Home > marijuana > Humboldt pot ordinance in the works

Humboldt pot ordinance in the works

The Humboldt Medical Marijuana Advisory Panel is seeking comments on wording for an ordinance to regulate marijuana should prop. 19 — the statewide Tax Cannabis 2010 initiative — pass in November.

“[The draft] numbers (taxes, plant numbers) are highly speculative and open to input, as is the rest of the ordinance,” according to HMMAP. Below are some of the draft details.

  • $500/year for a Cultivation license.  Allows 25 plants per licensee or 99 plants per parcel, whichever is less.  Sales only to holder of Processing License or their agent.
  • $750/year for a Nursery license. Allows cultivation of 1000 plants.
  • $1000/year for a Processing license. Allows processing and packaging marijuana, with each package not to exceed an ounce.
  • $3000/year for a Wholesale license.
  • $2000/year for a Retail license.
  • $2500/year for a Farmer-Processor-Retailer license.  Allows cultivation and sales on site.

Read the draft here.

And for the NoHummers who feel left out of the recent pot conferences held in Southern Humboldt and Mendocino County, a July 24th free event called Humboldt Cannabis — a Future of Opportunity will be held at the Bayside Grange from 2-6pm.

  1. Ponder z
    July 12, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Well f@ck that. We don’t pay any taxes or have the Government looking over our shoulder now, why start?

    OR

    $750. and I can grow 1000 plants. Sweet, outdoor 16′ tall. About 2# of weed each.

    AND

    What about NON-thc producing hemp? For hemp seed and fiber? I don’t want to pay for THC tax on non THC plant. Even though they are classed the same by the US Gov. It would be like paying alcoholic beverage tax on grain alcohol use for fuel. Different use, different TAX.

    OH

    Lets not forget the federal government. They will want their fair share too. Even though they don’t recognize this state sanctioned law.

  2. Anonymous
    July 12, 2010 at 7:53 am

    make sure they have liability insurance and workers’ comp like they do for the rest of us who license our businesses. fire department inspections for indoor grows, sprinkler systems, and safety and environmental inspections should be a condition of the permit.

  3. July 12, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Someday if I am able to find a place to live where I can have a garden I will grow myself a patch of pot for my personal use. I will use it spiritually, medicinally, and occasionally recreationally.

    I will not pay anyone $500 for the “privilege” of growing my own for personal use. I have no objection to taxing commercial growers of recreational products. I do object to the taxation of medicine or spiritual materials. Should we tax the wine that the Catholics serve at communion? Should we tax the toxic bullshit that is spewed out by Pfizer et al?

    Are you listening, Board of Supervisors? Are you listening, Democrats and Republicans?

    I, and you, and all of us, have the right to use (God’s) or (Nature’s) (take your pick) bounty for our health and pleasure. It is a right that no government can take from us.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  4. Anon
    July 12, 2010 at 8:17 am

    I’m so glad Charlie C. found something to work on that he actually knows something about.

  5. High Finance
    July 12, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Uh, the polls show the proposition is losing 44% to 48%.

    There is still hope that Calif won’t frack itself with more drugs.

  6. who dem dat slew dem
    July 12, 2010 at 8:35 am

    The bill will probably not pass. A s.f. chronicle poll showed that young white males are in favor of measure but that others and older people are not in favor of measure. I remember about 15 years ago, the bay area, especially college aged kids were in opposition to repealing affirmative action. To listen to the bay area media, the measure would not pass. Well it won overwhelmingly everywhere even in Oakland and Berkeley. My point: you never can tell and there are a ton of people in so cal who still look at pot as poison and not medicine.

  7. July 12, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Marijuana is not a drug, it’s a PLANT.

    So says Arnold, our Republican Governor.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  8. so...
    July 12, 2010 at 8:40 am

    …is “collective” to be the cannabis world’s “corporate”? Thank you, NORML, for volunteering yourselves to be the money managers. “Free the weed” is looking less and less like “free weed”, and it will still be difficult for people who need it most to get it. It disgusts me that over the last decade, marijuana talk has gone from mind/body/spirit to business/money/manage.

  9. Anonymous
    July 12, 2010 at 8:50 am

    It’s not about medicine, right? It’s more about recreation.

  10. F--- the State
    July 12, 2010 at 8:56 am

    More taxes? Stupid idea. $500 just to grow a plant? $1,000 to prepare it for consumption and you can’t even put it all in one bag if it weighs over an ounce? How’d y’all get rich enough to consider this a good idea?

  11. July 12, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Medical cannabis is already legal in California, so yes I would say that full legalization is (largely) about recreational use.

    Legalization will tend to help medicinal users, it will give them an extra layer of protection from the fascist DEA and fascist cops who have been corrupted by the corporate fascist system we live under. And no, I am not saying that all cops are fascist, but the ones who are accepting cash payments from the feds are certainly as corrupt as any Mexican cartel or Colombian cartel.

    There are four uses for cannabis: Spiritual, medicinal, recreational and industrial (hemp.)

    As a recreational “drug” cannabis is far safer than alcohol, for instance.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  12. longwind
    July 12, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Small-scale personal cultivation wouldn’t be taxed under any proposal I’ve seen. But how much becomes commercial? The triggers are very low.

    I kinda think medical marijuana’s the path of evolution for our laws and practices, whether or not the initiative passes in November. Interesting points on how unpredictable that vote will be. I think the genie’s out of the bottle win or lose.

    One thing’s sure, it ain’t your grandmother’s legalization. Many vested interests are redefining legalization beyond what a time-warp 1970 stoner could recognize.

  13. so...
    July 12, 2010 at 9:29 am

    The last sections, from G. down, especially make me sick. Really think about what this is saying. No corporate entity involved my ass. The audacity of NORML, after all the support they’ve been given, finally on the front of legalization, to prime themselves to be the nation’s Marijuana Corp. Read the following and think about the implications:

    G. The Council may issue research licenses for a bona fide conduct of
    medical, social, behavioral or other research, upon such conditions and terms
    as the authority may prescribe consistent with the objectives of this ordinance.

    Section 4. No license shall be issued to any person who during the preceding
    ten years has been convicted of a felony except a felony involving cannabis.

    Section 5. No license or permit shall be required for the cultivation or
    processing of cannabis for personal or family use, and not for sale, by a
    person over the age of 21 years. The aggregate amount of cannabis with
    respect to any household shall not exceed 12 pounds of cannabis flowers if
    there are two or more adults in the household, or 6 pounds of cannabis
    flowers per calendar year if there is only one adult in the household.

  14. so...
    July 12, 2010 at 9:37 am

    …re: a few above comments, I would argue that one’s recreational wellbeing is directly related to that of their mind/body/spirit. Kick up the evolution a notch, we all know this to be true…why dance around that fact with fancy phrases.

  15. July 12, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Let us remember that the Fifth Amendment (toilet paper for you authoritarian Republicans and Democrats) guarantees people the right to no self-incrimination.

    As long as our fascist Federal government says that pot is illegal, it will be illegal (unconstitutional) for our State government to compel us to pay taxes, because the record keeping requirement will be used against us in Federal court.

    Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  16. July 12, 2010 at 10:10 am

    People who deal in weed in any fashion are dirty and deserve their place in Hell-

    I hope Lucifer straps them to a sticker covered toyota and has illegal scum from Nicaragua yell at them and they never get paid. Anyone who grows dope and uses nicas & ticos is slime, sohum is full of slime.

  17. so...
    July 12, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I completely agree with everything you’ve said, highboldt. It’s naive to think the federal government doesn’t have their own idea of how social evolution is to play out, and that they aren’t (or haven’t been) keeping very close tabs on the whole affair. Which is why it irks me even more that the business end of legalization is the forefront of the “movement”, when it could be about really giving people what we want. It’s obvious NORML and the proprietors of places like Oaksterdam are greasing some big palms to be so prominent with what they’re doing. Let’s not forget the #1 pitch of Oaksterdam University isn’t “grow and share” but “you too could make $50-100 thousand dollars per year growing pot!” That’s literally their pitch. They are flag waving capitalists. And now they want to be the money movers and paper shufflers for what would become the national network. I could buy into the whole “this is just a necessary step” idea a lot more if this step didn’t set the stage for more beaurocratic business as usual. Another hand pinching the bag, with the big businesses who are making the laws already “in the business” themselves. The federal goverment has their own agenda that will come to fruition regardless of how this issue pans out…you can bet they’ve already got their people “inside” where it counts. I don’t think it’s paranoia, but making sense of how it is vs. what has gone down similarly in the past.

  18. longwind
    July 12, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I agree about Oaksterdam (and mostly with Highboltage) but I wouldn’t be so suspicious of NORML. They’ve been in the trenches a long time, and they’re not in it for money.

    Through all the baloney and greed etc, what we’re talking about is baby steps toward true justice, where people don’t go to jail. We know so little about justice this is going to take years and years. My instinct is to support every pipsqueak of progress–and pay for it with tax money, which is what the progress turns out to be made of. Highboltage is right about the Fifth Amendment too, so whatever happens, it’ll still be a mess.

  19. so...
    July 12, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    I dunno, longwind. I’d like to think it’s all clean and green, but when you really realize how arbitrary the potential “law” still is, what they just threw on the table is putting a lot of words into a lot of people’s mouths without the average joe really knowing what’s going on. For instance, isn’t this about legalization and taxation? How about NO licence fees or stupid programs of paperwork? There’s NO reason it needs to be part of what people are going to vote for in November. Why discriminate against people under 21years old? Why not at LEAST 18? Why eliminate opportunity for people with felonies? Why don’t they deserve to be part of this movement? Tax and regulate per THC grade? That’s going to bring in a whole nuther department of affairs. The ordinance above stinks of elitist money.

    You have to remember, it’s all COMPLETELY ARBITRARY as of right now, and still very illegal in the eyes of the feds. Why not truely open the door at the beginning and let we the people figure it out as we go along? FREE THE WEED for crying out loud…people are looking for true legalization…not another alcohol situation.

  20. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    July 12, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    WHo are the members on this panel anyhow? Are they former growers, current patients, etc… For whom to we bestow confidence upon???

    Anyone KNOW if this is one of many drafts? Or, is this it – now down to language definitions, clarity, specifics, etc…

    I’ll wait for the final product when it comes before the supes prior to any vote – that is the time to nullify, rip and shred.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  21. Jeff B.
    July 12, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    After recently moving back to Eureka, I realize that it sucks pretty bad. The school system is in bad shape and both the city and the county need tax revenue. Why not tax the growers and have them take part in paying for community projects and services? Let them grow but take a chunk of their money like you take a chunk of mine to fund all the local entities that we need around here. Everyone knows most people around here are growing. However, they’re making money without kicking down. That will negatively affect this community in the long run. Change it and maybe this place will start to look a little nicer and things like our school system will function at a substantially higher level.

  22. High Finance
    July 12, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    If, God forbid, pot is made legal Jeff B., the extra taxes won’t go to schools. They will go to help pay for some of the increased costs dealing with more drugs in society.

  23. Walt
    July 12, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I saw a story on this the other day, but I haven’t seen it referred to here: a RAND study on the effects of legalization in Calif. RAND being RAND, you can take a lot with a grain of salt (like the prediction the tax income would be a lot less than the State estimate), but they say the price “could drop to as low as $38 per ounce compared to about $375 per ounce today.”
    If that or something close to that were to happen, that would be the end of grow houses. . .and the end to most commercial growing in HumCo. They agree with HiFi, that usage would increase, but I doubt that.

    I don’t know how to do links, but here’s the address of the press release: http://www.rand.org/news/press/2010/07/07/

    If y’all have seen it already. . .never mind.

  24. Not A Native
    July 12, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Yeah Walt I saw it but didn’t bother to post. I thought maybe H. would put it out there. If your predictions are accurate, HumCo will benefit. I hope the measure passes, despite its weaknesses.

    Not many posters here will dare comment on the report. You know, its like “speak of the devil….”. I’d earlier offhandedly predicted pot prices could fall to $40 under legalization, and the hate was palpable. It’ll be fun the read the spinning denial BS about taste and terroir.

    We all know who in HumCo really wants it to pass, and who doesn’t. Growers are shaking in their boots. Like all other traffikers, they oppose honest(law based) commerce because their business plan relies on dishonest(contraband based) commerce.

  25. longwind
    July 12, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    It delights me when I agree with NAN, but s/he makes it so disagreeable. Heraldo’s post plugs an organization of growers who support legalization, remember, NAN?

    Geezers will recall (I see Walt does) that the Pentagon Papers showing what a lying fiasco our war in Vietnam was were in large part swiped from RAND, the rental ideologue of power.

    They say the ‘free market’ will plummet prices. I wish we had a free market, but you have to be from RAND to think there’s one in America anymore. Oakland is consolidating vertically integrated monopolies, not freeing markets. I have no idea how things will shake out, but I’ve developed a sublime faith that they won’t evolve sensibly. There’s a future in pot, which local oligarchs are aiming to lock up before Phillip Morris (by whatever name) is unlocked. We shouldn’t start smoking tobacco yet.

  26. anonymous
    July 12, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    The radio ads I have heard promoting Prop 19 all talk about money for the schools. Not saying that will happen, just that they are using that as a “hook.”

    I definitely see this as more applicable to recreational use – the medical marijuana laws are already covering that to a large degree, so why not make it legitimate. I’m in favor of legalization for many reasons. One, I feel it’s inevitable for and see no real reason it shouldn’t be. It would, hopefully, help mitigate the criminal element, add to our tax base and gain some control over the cultivation.

    However, I have to admit to not really knowing the specifics of Prop 19 and if it is the “right” way to go about legalization.

  27. Not A Native
    July 12, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    longwind, I’m not at all sure who’s behind the group H. references in this thread. Lee Ulansey apparently is a supporter. And I wouldn’t say H. is plugging it. Its just a news item that’s also in the TS. Just because H. posts something doesn’t make it a “plug”.

    I think you’re paranoid and cynical, with an axe to grind about being subject to supply and demand. Rather than getting your panties bunched up over the phrase “free market” and go on a rant, how about just considering “legal market” and muse on the fact that open markets with publically agreed regulations result in better economic outcomes for society than clandestine markets in contraband?

  28. Not A Native
    July 12, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    BTW longwind, the organization’s name references Medical pot, not recrerational pot. So I’d guess legitimate dispensaries(yes I think there are some) rather than illegal black market growers are behind it. Likely they’re interested in augmenting their legitimate medical customers with recreationally ones.

  29. so...
    July 12, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Not a Native, where’d you move here from, Beverly Hills? Where in america are the schools and county NOT in need of money? If you think growers are afraid of legalization, you’re only making it loud and clear that you’re out of touch with half the community, and putting your own narrow-minded bias in a spotlight.

    The dispute is that the regulations being drawn up by the self-proclaimed regulators are NOT what the people want. You’re arguing against your own point.

  30. so...
    July 12, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    …my bad, btw, in confusing JB with NAN above…but their scope is close enough.

  31. the reasonable anonymous
    July 12, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    NAN said: “…open markets with publically agreed regulations result in better economic outcomes for society than clandestine markets in contraband.”

    I generally agree with that proposition, which is why I favor full legalization, not just in California but nationwide, and in the meantime I’ll generally support whatever baby steps in that direction that a majority of folks are willing to take, including this fall’s Prop 19, despite its imperfections.

    Of course when NAN says “society” that’s in the broadest sense, and rightly so. However it is certainly likely, maybe even inevitable that our more local community will lose dollars in the short term due to legalization, especially if it ever really materializes in a nation-wide way.

    Losing income locally is regrettable, but certainly its no justification for continuing to send people to prison for growing an herb that offers significant medicinal properties, and also happens to be a mildly euphoric recreational drug that’s far less harmless and addictive than many legal substances, especially alcohol and tobacco.

    Unfortunately, according to the recent polling, the Legalization Initiative on this fall’s ballot, prop 19 is already somewhat behind in the polls (albeit narrowly) and if I recall correctly, most initiatives tend to lose support rather than gain support as the election nears. But maybe this one will be the exception…we’ll see.

  32. tinkerbell
    July 13, 2010 at 1:37 am

    Sounds more like a license to grow than a tax. Seems like the powers that be want to make money off anyone making money. Well they can tax the income one earns. I object to a tax on growing. What if you have a bad season or install your fans backwards and lose a crop? Do they tax the artichoke growers and then tax their income too? Do you need a license to grow artichokes?

  33. longwind
    July 13, 2010 at 8:01 am

    The thing about a growing tax is, it’s fairer than other revenue-enhancement techniques. For example, Oakland’s latest proposal is to permit 4 or 5 giganta-grows–the biggest is 7 acres of indoor in one facility–and ban small suppliers, period, for a simple fee of $210,000 per year, plus tax. No refund if your artichokes fail, and no escape from vertical integration squeezing out the little guys. They’re already legislating our Standard Oil of weed. Humboldt can and should support a decentralized cooperative model that competes on quality, karma and sustainability.

    NAN, many people read the writing on the wall and are responding to it. Medical marijuana is the likeliest regulatory future, so people all over our local industry are gravitating to that standard. Interestingly, some will calculate more advantage in staying illegal. The better our regulated medical market performs here and across the state, the sooner black-market growers will integrate into it, or belly up. I hope. My point’s been that if you seek clear categories, present reality isn’t where to look for them. We can’t expect clarity as we start moving forward. We’re evolving order out of chaos.

  34. so...
    July 13, 2010 at 8:58 am

    I understand and for the most part agree with what you’re saying, reasonable and longwind…the actual bill behind prop. 19 is fluff. I don’t see what’s to oppose, really…except that it’s all about money…which is okay in it’s current open-ended state. The idea of taxing it is ridiculous, will fail to generate, except peanuts from anybody who wants to go ‘corporate’ (you can use whatever nicer sounding word you want) who will ultimately end up working AGAINST the little guys who have been at it for a loooong time. You already see this attitude among people who say if you’re not into it for and with a 215, you’re a criminal. That growing has to be about regulated medicine. That’s the attitude anyway. This kind of talk wasn’t around before 215. It’s not a happy community attitude.

    I strongly object to it putting bigger punishment on anybody under 21 than the slap-on-the-wrist they receive now…it completely goes against everybody’s understanding of maturity, responsibility, and basically shows that the people who’re wrote it have forgotten what it’s like to be 21 and under, and don’t care to up the ante of california’s intelligence pool. Marijuana isn’t an alcoholic “medicine”.

    My big beef is with the above proposal. It isn’t a baby step…it’s a complete, restrictive plan that doesn’t let we the people start with a clean slate. I want to say it outloud with a megaphone BBUUUULLLLLSSSHHIIIIITT. Screw these people jumping in and taking charge and saying anybody who wants to make a business out of it has to fork over thousands of dollars to them. Who the hell are they to speak for everybody?

    NO license fees or permit paperwork bullshit, period. Screw their tax plan, too. IT’S NOT A BABY STEP! It’s prejudiced against the poor and young…which tells you a bit about who they are.

    In the very least, if legalization flies, there should be a solid year or two letting the REAL MAJORITY of people play the field, so to speak, and decide what to do from there. See how things go within an open legal “market”. THAT WOULD BE SMART AND FAIR.

    Sorry for the caps, but really, the above proposal is stinky ass bullshit.

  35. longwind
    July 13, 2010 at 11:09 am

    I emphatically agree with almost everything you say. It’s sick that the strategy for undercutting the lock-’em-up lobby begins by pandering to them.

    I think of this as transitional language that will make better changes inevitable. Compare these statutes to the family nations that Napoleon set up for his brothers and nephews after he conquered most of Europe. You’ve never even heard of those bozos–but the old order’s Humpty Dumpties couldn’t be put back together again, and the nations remain.

    I know we’re on the same page, and I’ll be holding my nose when I vote for this stinker. We all should, because demonstrated support for change will make it happen faster.

  36. so...
    July 13, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    thanks longwind, I hope somebody makes some kinda sense of my ranting. I simply don’t believe the Reuters poll suggesting the bill is trailing. I think it’s a complete lie…crazier things have happened on a much larger scale many times.

    My worries are that there will be more harsh prosecution of people under 21. Getting a DUI can really cripple somebody financially and employment wise in the short and long terms. It’s not fair or intelligent in terms of moving society forward. Also this forming of a self-elected California Department of Marijuana, micromanaging operations on a county-to-county basis, needs to put our money where their mouth is and take it slow. They’re acting like they know something we don’t. It’s authoritarian in principle. It shows they’re already a collective and want to establish an infrustructure built around them. Taxing it is bad enough, if you ask me. Nobody owns rights to the plant.

    The average joe on the street who likes to smoke sees the bill as simply “legalize marijuana”. It means a lot of freedom, and so should it be.

  37. the reasonable anonymous
    July 13, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    As far as folks between 18 and 21, I have the same problem with not allowing them to use legal ganja as I do with the age of legality for alcohol. Namely, that if society deems an 18 year old mature enough to join the army, be issued a gun, hand grenades and so on, make life-and-death decisions following the rules of engagement, drive a humvee or a tank, man a machine gun or a mortar or a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher, and put their life on the line for the “cause” and/or for their fellow soldiers, and very possibly wind up gravely wounded, permanently disabled, or dead, well they damn well oughtta be mature enough to handle a beer or a joint when they get home from their tour of duty!

    If I were in their shoes today, and I came home from fighting for “freedom” overseas only to be reminded again and again that I was still a second-class citizen at home, well I’d be seriously pissed off. In fact if discriminatory penalties for pot use by those under 21 are enacted in California, I would be willing to bet that some of those who will lead the fight to repeal them will be just such soldiers. How could anyone look them in the eye and try to tell them that after everything they’ve been through, they don’t have the judgement or maturity to handle a joint or a glass of wine. Talk about “the law is an ass.”

    Conversely, if a 20 year-old is deemed not to have the judgement and maturity to make wise decisions about alcohol or ganja use, then we have absolutely no business allowing them (or in a draft situation *requiring* them) to serve in the armed forces. Over the years, I have raised this point with regard to alcohol with many people who have disagreed, but not one of them could make any kind of even passably cogent, valid, and persuasive argument as to why this double-standard makes a lick of sense.

    And yes, if you disagree, consider this a challenge to try to provide such an argument. Otherwise, you should either support full rights for 18-year-olds, or else you should support moving the age where one can enlist in or be drafted into the military to 21.

  38. July 13, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    The draft is illegal and should be non-violently resisted.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  39. the reasonable anonymous
    July 13, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Or maybe 25 or 30. I bet we’d have a lot less wars-of-choice if we didn’t feed our children to the machine the minute they graduate from high school (or not) and are facing an uncertain and discouraging employment future.

  40. Furrow
    July 14, 2010 at 8:56 am

    In Mendocino County, patients are required to pay the $1,050 application fee under the ordinance, which allows collectives to grow up to 99 plants provided they comply with certain regulations. So,what happens? The DEA showed up and threw everyone down to the ground!If you like to cultivate Ganja on a large-scale,you should have been paying your dues in the first place!You should donate $10.00 for every plant you grow to a local charity.The D.A.prosecutor,the judges,and your lawyers donate to networks like CASA Kids or Humboldt-5.Pay your dues before the season! You just bought yourself a “No-Fly Zone” permit,a Get Out Of Jail Free card(for any kind of arrest),and a handshake from your local law enforcement! Who signs the warrant for your arrest?It’s really sad that they cutback the Sheriff jobs.I’m sure they will be hired by corporate security to roam around the hills and alleys of Humboldt County.Yup,these are the guys that will come audit your plants!The new code enforcement officers, coming to check out your cabin or your electrical circuits for your 10-lighter indoor grow-op.Cops will pop your property with Prop 19! Growers,stop being greedy and pay your dues!Why do you think homeless people hangout in the same spot all the time? A few of them have an alliance with local law enforcement!

  41. the reasonable anonymous
    July 24, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Heraldo,

    Your summary leaves out a lot of the bureacratic requirements in the proposal. I hope people actually clicked on the link for the full proposal, because it’s nowhere near as good as the summary makes it sound.

    And one specific point that is really misleading in your summary: the Nursery license actually only involves the ability to cultivate 1,000 small clones or seedlings, which must then be sold to a holder of a Cultivator or Farmer license, not grown by the Nursery license holder for harvest.

    After reading the full proposal, I have a lot of concerns about it, which I posted on the link on Sohum Parlance and on the Hummap.org site

    http://hummap.org/2010/07/12/proposed-humboldt-county-recreational-marijuana-ordinance/comment-page-1/#comment-124

    Here are those comments:

    Ellen,

    Thanks for your response on Sohum Parlance re: the issue of requiring processors to bag it in amounts of no more than an ounce and how that could put them at risk of increased Federal charges if busted by the DEA. I’m glad to hear you are open to revising your proposal, though now that I’ve looked at it in detail, I think a complete overhaul is in order, rather than just a little fine tuning. It just seems way heavy on needless bureacracy, rules with no discernable reason behind them, regressive taxation (or “license fees” if you prefer), advantages to bigger operators and obstacles for small farmers, mandatory middlemen, etc., etc.

    Really I do “feel the same” as you do about all the people who have needlessly lost their freedom, their jobs, their homes, their families and so on due to the pointless and counterproductive War on Pot. But I do have some concerns that semi-legalization coupled with over-regulation may cause real problems of its own. Among these are the problem that in order to obey the California law, and a Humboldt County ordinance, people will be forced to openly declare their noncompliance with federal law, possibly in a way that will provide evidence for federal prosecution. The trimmer/processor issue is just one of the areas where this comes into play.

    Of course the Federal idiocy we call Prohibition is not your fault, nor is it the fault of proponents of Prop 19, but it does have to be taken into consideration, and I’m not sure it has been, at least not carefully enough. Of course, some aspects of this conflict may be unavoidable, for example if you’re going to tax sales of cannabis and/or require a license from those who sell it, then those people will need to identify themselves and expose themselves to the risk of federal prosecution. But let’s not expose people we don’t have to by requiring a “processor’s license” (for $1,000!) for anyone who is going to trim buds for a few weeks a year. The potential exposure would be twofold: (1) those who got the license would be exposed to Federal charges and the purchase of the license might be allowed as evidence, and (2) those who trimmed for a few days (which would not even cover the $1,000) and therefore did NOT bother getting the license, would be exposed to state or county charges.

    This makes no sense to me…the question it inevitably leads to is: Why even require trimmers to get a license in the first place, except as an attempt to raise revenues (one that probably won’t work since most will simply ignore the requirement and take their chances)? If it’s revenues you’re trying to raise, the only way to really make that work is to tax the retail sales…like we do with virtually all other products. That’s where it can be monitored and enforced, and where it will hit everyone the same, rather than differently according to the size of their operations (and in your proposal, the revenue-raising scheme hits the smallest operators the hardest, and the largest the least…see below).

    Several of the other items in your proposed Humboldt ordinance also left me scratching my head. It’s not clear to me whether the holder of a Cultivation license would be allowed to process (including trimming) their own product, or whether that would require them to get the more expensive Processor’s license, or whether you would even be allowed to have both? At the moment, I believe most 25-plant-or-less Humboldt growers generally trim with a small crew of friends. Does this mean that an individual trimmer must get a $1,000 processor license or else they have to work for someone else (can’t work as an independent contractor)? That’s really going to suck for trimmers, and you’ll see a smaller number of people doing it for more hours, as opposed to groups of friends doing it for a few weeks seasonally and as-needed, as is now the case. If it costs the same $1,000 to cover one or two trimmers for a small cultivator, while for the same $1,000 a large-scale grower can cover all 25 or 30 of their trimmers, that’s another advantage to big business as opposed to small farms.

    No matter how you slice it, requiring a license to trim is going to create some unfortunate incentives, and many people will simply ignore the requirement, so it won’t meet its goal of raising revenue while at the same time it will actually create a new crime for trimming without a license. I just don’t see why you would even consider this. Perhaps you could clear up what you had in mind?

    And then there is the matter of the cost of the various proposed licenses. They are extremely regressive in the sense that in the more centralized and profitable parts of the business (wholesale and retail as opposed to small-scale cultivation), it looks like there would be a much smaller ratio of license costs to profits. In other words, a retailer could be moving hundreds of pounds a month, raking in millions all for a $2,000 in license, whereas the small Cultivator pays a quarter of that while probably making only one-hundreth the amount of money the retailer is making.

    Again, on a cost-of-license-per-dollar-of-profit basis, your proposed license costs would really screw the small growers. Which means that they would probably avoid getting a license, and then in addition to being in jeopardy of prosecution for federal and state laws against cultivation, they would also be in jeopardy of prosecution for not paying their license fee, right? I’m sure that’s not what you intended, but remember, unintended consequences are consequences just the same.

    And why is the small Cultivator required to only sell to a Processor (not to a retailer or even a wholesaler?) Do we really want to legislate that there must be at least TWO middlemen between the Cultivator and the Retail outlet (Processor and Wholesaler)? WHY? Is there some reasoning behind this, or is it just some unconscious reflexive American cultural bias towards giving breaks to those who need them least?

    I think its telling that the proposal disadvantages small growers but at the same time it specifically includes special language to make it clear that Country Clubs can sell cannabis products anywhere on their property with a golf cart. I mean, REALLY, doesn’t this kinda suggest that the proposal is ridiculously skewed toward the privileged!?

    Really I think you need to scrap the whole thing and start again. Simplify, de-bureacratize, and try to look at the issues from a common-sense point of view. No need for a new bureacracy (the “Humboldt Cannabis Council”), no need to legislate middlemen where none are needed, no need to require people to get an expensive license and expose themselves to federal charges just to trim a few pounds for their friends in the fall, no need for 90% of what is in that proposal.

    Just establish a retail tax, require retailers to get a business license like everyone else gets, and cap cultivation at 99 plants, just shy of the Fed’s normal guidelines for what size gardens they say they are interested in busting and prosecuting. Let the processing and wholesaling or direct sales to retail and farmer’s market sales or whatever other forms of commerce work themselves out. Imposing a lot of needless regulations is just going to distort the market, provide unfair advantages to bigger operators, and will make it that much harder for Humboldt to compete with the energy-sucking centralized Oakland-style mega-grows. Let growers of cannabis be treated, to the greatest degree possible, like any other produce farmer — not singled out for some new byzantine regulatory structure.

    So, again, my advice at this point is to toss this bureacratic behemoth on the scrap-heap and head back to the drawing board. Otherwise, perhaps you could explain why a simpler, less bureaucratic approach would not be better?

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s