Vote No on Measure A on March 5th: A Letter from our Founder, Chrystal Ortiz 

I am writing this letter in regards to Measure A on ballots now. I want to encourage voters to look past the carefully crafted wording in the ballot and understand that Measure A is not supported by any environmental groups nor any small farmers. 

As a community we have spent the last 8 years with members of the public, environmental groups, consultants, farmers and other stakeholders creating a regulated cannabis ordinance that reflects this very public process. Many of us attended years of Supervisors meetings and logged hours and hours of input into a series of ordinances that aimed to reflect input from all stakeholders.

Let me be abundantly clear that we are all stakeholders in a well regulated cannabis industry in Humboldt county. Our rivers, our forests, our roads, our businesses, our arts and music community, everyone is a stakeholder. Cannabis farming has helped to support this region for decades, and when the environmental impacts were not being addressed due to prohibition, these few permitted farmers signed up and took drastic measures to join a highly regulated and overly costly program. These permitted farmers have spent millions of dollars on water storage, road repairs, culverts, ADA bathrooms, building permits and even more millions of dollars on Measure S taxes that are distributed locally. 

The few people that have joined the regulated system are the only people impacted by Measure A. Measure A does nothing to support the environment that is not already addressed in the Ordinances. The supporters of Measure A are ten years late, as the majority of the problems they refer to are old issues that no longer are relevant in Humboldt County. They use outdated data to poorly back their opinion that we need this measure and make unsubstantiated environmental claims. There are not thousands of people ready to swoop in and purchase land here and start a business here, there are less than a thousand small businesses trying to survive amidst the highest environmental regulations ever placed on landowners. 

If the supporters of Measure A wanted to create changes to the regulations, they should follow the lead of the rest of us that have worked collaboratively with CDFW, the Regional Water Board, CDFA, the supervisors, the public, and the planning department that has been tasked with making it all happen. This is not where we need a citizens initiative. All that Measure A will do is tie the hands of the local government who is trying to work in real time to create meaningful changes to the land use ordinance as needed to support all the stakeholders. 

Measure A screams enforcement without any funding mechanism to do so. Its entire goal is to empower citizen complaints and clog the wheels so that the regulated cannabis industry collapses here in Humboldt County. Nobody benefits from abandoned homesteads, failing roads and closed businesses. We all benefit from engaging in the public process and working together to create solutions as they arise. Please VOTE NO on Measure A. 

– Chrystal Ortiz