Why fight against the community when you can work with them instead? Thirty-five stakeholders including environmentalists, bankers, supervisors, activists, and cannabis farmers found common ground on cannabis cultivation at a summit on Wednesday to ensure Humboldt County’s prosperity now and in the future.
The summit’s goal? Create a land use ordinance with input from many stakeholders that can simply be handed to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. The supervisors can then pass it as-is or decline to pass it and put it to the voters on a ballot.
From the CCVH Press Release:
California Cannabis Voice Humboldt (CCVH) hosted an invite-only meeting at the Wharfinger Building in Eureka so community stakeholders could come together to discuss what a land use ordinance for cannabis cultivation should include. The discussions and insights from the meeting will be worked into a draft land use ordinance, which will come back before the group and be available for public comment at a later date, said Thomas Edrington, outreach director for CCVH.
For many of the cultivators, preserving the small farm was a primary concern, Edrington said. Other topics discussed during the day included taxation, permitting, environmental concerns and sustainability.
Cannabis farmers were collaborating with representatives from environmental organizations and county supervisors, including Fifth District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg. He was quoted in the Times-Standard as saying, “There are a lot of issues and challenges around the cultivation of marijuana — I think they tackled a lot of the big issues and there was a lot of common ground on what the issues were and recognizing them and saying, ‘As an industry, we need to fix these.'”
As California moves toward a legalization initiative in 2016, the voice of growers coming forward like this can change the cannabis policy conversation in a positive way, said Dominic Corva, executive director of the Center for Study of Cannabis and Social Policy.
“Putting agricultural livelihoods and ecological politics into the cannabis policy reform agenda provides an anchor for that agenda to address real, broader issues about economic and ecological democracy at large,” said Dominic Corva. “This local effort thus has global implications in the struggle for a reality-based cannabis peace.”
About California Cannabis Voice Humboldt
Editor’s note: I am married to Thomas Edrington, who is quoted in the press release.
Photos by Sean DeVries.