Here’s the deal folks. Don’t lose your livelihood! Time is running short to have your grow permitted under the current Humboldt Commercial Medical Cannabis Land Use Ordinance (CMCLUO) and be setup to compete for a state license under the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) in 2018 (canorml_admin 2016).
So you think it’s all good because Proposition 64 Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) passed and you can just keep doing what you have been or you can’t compete or worse you’ll just continue outlaw growing? Just stop it. Really.
Under Prop 64 recreational use is allowable for everyone in the state. But here’s the kicker: the average person will only be able to grow 6 plants for personal use (California NORML 2016). Let’s get real – how many people will actually grow their own over buying a product in a store like beer? I’d bet my money on the average consumer going for convenience, cost, quality, and product recognition (Crombie 2016).
How about personal medical cannabis cultivation? 215 is still in play (California NORML 2016 & Panzer 2016). As long as Humboldt County doesn’t change its rules, a qualified patient will be able to cultivate 99 plants within 100 square feet, in order to provide a reasonable amount to meet their medical need (Humboldt 2004 & 2014). Some may take advantage of this, but they won’t be able to sell their product, and due to a variety of reasons many patients may choose to purchase affordable tested medicine from a reputable dispensary.
Well what options are left? Continue to grow like an Appalachian moonshiner? Yeah you could do that, but the stakes are going up, and the risks combined with increased legal competition is just asking for failure. Here are two expensive reasons not being legitimate won’t work:
- Not complying with state environmental laws, such as water use and waste discharge, is not only bad for our rivers and fisheries, but also risks huge fines and more (Hecht 2015 & North Coast Region 2015).
- Legal cultivators will now be paying taxes, a portion of which will probably be used to go after illegal cultivators, based upon language passed by voters (Ballotpedia 2016 & Burns 2016b).
Which means, if you can’t beat them, join them! Time is running out to get a permit. The County’s deadline is December 31st to be permitted under the CMCLUO as a legitimate cannabis business.
If you’re on the fence about getting permitted because you think it’s too late don’t think that way! The County has opened itself up to accepting incomplete applications which requires a minimum amount of work to get your foot in the door (Humboldt County 2016).
Why is this important? Well, an incomplete application buys you six months! Then you can work on getting the rest of your permitting requirements in line prior to next season. New or pre-existing cannabis businesses can use this loophole with the county. Therefore you’re still in the game, especially if you registered your grow for “Good Standing” by August 23rd, but haven’t completed the application process for a permit. New businesses will already to be assumed to have good standing.
Speaking of good standing – there seems to be a lot of misconceptions out there. All that means is that your cannabis business has met the terms of the county of meeting the deadlines under this round of the CMCLUO. Meeting said deadlines allows you to get prioritization for a license in 2018 under the MCRSA.
Licenses under the AUMA may be a different story. Kind in mind, however, that the County will probably still require you be permitted under some form of a land use ordinance. Then let’s not kid ourselves, the State will be coming after illegal cultivators for environmental damages, and they do know all of those 12,000 grows are located (Burns 2016). Hell, just go browse Google Earth!
We. See. You. You’re not hiding. Soon those that don’t become legit it will be game over, don’t pass go, and don’t collect $200.
What are you gonna do? Yes, you will have to take a risk, compete and pay taxes, just like the rest of us, or you go out of business. This is the ground level of a new industry with many opportunities within our state. Why do that to yourself? There are professionals, such as myself and others, that can assist with the paperwork and guide you to remaining in or starting a business.
Virgil, a Roman who used poetry to pick up chicks at toga parties, stated, “Fortune sides with him who dares.”
It’s game on. But time is running out.