The Green Ru$h rolls on; now it’s up to your county Supervisors

Ill-informed and alarming quote of the week:

Board chairwoman and 2nd District Supervisor Estelle Fennell said that the commission had done a “tremendous job to at least wrangle this down into a good product.    



Local Environmental Organizations have sent out alerts:

GREEN RU$H Action Alert: Board of Supervisors Hearing this Tuesday!


NEC logo

On Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 1:30 pm, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will hold its first hearing on a new ordinance to regulate commercial medical MJ cultivation. The County Planning Commission’s recommendations adopted on Dec. 3 set very few limits, and NEC and our allies are calling on the Board of Supervisors to ensure that the ordinance protects the environment and does not result in further expansion of the Green Rush.

We urge you to come to the hearing this Tuesday at 1:30 and contact the Board of Supervisors to call for the following:

 Place a Cap on Total Number of Permits: With approximately 3,300 parcels – more than 10% of the parcels in the County – already having large marijuana grows visible from Google Earth, the top priority must be reining in the environmental impacts of existing grows without allowing massive expansion. We suggest a cap of 2,500 permits in the first three years, followed by a review and consideration of a full EIR to assess carrying capacity of watersheds.

Decrease the Grow Sizes Allowed Without Special or Conditional Use Permits:

The draft ordinance recommended on Dec. 3 would allow much larger grows than even proposed by California Cannabis Voice Humboldt (CCVH), the industry advocates who began the ordinance process last year.

Limit Generator-Dependent Cultivation:

Noise and light from generators in the hills impacts wildlife and quality of life in rural areas. Allowing unlimited indoor and “mixed light” greenhouse grows to run generators day and night to power lights and fans is unacceptable.

Prohibit pesticide use: The County should explicitly prohibit pesticides (including rodenticides, fungicides, insecticides, and herbicides) use on and around cannabis cultivation operations. This can be achieved by requiring that medical marijuana be grown consistent with organic standards, which will protect the environment as well as marijuana workers and consumers.

No New Cultivation on TPZ lands: The County should stop the further proliferation of marijuana cultivation on TPZ (Timber Production Zone) land by prohibiting new operations while existing cultivation sites are cleaned up and brought into compliance. The timber industry has done tremendous damage to our forests and watersheds for decades; clearing hillsides and building more roads will only exacerbate these problems.

Address Carrying Capacity of Watersheds:
The County’s draft ordinance does nothing to address the cumulative impacts of cultivation activities within a watershed. As a whole, existing operations are resulting in unacceptable impacts to waterways, fish and wildlife, and downstream communities. Allowing an unlimited number of permits per watershed is unacceptable.

Ensure Adequate Funding: Meaningful regulation of commercial marijuana cultivation is dependent on adequate funding for inspection and enforcement. We urge the County to pursue a marijuana tax to be placed on the June 2016 ballot for voter approval.


Impacts from illegal water diversion, irresponsible grading, and clearing of forests for grow sites have expanded exponentially in recent years. Salmon streams are particularly hard hit from the combined impacts of drought, decades of harmful logging practices, and unchecked marijuana operations. It is long past time to bring the marijuana industry into compliance with state and local environmental regulations.

Jennifer Kalt, Humboldt Baykeeper

Larry Glass, Northcoast Environmental Center


Submit comments to Kathy Hayes, Clerk of the Board, at to get your comments into the public record. You can also contact the Board of Supervisors directly:

Rex Bohn, District 1:  476-2391

Estelle Fennell, District 2: 476-2392

Mark Lovelace, District 3: 476-2393

Virginia Bass, District 4:  476-2394

Ryan Sundberg, District 5: 476-2395


For more info:

Commercial Marijuana Cultivation Rules Set Few Limits Jennifer Kalt, EcoNews 12/2/15

Draft pot ordinance drawing mixed views Will Houston, Times Standard 12/12/15

STATE OF THE WEED: Can You Guess Where Most of the Weed in Humboldt County is Grown? Hank Sims, Lost Coast Outpost 12/10/15

STATE OF THE WEED: How Many Grows Are There in Humboldt County?

Hank Sims, Lost Coast Outpost 12/10/15

Protecting Watersheds Needs to be First Priority in Pot Ordinance Dan Ehresman, EcoNews 8/1/15

5 thoughts on “The Green Ru$h rolls on; now it’s up to your county Supervisors

  1. If this was a gun control registration proposal the wording would be:

    * free 30 round magazine permit with every registration
    * Registrants are to fill out the form and put it in the box outside the office
    * Registrants are to take the appropriate number of magazine permits,
    one per registrant please
    * leave the money in the cigar box
    * thank you for your cooperation.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Supervisor Fennell: ““tremendous job to at least wrangle this down into a good product.”

    …and…(from action alert)

    “The County Planning Commission’s recommendations adopted on Dec. 3 set very few limits,”

    Yes, this is a good product from the perspective of a property-rights advocate and a SoHum libertarian who has enough on the left convinced that she is one of them.

    Do we have a candidate to run against her or Supervisor Bohn? Anyone?


  3. The TPZ component of this draft is dead on approval. Based on the work of CAl Fish and Wildlife, the CEQA document can not support the ordinance. Easy win for environmental groups. From what I hear, the County Attorneys obviously know this too. Terrible work by a planning commission that really has no regard for our County’s environmental well being.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Rules and laws have existed for decades to enforce environmental laws with regard to marijuana operations.

    This “ordinance attempt” is a “dead cat bounce”.

    Estelle says nice things about the HCPC because if she did not would be to tell the truth.

    Besides, isn’t rubbing shoulders in politics the norm and a legitimate reason to expand government by creating more boards and commissions, committees?

    Be careful what taxpayers as a group ask for above and beyond individual requests.

    Hands Off Policy


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