Here’s the important part of an article about Humboldt County’s cannabis culture forwarded to us by commenter re:pete
California Cannabis Voice(ccv) is seeking to stave off this fate by drafting an ordinance to be backed by the county’s Board of Supervisors. The ordinance sets “best practices” guidelines for growers and calls upon the county government to support, regulate and promote ethical cultivators. The hope is that growers complying with the ordinance will be grandfathered into the licensing process once legalization goes statewide. The ordinance, now in its sixth draft and expected to be on the desks of the board by June, is being touted as the future industry standard.
Several environmental groups (epic, Friends of the eel, and the Northcoast Environmental Center) have sounded the alarm as the ordinance process moves forward, saying that CCV is rushing the process through without creating the regulatory framework necessary to enforce environmental stewardship. The environmental impact of illegal grows has been a hot topic for a while—pesticides, water diversions and illegal grading have all left their mark on the local landscape. The ordinance contains language which addresses these issues, but many say the wording is too nebulous and there are just too many loopholes to take the risk of giving growers cultivation carte blanche.
Dan Ehresman, executive director of the Northcoast Environmental Center, was present for the initial stakeholder meeting when the ordinance was being drafted.
“We may have been hopeful at the beginning of this process that they were going to be listening to a broad base of stakeholders, but it’s clear that they have a set agenda and that they’re moving forward without including these essential components that a lot of people talked about,” said Ehresman in a recent radio interview.
Far from simply supporting the mom-and-pop grows that are touted as the backbone of the cannabis community, Ehresman and others worry the language in the ordinance, as it stands, opens the door for commercial agriculture with little to no oversight of environmental impact.
“Any ordinance needs to have funding for not only running the program but enforcing important environmental laws that are being violated right now. We need to deal with the existing impacts to salmon and downstream communities before we can even think about expanding exponentially from where they are today. Unfortunately, CCV’s proposed ordinance is geared towards turbocharging the green rush while enabling mega-grows at the expense of family-scale farms, healthy watersheds and safe communities,” says Ehresman, “A lot of people in the cultivation community are well-intentioned and want to address environmental concerns, but [the] current initiative only plays lipservice to it.”
Full article in the Fix https://www.thefix.com/content/emerald-triangle-cannabis-linda-stansberry0413