The conversation started in June of 2014 with a group of 35 people, stakeholders in our community. There was diversity in the crowd. We had business owners, small farmers, environmental proponents, county agency staff, state agency staff and people concerned about the future of Humboldt. We all came together for a common cause, a land use ordinance that the County Board of Supervisors could support. The ordinance would set the ground work for small farm cannabis cultivators to come out of the shadows, make the transition into transparency and legitimacy. This framework would bring non-compliant famers into compliancy through environmental controls such as, grading permits, permitted water containment methods, and building permits.
CCVH evolved out of those first several meetings with a core working group of people that came together to form our local voice. CCVH is a grassroots nonprofit organization promoting a sustainable future for Humboldt County by educating, advocating, and being the voice of the cannabis community. Our vision is to build a community that has an economically and ecologically sustainable cannabis industry while honoring our heritage. We are currently working on a land use ordinance for parcels larger than 5 acres. It is estimated county wide that there are over 10,000 small cannabis farms.
CCVH consists of a 13 person volunteer Board of Directors and 3 paid staff. Staff runs the day-to-day business and the Board holds regular monthly meetings on the first Monday of every month. The organization is not a membership based group, but rather a group that is rallied by its’ supporters. Keeping local control of policy is a primary focus for this organization and that is why we have reached out to our local law makers and environmental advocates for help in developing this ordinance.
Within the organization we have a Policy Committee. This committee has been instrumental in developing dialogue and fostering relationships with local agencies on achieving a land use ordinance that can be supported by all members of our community. There are a number of volunteers that work behind the scenes setting up meetings in County watersheds. These watershed meetings were started as a way to educate small farmers on “best practices” management in their neighbor woods. Willow Creek always holds a meeting on the first Saturday of the month, usually held at the Willow Creek Golf Course. The third Saturday of the month there is a meeting at the Mattole Grange, and the fourth Saturday there is a meeting held on highway 36 at the Van Duzen Grange. Attendances at these meetings have been upwards of 200 people, showing our organization that there is a need and a want for small farmers to be regulated.
CCVH has also orchestrated a number a small farm tours for State Officials such as, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, Assembly member Jim Woods, Congressman Jared Huffman, and even some representatives from the State Board of Equalization such as Fiona Ma and George Runner. To bring this many figureheads together in one meeting is a monumental achievement by a small organization representing the community that we love. These State Officials are watching the path we are taking in our community to see how post legalization might look after a November 2016 election.
Now is the time to let your voice be heard. Register to vote. Join our e-mail list. Check out our website at cannabisvoicehumboldt.org or Visit our Facebook Page (facebook.com/ccvhumboldt). We need your support, feedback, and donations.
California Cannabis Voice Humboldt