Hemp blow back at tomorrow’s Board of Supervisors hearing

Some of our readers forwarded this to us. It sounds very controversial and important

(This is from an alert by Humboldt County Growers Alliance)

People need to attend tomorrow’s board of Supervisors hearing related to hemp. Dozens of people are currently lined up at the Ag Commissioner’s office to sign up for unregulated hemp production as I type. From the best I can tell the fish don’t know the difference between thc and cbd cannabis. If the county is going to allow cbd hemp it needs to allow such after going through a robust public process with all stakeholders at the table (environment/DFW/tribes/neighbors).
There is a populist uprising occurring and the unregulated folks think this is the best way to make money after being “left behind” by regulations. I ask you for your perspective on this important issue tomorrow.

Hemp is functionally one of the most complicated issues we’ve seen coming from the policy world. The 2018 U.S. Farm Bill removed the prohibition on hemp production nationwide.  States and jurisdictions around the country are struggling to understand what is legal and what is not. There is no federal, state or local regulatory system for industrial hemp. In theory, industrial hemp can be transported across state lines; however, states e.g. Oklahoma and Idaho are seizing hemp transports and charging transporters with felonies.

The proverbial “Pandora’s Box” has been opened, and once again, gray area has been opened and is ripe for exploitation.

According to existing state and federal law, all hemp varietals that contain less than 0.3% THC are considered “industrial hemp,” regardless of how they are cultivated.

However, while state law distinguishes only between high-THC “cannabis” and low-THC “hemp,” the agricultural reality of hemp cultivation requires a distinction to be made between hemp produced for CBD content and pollinating hemp produced for seed or fiber. We distinguish these categories as follows:

Cannabis – contemplated under the current CCLUO and MAUCRSA, state law essentially defines cannabis as the cannabis plant and its by-products that contain more than 0.3% THC

CBD-hemp – all hemp, including CBD-hemp, is defined under state law as containing less than 0.3% THC. However, CBD-hemp in practice is produced in a manner very similar to high-THC cannabis. CBD-hemp is grown for its flower, is not densely planted, and is grown with care.

Pollinating hemp – referred to as “industrial hemp,” we use pollinating hemp to refer to forms of hemp cultivation that require or traditionally utilize male plants. Typically, pollinating hemp is grown for its seed (often for human consumption in food products) or its fiber. When grown for seed, pollinating hemp requires male plants in order for reproduction to occur. As a practical matter, the cultivation of pollinating hemp does not resemble the cultivation of CBD-hemp or cannabis. Pollinating hemp varieties are densely planted, in huge fields, using tractor tilling,  not feminized, and low in cannabinoid content.

CBD Hemp cultivation and Cannabis cultivation look and smell the same. The plants look and smell the same.

On May 14, at the Board of Supervisors, Sheriff Honsal testified that law enforcement has difficultly telling the difference between CBD Hemp flowers (and plants) and cannabis flower (and plants). The only way to tell the difference between the two plants is with chemical testing.

After nearly 20 years of “gray area” as a result of Prop. 215, finally in California we have clarity on what is and is not legal for cannabis/marijuana. There are environmental laws in place to protect water and wildlife, state regulations, and local land-use regulations for cannabis; none of that exists for hemp production at a local, state or federal level.

 

The current state of Cannabis on the northcoast as viewed by a prominent local citizen

Denver Harold Nelson is a neurosurgeon from Eureka California who has severed on many boards and commissions; he is a very active community member. Denver is a well-respected member of the community. It’s his standing and respect in the community that makes this editorial so interesting and we have to say, “pretty spot on.”

I moved to this area from Alaska over 40 years ago to practice neurosurgery. The natural beauty of this area, the exceptional opportunity for outdoor recreation and the people here made this an ideal place to raise a family. The excellent medical community needed a neurosurgeon.

I decided to invest in timberland for my retirement. My family and I enjoyed working and recreating on our timber lands. We planted thousands of trees, did pre-commercial and commercial thinning. We did not grow marijuana but I had neighbors and patients who did and educated me about marijuana. They were “back to the land” people who bought rural properties. Many of them grew marijuana for extra income; the price was $3,000 per pound, so they didn’t need to grow a lot of plants.

Some growers went to Afghanistan and other exotic areas around the world to get better strains of marijuana which they brought back to breed. The potency got much higher and Humboldt County became known for the marijuana that was grown here. The lawless off-the-grid rural areas allowed easier marijuana growth. Greed prompted many to come to this area to become part of the marijuana culture. The original mom-and-pop way of life was transformed to a lawless illegal generator of huge amounts of crime and cash. The cash trickled down to legitimate businesses and infiltrated the morals and income of most of the citizens of Humboldt County. Many students came to HSU to get the good dope.

When I was on the planning commission about 10 years ago, we received a presentation about the economic sectors of Humboldt County. Marijuana was not mentioned. By this time there were many people growing marijuana on a large scale. I pointed out that growing dope was $1 billion-a-year industry in Humboldt County but was told that since it was illegal, it was not part of Humboldt’s economic plan. The Planning Department and most Humboldt County citizens were not aware of the magnitude of marijuana production.

Marijuana has evolved from a recreational drug to a medicine. From a physician’s point of view, I was always concerned about the dose and the purity of marijuana that was produced. I suggested that HSU would be an ideal place to study these questions in a scientific manner. Unfortunately, HSU set up sociological studies of interrelationships of neighboring marijuana growers instead of studying the scientific aspects of marijuana.

Now mom-and-pop growers in the hills are second or third-generation families who wanted legalization. They got it and now are subject to the permits, bureaucracy and fees imposed by government regulators. The Water Board and Fish and Wildlife bureaucrats are busy imposing fines and chopping down marijuana plants because of the grower’s lack of permits. The County Planning Department and County Planning Commission along with the Board of Supervisors spend the majority of their time dealing with the intricacies of marijuana regulations. And, not to be outdone, four state marijuana bureaucracies have recently taken over half of the Times-Standard building.

And how are we doing? It appears to me that the marijuana- generated fees are needed to pay for the bureaucracy to collect it. Drive to Petrolia or Alderpoint and see how the roads are being improved with the marijuana proceeds. Some of my old marijuana growing friends have reverted to outlaw grows and sales because they can’t afford to grow legally.

The final straw for me was the recent publication in the Redheaded Blackbelt of the alleged scheme of Emanoel Borisov, age 28, Paul Brooks, age 34, and Evgeni Kopankovv to come to Humboldt County to steal $ 3 million in cash from Ivan Iliev at his alleged grow site. The FBI became aware of this plot when a private jet landed in Arcata with $2 million in cash which was seized by the FBI. The confusing plot is related to large marijuana grows and the foreign “agents” imported here because of the ease of growing at marijuana “farms “ that produce millions in cash. The marijuana industry has ruined our way of life. Let them be gone.

I did not come here 40 years ago to grow marijuana or amass huge volumes of cash. I came here because of the magnificent citizens and the natural beauty of the area; mountains, redwood trees, beautiful rivers filled with anadromous fish, splendid ocean and beaches and the world’s best grasslands for raising beef and dairy cattle. These attractions are still here and hopefully will remain after the departure of the criminal marijuana culture.

Denver Nelson resides in Eureka.

From the Times-Standard

 

Sick and tired of the State of California’s failure to regulate cannabis effectively

Here’s your chance to vent!

The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) today announced the upcoming opening of its North Coast Regional Office in Eureka. The office is officially scheduled to open on Monday, July 2 at 8 a.m. Humboldt County Courthouse, 825 Fifth Street, Room 130, Eureka, CA

The office will serve as a temporary location until the Bureau’s permanent office opens later this year.

“The opening of this office allows us to provide greater service to our applicants and licensees in the North Coast Region,” BCC Chief Lori Ajax said. “And while work remains to be done on our permanent location in Eureka, this is a significant first step.”

We encourage you to pay them a visit and let them know how you REALLY feel about this freakin’ corrupt environmental debacle.

Jeff Sessions has a new “after harvest” vacation spot picked out for you

supermax

Hey wait! I thought you said this was a discount flight to Cabo

On Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave the green light to the continued use of privately run prisons, even though the Obama administration had moved to phase them out as no longer necessary given the declining prison population. Sessions said in a memo that the last administration went against long-standing Justice Department policy and practice and “impaired the Bureau’s ability to meet the future needs of the federal correctional system.”

On the same day, the White House suggested he’d more aggressively go after marijuana.

“It’s pretty safe to say that most people assume that the Sessions Justice Department is likely to scale back some of the reforms that were implemented under the Obama administration,” said Nancy La Vigne, director of the justice policy center at the Urban Institute. Sessions, who said last year that “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” warned at his January confirmation hearing that illegal drugs were bringing “violence, addiction and misery” to America, and he pledged to dismantle drug trafficking gangs.

He did sponsor legislation to reduce sentencing disparities between powder and crack cocaine — a gap seen as disadvantaging black defendants. But last year, Sessions opposed bipartisan criminal justice overhaul efforts and has said that eliminating or reducing mandatory minimum sentences weakens the ability of law enforcement to protect the public.

That focus on drug crimes surfaced in the 1980s when Sessions served as United States attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. Drug cases accounted for 40 percent of his office’s convictions, according to a Brennan Center analysis, with Sessions overseeing the prosecution of defendants, including Key West, Florida, residents who smuggled marijuana into Alabama aboard a shrimp boat.

Tougher enforcement of drug laws could be welcomed by some law enforcement officials, including Justice Department prosecutors who felt hamstrung in recent years in their ability to seek long sentences.

from Washington Post and AP

Uncle Jefferson Beauregard Sessions jr wants you 

uncle-sam

 

The real losers in Trump’s new war on weed……………cops

cops-and-weed

Thursday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer indicated the federal government would start cracking down on recreational marijuana. Spicer’s statement reflects Department of Justice head Jeff Sessions’ stated views on pot—in several Congressional hearings, the former Senator denounced legalization and (wrongly) linked the drug to heroin addiction. Still, yesterday’s press conference may have come as an unnerving surprise to legal pot advocates, who’d hoped the industry’s profitability would shield it from the federal government in states where it’s legal.

“Trump seems insistent on throwing the marijuana market underground, wiping out tax-paying jobs and eliminating billions of dollars in taxes,” Ethan Nadelmann, the Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement. “As for connecting marijuana to the legal opioid crisis, Spicer has it exactly backwards. Greater access to marijuana has actually led to declines in opioid use, overdoses and other problems.”

trump-and-weed

But there’s another group, which the administration claims to have great respect for that loses out any time the drug war is ramped up: cops.

Lori Chassee, a retired criminal investigator who worked outside of Chicago, tells Raw Story that based on her experience, not only is policing marijuana a colossal waste of time and energy, it actually decreases public safety and puts police in danger.

“If you’ve got someone fearful of arrest and of prosecution, they might get desperate and that does put officers in a higher risk position,” Chassee says. “Beyond that, leaving the distribution of drugs in the criminal element is going to present a danger to public and police officers.”

She points out that legalization leads to a drop in violence associated with illegal drugs, since profitable black markets give people the incentive to “kill and die,” Chassee says. “Anything  we can do to minimize that makes us all safer.”

But the drug war has collateral damage far beyond the physical violence manifesting in places in places like Chicago, which the President has pledged to make safer.

Chassee, who now speaks on behalf of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, decided she was finished with the drug war after participating in an undercover operation targeting a marijuana dealer. He was their main target, she says—problem was, he was savvy enough to send his young girlfriend to make the sales, so in the end the large scale bust brought down a young mother. The state took her child away and she went to prison.

“To this day I don’t know if she was ever reconnected with her child,” Chassee says.  “So who’s paying the biggest penalty here? She is, for love of a dirtbag. This just isn’t right.”

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/heres-how-trumps-anti-weed-crackdown-puts-cops-in-danger-according-to-a-former-police-officer/

 

California Legalization 2016 Heats Up: Major Endorsement from Emerald Cup’s Tim Blake

The Statewide legalization push isn’t getting much local press even though it could have a huge impact here in Humboldt County. So we’re going to keep passing along news about legalization as we hear about it.

http://www.eastbayexpress.com/LegalizationNation/archives/2015/12/14/california-legalization-2016-heats-up-major-endorsement-from-emerald-cups-tim-blake

The likelihood of California cannabis legalization increased dramatically (last) Saturday night when the leading initiative — the Adult Use of Marijuana Act — garnered crucial endorsements from community leader Tim Blake, organizer of the world’s biggest outdoor organic cannabis competition, The Emerald Cup.

“You know what, I’m going to endorse this thing,” Blake said, to a mix of applause and outrage among activists assembled for a legalization debate at the Cup in Sonoma County.

The Emerald Cup organizer and industry icon Tim Blake, far left, talks back to heckler Kevin Saunders during a legalization debate Saturday. - DAVID DOWNS

The Emerald Cup organizer and industry icon Tim Blake, far left, talks back to heckler Kevin Saunders during a legalization debate last Saturday.

A united effort to legalize adult use cannabis in California has a 55-percent chance to succeed in 2016, experts conclude, while an effort fractured by in-fighting would almost certainly fail.

AUMA’s official proponents are noted physician Donald Lyman and environmentalist Michael Sutton, and the proposal is rapidly gaining momentum.

Leading reform groups Marijuana Policy Project, Drug Policy Alliance, and the California Cannabis Industry Association have endorsed the measure.

Last week, rival group ReformCA withdrew from the race, with at least six ReformCA board members endorsing AUMA.

One of the cultivation’s community’s biggest leaders, Blake, joined them Saturday — stating that AUMA is the only chance for progress in 2016. No other group has the funds or coalition to run a winning initiative in 2016, he said. Ten groups have filed initiatives.

“I’m for an initiative where we should get more, but … you’re still dealing with the cops and the counties that want to opt in and out, the Chambers of Commerce, and all those people and they’re not going to bend,” he said.

“So then it comes down to, ‘those [other groups] don’t have a chance.’ I like them, [but] … they don’t have a chance in the next ten years to get it done.

“We have a chance right now to do this, and I’m not thrilled with some of the aspects,” he continued. “But I’m going to end up endorsing this. ”

Blake said he will await a title and summary for AUMA “before I finalize that, but I’m going to endorse this, because we’re going to stop the people raiding people. We’re going to make this legal.”

Scattered applause met Blake’s comments. About half of the audience polled said they would vote for AUMA. Half of the die-hard cannabis crowd did not.

San Jose activist Kevin Saunders, working for a rival legalization camp, stood up and shouted at Blake “your credibility is at stake! One ounce?! Six plants?! This is a giveaway!” he said, referring to the personal possession and cultivation limits in AUMA.

Attorney Matt Kumin jumped down from the stage to help escort Saunders away from the debate.

California Cannabis Industry Association Executive Director Nate Bradley said incremental reform will win the day. “We’re not going to get everything all at once,” he said. “[AUMA] is not perfect. It’s right in the middle.”

Competing initiative writer and Sacramento attorney George Mull also voiced his grudging support for AUMA Saturday night — leaving just a few fringe legalization groups actively opposing the initiative.

Rival legalizer Dave Hodges of San Jose said he will wait to see the official title and summary for AUMA before endorsing it or not, but “we’re going to support an initiative that moves us forward.”

Hodges said his group had “no champion” with $20 million in the bank to support his alternative. “Raising money on a grassroots effort is very difficult,” he said.

One word hurled around like an epithet by activists Saturday night — “Sean Parker” — a multi-billionaire technologist/philanthropist whose support ignited AUMA’s lift-off and polarized some existing players. Activists said they don’t know Parker, fear his intentions, or just feel left out of the historic process.

Kumin said the multibillion-dollar cannabis industry had a decade to get organized and fund a more liberal alternative and can only blame itself.

“You could have gone out into your backyards and dug up the millions of dollars you have buried out there, but you didn’t,” he said.

“It’s not child’s play here, you guys,” said Kumin. “You need the money.”

Kumin asked for a show of hands of who would give $1,000 to an AUMA rival. One person raised their hand. “See,” said Kumin. “[The community] looks like children who can’t cut their way out of a wet paper bag.”

“Bottom line is George [Mull] and Dave [Hodges],” said Blake, “you know your initiatives are not going to go through. This is the only initiative that has a chance.”

David Downs – East Bay Express

 

Important links:

The California Attorney General estimates that adult use legalization could generate up to $1 billion per year in tax revenue.

The amended text of AUMA has also been posted to the state’s website.

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!

baykeeper

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 khayes@co.humboldt.ca.us to get your comments into the public record. You can also contact the Board of Supervisors directly:

Rex Bohn, District 1:  476-2391
rbohn@co.humboldt.ca.us

Estelle Fennell, District 2: 476-2392
efennell@co.humboldt.ca.us

Mark Lovelace, District 3: 476-2393
mlovelace@co.humboldt.ca.us

Virginia Bass, District 4:  476-2394
vbass@co.humboldt.ca.us

Ryan Sundberg, District 5: 476-2395
rsundberg@co.humboldt.ca.us

 

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