Humboldt County Approves First Two Cannabis Farms

Humboldt County Approves First Two Cannabis Farms

By Humboldt Natural Farms on Jul 15, 2016 at 01:17 AM in Humboldt County Cannabis News
Humboldt County Approves First Two Cannabis Farms The nearly 1,000-acre Honeydew Farms LLC ranch near Honeydew is set to become the home of a 7-acre medical marijuana farm. The farm is the second to be approved under the county’s new commercial medical marijuana program as well as the largest. courtesy of Miranda Moore

By Will Houston, Eureka Times-Standard

POSTED:  | 

A blooming marijuana flower. Prospective medical marijuana business owners in Humboldt County have until the end of the year to apply for a permit.
A blooming marijuana flower. Prospective medical marijuana business owners in Humboldt County have until the end of the year to apply for a permit.

A blooming marijuana flower. Prospective medical marijuana business owners in Humboldt County have until the end of the year to apply for a permit.Times-Standard File

This summer, Humboldt County has shown that its commercial medical marijuana market is ready to open to operations large and small if they can play by the rules.

Two commercial medical cannabis farms — a quarter-acre mixed-light farm in Carlotta and a 7-acre outdoor farm and processing center in Honeydew — were the first to be given the county’s stamp of approval this summer, marking the beginning of a new era for the industry.

However, some cannabis advocacy organizations have aired different views on whether the county is taking the right steps.

About 100 more prospective medical marijuana business owners have submitted applications to the county. County Senior Planner Steve Lazar expects hundreds more in the coming months. Lazar described the current batch of applications as being at the “first end of big wave” that is about to crest.

“When that happens, it’s going to make the last three months look like a cakewalk,” he said.

THE FIRST TWO GROWS OK’D

Approved in January and having taken effect in late February, Humboldt County’s commercial medical marijuana program sets land use regulations and creates a permitting system for both new and existing commercial cannabis cultivation, processing, and manufacturing operations.

The county’s program compliments the California’s Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, which created a statewide licensing program that is expected to start up in 2018.

In order to operate a cannabis business in California, operators must hold both a local and state license.

A regular attendee at the county’s marijuana program meetings was Ferndale resident and local restaurant owner Alex Moore, who co-owns Honeydew Farms LLC with his wife Miranda.

The couple had already had been cultivating just under an acre of medical cannabis on his Honeydew ranch when the county’s permitting system went online in February.

Moore now seeks to expand their operations by six more acres of outdoor grows — some of which will be leased to other cannabis farmers not connected to their company. They also plan to build processing facilities and eventually open up dispensaries throughout the state to become an “all-inclusive company,” Moore said.

“We decided that it was time to come out as supporters of this industry,” he said. “I’m a businessman and entrepreneur and this is just a business opportunity that we’re going to take advantage of. I have no moral issues with cannabis. I think the world is a better place because of it.”

Read full article...