The Humboldt Cannabis Reform Initiative: Yes on Measure A

Measure A would amend the Humboldt County General Plan, Humboldt County Local Coastal Plans, and Humboldt County Code as they pertain to commercial cannabis cultivation. It would improve enforcement of environmentally responsible cultivation practices, protect watershed health for residents, property owners and ecosystems, and support the small-scale, high-quality, and sustainable type of cultivation that made Humboldt famous.  Specific goals are:

  • Prevent large-scale grows that damage the environment and harm the community by: a) limiting new and expanded permits to outdoor and low-wattage “mixed light” cultivation with a maximum area of 10,000 sq. ft. and b) not allowing new cultivation applications that result in multiple cultivation permits per person or per parcel.  
  • Support small-scale, high quality cannabis cultivation that minimizes environmental and social impacts by protecting the vested rights of farmers. 
  • Limit the number of permits and acreage under cannabis cultivation by capping total number of permits and acreage to levels existing as of March 4, 2022, while allowing continued processing and approval of complete permit applications filed before that date.
  • Reduce impacts of cannabis cultivation on water availability and quality by: a) prohibiting reliance on diversions from streams between March 1 and November 15 of each year and b) requiring hydrological analysis of well water usage on springs, stream flows, and other water users. 
  • Ensure greater participation and official accountability in decision-making by: a) requiring expanded public notice of cultivation applications and b) expanding the range of applications subject to public hearings.
  • Ensure that existing operations are inspected and compliance verified prior to permit renewal by requiring: a) annual in-person, on-site inspections, b) correction of violations, and c) investigation of legitimate complaints from the public before permits can be renewed.
  • Limit use of generators in cannabis cultivation operations by phasing in requirements that limit generator size and restrict usage to emergency purposes.

What would specific provisions of Measure A do?:

  1. It amends the County General Plan Land, Coastal Plans, and Ordinance as they pertain to commercial cannabis cultivation.
  2. It would not allow most provisions to be changed without a vote of the people.
  3. It caps the number of cultivation permits (and acres) per watershed to five percent above the number of existing approved, unexpired permits and permitted acreage as of March 4, 2022. According to recent County estimates, this would result in a total cap of around 1,000 permits, not 3,500 as currently allowed under County Resolution 18-43.
  4. No new permits or permits for expanded cultivation would be approved for areas>10,000 sq ft.
  5.  New permits would be allowed for grows up to 10,000 sq ft (using outdoor and low-wattage mixed light methods), if the number of permits in the watershed is below its cap. 
  6. Compliance with the Category 4 road standards must be confirmed by engineer for new permits (up to 10,000 sq ft) and expanded permits where the standards already apply.
  7. New cultivation permits would not be allowed for persons who already have a permit or for parcels where a permit already exists.
  8. Sufficient water must be stored to meet cultivation requirements or crop must be cut back.  
  9.  Generators would be phased out, except for 50 hp emergency generator.  
  10.  For new wells, a hydrologic study must prove no negative impacts on streams or other wells.
  11. Summer/fall prohibition on water diversion from streams would be extended by one month.
  12. At least one on-site, in-person inspection per year, with < 24 hrs notice is required before permit renewal.
  13. Any code violations must be corrected within the 1-year renewal period before permit is renewed.
  14. County must investigate all public complaints before renewing permits
  15. Public notification would be expanded to a broader range of neighbors for cultivation permit applications.
  16. The County cannot waive public hearings.
  17. The County must coordinate and collaborate with state agencies in protecting the county’s residents and environment from harm caused by cannabis cultivation activities.
  18. Vested and property rights of farmers are protected.
  19. The County must develop ordinances, policy, plans, etc. to implement the provisions.
  20. Interpretation, implementation, and any actions by the County must be consistent with the provisions and with a broad interpretation of the Measure’s purpose to protect the people and environment.

What Measure A will not do?

  • It does not prevent tourism permits or other non cultivation permits
  • It does not prevent solar panels or water tanks, or other improvements that promote the environment.
  • It does not require category 4 road standards be met for all farms.
  • It does not restrict improvements on all existing farms, including constructing ADA bathrooms, adding employee living quarters, improving or building sheds.  
  • It does not limit modifications not associated with increase in size, intensity, or resource usage of cultivation activities.
  • It does not raise taxes.

Watch Video, Measure A is Common Sense Regulations

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Common sense regulations

Plastic Pollution


Small Farmers

Please support the Humboldt Cannabis Reform: Measure A. This is a grassroots, community effort that requires significant funding to be successful. Every donation is appreciated.

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Yes on Measure A. Primarily Formed Ballot Initiative Committee California FPPC #1443594