona Ma, Who is running for state treasurer of California .
      She was the first politician to try and come up with a workable plan to create a New California banking system specifically for cannabis growers who needs to put their money somewhere other than the ground. Like A BANK , just like other legitimate businesses that operate in California . But the Federal regulations prohibit state and local banks from allowing cannabis farmers to open up accounts.
      So you either we’re not at that meeting, or you were not paying attention as to what you were supposed to be doing there at the meeting, which was support Fiona Ma for treasure .
      Either way, your incoherent meandering bloviating is so out of touch.

      • It wasn’t a meeting for Fiona ma… this was before all of that..before permitting. Before banking seminars, and before you were obviously paying attention. And it was private. Im sure the pearl is a popular destination for more than just yourself get over your ego you are so irrelevant now…what was I doing? Watching fools handing gold to snakes, and having a drink with my girl. It’s like cable but cheaper…and funnier!

    • Perfect

  • Can we please define mom n pop? Cause I feel like our mega grows here will be the mom n pop compared to whats about to happen/is happening in Salinas and the central valley.

    • Why bother. There is no inherent virtue in Mom and Pop pot farms anymore than there was in any other business that fell behind the times. You wouldn’t pay double for the privilege of buying groceries from a Mom and Pop store. Why would you think your unreal nostalgia for a time of raking in untaxed cash when you were the only game in town is enough for people to pay your prices?

  • What has me pissed is all the asshole growers that came to the Pines to grow and won’t donate money to the District to get the roads fixed that the growers fucked up bringing heavy trucks and equipment in on the roads, plus the roads where not built to handle this much traffic, the PMPUD road department sent out 1010 post cards to the parcel owners and only 49 people sent in a donation, shit now we have dead bodies being dumped on our roads.

  • What?!! “Legalization” isn’t working out for small growers?!! Only for the big, greedy, deep-pocketed corporate types?!! The same ones who came here and shredded up our hills for a decade in a very nasty greedrush?!! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!!!!!!!!! WTF did you think would happen? You are all better off campaigning and getting together a new statewide proposition to undo this false “legalization”. It didn’t pass by that much- I bet we could overturn it. C’mon team- let’s do something substantial. Overturn “legalization”….That would send a message alright.

  • Wait……… Liberals want lower taxes? I guess when they enter the real world they find out the policies they have voted for aren’t conducive to small businesses. Live and learn folks. Time to pay your share.

  • Very important meeting.
    The job of checking farms is done by the county agricultural department. I personally talked to them and they have no issue with verification of grows. The planning department is overstepping it’s athourity.

  • Be careful who you vote into office,and be careful of the laws you vote for. You just might get them.
    We made our bed , now we have to sleep in it..

  • This is too much. Why are people complaining about the 2017 tax? You grew cannabis and sold it on the black market. BFF, pay the tax and move on.

    • The tax is due whether anyone actually grew or not.

    • People are complaining because on the interim permits it said u had to turn in before January 1st 2018. U actually didn’t tho. There was zero penalty for doing so and all that would be accomplished from you turning it in before the 1st was them being able to say you had your permit in 2017 and therefore can be charged your sq foot tax. This is regardles if you even grew. Keep in mind, people that applied for non-existing cultivation permits were not supposed to be in operation until they actually got there permit. I’ll end my ranting with I hope mr. Denson destroys them in court

  • Anyone can get online at the county, and see who has applications in and the size of their grows .
    It took a while but I did it cause I wanted to see how many permit applications were the mega grows, medium size grows, and the smaller ones of 10,000 ft.² or less grows.
    There were not very many “mega grows” maybe 4 or 5 of an acre or more.
    The vast majority of applications that I saw were 10,000sq ft or less.
    So the narrative that the “ local small” growers are getting swallowed up by the “local big growers” is really not true at all.

  • groba dude osnt trustafarian

    Oh, boo hoo. Small pot farmers are necessary, after all.

    The point of legalization was so that every person could grow their own, and legally possess it.

    THAT’s a small farmer: Six plants.

    Not $6400/lb at some dispensary!

    I require no pot at all. I require nobody to grow my weed.

    Hope you don’t either.

    Small pot farmers are screwed, and it is about time.

  • small organic farmers rock on all produce.all non organic wine has eagle 20 in it allot do your homework.
    I think its ok to drink it but not smoke it. Im not sure help me out #$HIGHER STANDERED

    Your wine is full of eagle 20 test it !!!!

  • Time to learn the art of growing SAFFRON……LOLOLOL.
    It sells for 16 to 2000 a pound.

  • But aren’t Humboldt County taxes already lower than most counties? And if you were growing last year with a permit application while working on it, you then sold your weed on the underground market (or maybe you haven’t yet) so why should you not pay 2017 taxes? It sounds like a lot of whining from people who are not-so-smart. Why did you jump into the permit process anyway? To be “safe”?! Bad decisions. You are working with “the system” and guess what? They don’t like you, they never have and we all knew that when we went to the hills decades ago. What are you- stupid? Or a newcomer greenrusher with zero background in the resistance? It’s hard to sympathize. You put your own head on the chopping block.

    • Except that people who aren’t permitted are going to be subject to fines anyway. Now that government revenue is on the line, there will be much less willingness of government to turn a blind eye. Violate a law? Maybe as resources allow. Not pay taxes? Never. Sets an awful precedent.

    • What we may escape in taxes is well made up for in the price of goods & services. Bought gas lately? Diesel?

      • Unlike most crime, the penalties for tax evasions include both criminal charges and financial penalties. Regulations are written like that lest all those criminal masterminds think that they’ll just pay the fines out of profits. What happens is that back taxes are calculated based giving no deductions for unproven expenses, then the penalties accrue for not timely reporting, plus interest rates not seen since the 1980s charged on what is owed. On top of any criminal penalty.

        And unlike jail time, no one ever sheds tears over tax dodgers. Except maybe a few Republicans who are not in government themselves.

  • Taxes on a “interim permit” that was only issued in the last 2 weeks of 2017 is ludicrous.
    Which by the way doesn’t mean u have a permit and if you don’t fit the criteria u could still be prosecuted and have your crop cut down and or be fined for a multitude of other potential issues with your grow. Taxes should be a liability once the county has given u approval for the growing year, not retroactively at the end of the season. And the wording of that permit was so shady, it didn’t even list the year you would be liable for taxes, how would anyone know they were referring to 2017 as well?
    There are 1 acre grows that grew last year, didn’t sign and will not be held accountable and there are 2000 sq foot farms that didn’t grow that will be liable for last year’s taxes, that is just plain wrong!
    Incentives for small farmers in this struggling industry are the healthiest thing we can do for our county and economy, support the middle class, diversity and the farms producing a clean superior quality product. Imo the fact that grows larger than 10,000 sq feet are welcome in the county is short sighted and counter productive to our economy. Scarcity creates value and the one thing humboldt should have a leg up on the competition is quality. We should be discouraging over production and rewarding smaller farms.
    If we want to curtail over production then stop approving large farms and start placing liens on large unpermitted grows! Taxing/fining those not willing to permit makes more sense than discouraging and bankrupting those who have volunteered themselves up for compliance.

  • Fennell is not out of touch at all, in fact she has been helping many small farmers through the process. She and Ford helped my family with the last bit to get our permit on our 8,000sq ft. We are doing well financially and are glad we did it, but we planned ahead for this. People knew this was coming and many didn’t plan ahead and now they’re hurting and trying to play “catch up”. The ones that did the work and planned for this day are doing well and you won’t hear them complaining.

  • I’ve tried to email this group a couple of times, but unabe to deliver. Does anyone in Salmon Creek know how to get a hold of these folks or who they are?

  • Anyone who thinks that local government is advantaged by pot growers and should be subsidized like airlines to encourage them to stay in Humboldt Co is pretty delusional. Air travel is considered an advantage to everyone, not just one dubious and shady segment.

    That idea hinges on the belief that cottage pot industries are a significant producer of taxes and jobs. Competition with places that can farm pot like factories will never more allow pot to produce that kind of income. Humboldt made big bucks when pot was illegal because its authorities let it go on where other places didn’t. That’s gone. So going back to the old model, only with taxes included, is impossible.

  • Small taxes on small grows. Drive up in your small trucks

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