The Green Rush is full boar, land values have skyrocketed, out of area investors have come in and vagrant growers have ultimately dipped out and cashed in their chips. It’s the local farmers and landholders versus new investment interests. With a looming deadline of August, 23, 2016 to pre-register your EXISTING farm with the Humboldt County Planning Department, it is game on. Dozens of compliance workshops have been held over the past 18 months and it is now down to the wire. New farms that meet specific criteria, however, can rest easy as they have until the end of the year to pre-register and submit their application.
In the History of our region we have seen many industries such as tannins, gold, fishing, timber, beef, dairy, and cannabis come and go. The one industry that holds the most promise for local sustainability is the agricultural production of goods. Cannabis is now honorably classified as a Specialty Agricultural commodity within the State of California as of 2015 under three separate bills AB243, AB266 & SB643, otherwise known as the Medical Marijuana Regulation & Safety Act (MMRSA). These bills collectively set the beginning of an industry framework within the state of California to allow for an emerging medical industry regulated by environmental agencies, state and local jurisdictions and consumer safety standards.
The industry model, though young, proves to be a balanced framework as it addresses three major areas of concern; environmental, social and economic issues. In order to have a truly sustainable industry it has to be molded around these three key areas. A regulatory framework is vital at this juncture of our Emerald Triangle heritage, as the black market industry has set a poor precedent for the present day cannabis industry. There are truly great farmers in the region that just need to be given the information to be successful, while adhering to holistic applications, organic practices and establishing a fair market and workplace environment.
We may never again witness such an opportunity for our Northern California region to sustain ourselves unless we embrace an industry that has proven strong for generations and nearly five decades. This is our opportunity as farmers and businesses to step up and rise to the challenge; jump through hoops and show the community what we have been preparing for, a cleaner, greener, sustainable future of cannabis as an agricultural commodity. As they say, power in numbers, and the number of participants toward this movement shows that the interest is there. There has been an overwhelming amount of inquiries and participants that want to participate in this emerging industry and protect their family legacy, or even better, protect and create a safe family legacy for future generations.
Many professionals all over the state have taken up the challenge of assisting farmers and aspiring canna-businesses to become compliant by assisting with permitting, licensing and even business development. It is important to remember that this opportunity isn’t just about the hustle, nor is it a way to entrap people. This is about freedom from the restraints that come with cannabis prohibition; crime, environmental destruction, and ultimately, disruption of entire communities.
My company, AgDynamix (AGD), is amongst one of the many local tri-county businesses and organizations that have been assisting projects in their compliance efforts. Through local and state policy outreach and attendance, disseminating information, private consultations, and now efforts to host a set of four workshops on Saturdays on August 6th, 13th & 20th at various community locations around Humboldt County, we are helping local businesses understand what it means to be compliant.
AGD’s consulting firm offers a wide array of assistance from discussing environmental permitting requirements, whole farm planning, commercial cannabis compliance & permitting assistance, business compliance, business & financial planning, sustainable input application methods, national organic program practices, to quality control methods, agricultural consumer safety, and workplace compliance. For over three years, AGD has worked in various fields of agriculture and there is no better time than now to apply the skills, experience and knowledge to help usher a sustainable future for cannabis as agriculture.
So does a future of harmony, prosperity, safety and regulation sound scary yet? Or does it sound like an opportunity to stand up for what you really believe in? Opportunity, freedom, sustainability… do any of these things sound appealing to you? Then this program might be for you. It is our responsibility as a community to be the change we want to see and “we need you.”
Written by Teisha Mechetti & the Team at AgDynamix