Richard Marks speaking at a CCVH rally last week. By Andrew Goff.

After a busy year organizing local marijuana growers into a formidable political action group, Richard Marks has resigned as executive director of California Cannabis Voice Humboldt (CCVH). 

Marks told the Outpost he parted ways with the group because he didn’t have enough time to commit the effort he feels is required. 

“I think I was doing them an injustice by doing something part time when [the job] really needs a lot more,” Marks said. He added that there’s no ill will from either side, and he complimented the group’s board of directors, calling it “one of the hardest-working nonprofit boards you’re gonna find.”

Marks’ departure was first reported on John Chiv’s blog.

Two days ago, CCVH presented a proposed land use ordinance and excise tax measure to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. The group is now fielding public comments on the documents through its website, and group leaders have said they may try to pass the ordinance as an election initiative.

Marks said he brought the group as far as he thought was needed. 

“I am proud of how much the nonprofit has done in short time. I challenged them with putting together legislation on the run. They worked hard; they talked with separate agencies; they did everything I ever asked them.”

Luke Bruner, the group’s co-founder and a member of the board of directors, said the move was planned.

“From the beginning, when [Marks] was hired in July, the plan was for him to stay onboard until we publicly unveiled the ordinance and the tax piece,” Bruner said after pulling his car over to talk. “Richard did an absolutely amazing job. He’s the only man who could organize the cultivators — talk about herding cats.”

Regarding the draft ordinance, Bruner said, “People have criticisms, but Richard’s a doer.” And he paraphrased Assemblyman Jim Wood, who brought a live pot plant to a legislative hearing yesterday in Sacramento, where his bill aimed at regulating marijuana’s impacts to watersheds just passed the Senate Governance and Finance committee with a 5-0 vote.

Borrowing Wood’s sentiment, Bruner said, “I like the way I’m doing it better than the way others aren’t.” That sentiment applies to CCVH’s efforts at regulation here in Humboldt, Bruner suggested. “We did something and it’s not perfect, but hey, I don’t see any other drafts out there.”