Earlier today we reported on the latest newsletter from California Cannabis Voice Humboldt (CCVH), the political action group working to draft a countywide medical marijuana cultivation ordinance. In that newsletter, which was released this morning, CCVH declared that it agrees with comments on the latest draft submitted to both CCVH and the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors by a coalition of local environmental groups.
Beyond that, though, the newsletter suggests that a consensus has been reached with those local environmental groups. It reproduces the logos of those groups next to CCVH’s own logo, uniting them in a row under the hashtag #SameTeam. The message goes on to suggest that rifts with the enviro groups have been thoroughly resolved:
“It is our profound hope that with these divisions bridged at the local level and with the grassroots fully united, we have empowered the grasstops to pass a Statewide framework this year in Sacramento.”
Not so fast.
After publishing the newsletter, the Outpost was contacted by members of the environmental community who said there is no such consensus; divisions have not been bridged; and the grassroots are by no means fully united.
Jennifer Kalt, the director of Humboldt Baykeeper and a board member of the Northcoast Environmental Center (NEC), said the letter submitted by Humboldt Baykeeper and other groups was not intended to be a comprehensive list of issues with CCVH’s ordinance-drafting process.
“It’s expressing to the Board of Supervisors what we think their ordinance needs to contain and what it needs to address in terms of environmental impacts,” she said. “There’s never been a meeting I’ve been at with CCVH. Baykeeper has never been asked to agree to anything. There is no consensus; there is no agreement. … According to them [CCVH], they‘re going to change their draft ordinance to address our concerns, but they’ve been saying that for eight months.”
Larry Glass, director of the NEC’s board of directors, agreed that the newsletter misrepresents the situation.
“For them to characterize that [as if] we’re all on the same page now is a huge leap,” he said. “We’re not on the same page. We sent in those comments to the supervisors, and CCV. … But the process isn’t over. We’re not done commenting on this.”
Kalt agreed, saying Baykeeper has a fundamental objection to an ordinance being drafted by a cannabis industry group rather than through official government channels via the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission.
“We need to have a real public process here, because the ordinance — and whatever comes of marijuana industry — will effect every segment of society. not just environmental impacts,” she said. “That just happens to be our focus, our mission. But tons of people have concerns about law enforcement, public safety, taxes, all kinds of things that are not within our purview.”
But that doesn’t mean that no progress has been made, according to Natalynne DeLapp, executive director of the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC). DeLapp and her organization’s team of legal experts recently convinced CCVH’s policy committee to remove all references to cannabis cultivation on land zoned for timber production (TPZ).
“While we have not found consensus, we are finding common ground,” DeLapp said. “And we need everybody to buy in. We need the whole community to buy in on an ordinance.”
The Outpost has reached out to CCVH for comment and will update this post when we hear back.
Note: This post has been updated from its original version to include the comments from DeLapp.