Pubdate: Thu, 01 Sep 2016
Source: North Coast Journal (Arcata, CA)
Column: The Week in Weed
Copyright: 2016 North Coast Journal
Author: Linda Stansberry


Big Numbers

The Aug. 23 deadline to register existing commercial cannabis 
activity with the county of Humboldt has come and gone, and the 
planning and building department is staring down a giant pile of 
paper. A final count, conducted partially by hand, came up with a 
total of 2,259 registered grows.

Steve Lazar, senior planner in the Cannabis Services Division, says 
the lag between receiving registrations and staff's ability to enter 
information into the county's database means the scale of and type of 
registered grows are still unclear. Nonetheless, he says the response 
from the cultivation community has been heartening.

"You have to imagine there's over 10,000 grows in the county," he 
said, referring to an extrapolation from a study conducted in 2012. 
"I'm pretty pleased that we got these numbers. Our goal is to get as 
many people before the end of the year. Our work is still ahead of us."

The permit application deadline for new medical marijuana grows is 
Dec. 31. Lazar says his department is catching up with registrations 
right now, and will do some strategic planning as it estimates the 
processing of what looks to be thousands of applications. The entire 
process, he says, has been "wild," and the days leading up the 
registration deadline saw scores of people in the H Street office.

"It was not a typical day for the planning and building department," 
he says. "But maybe there are no more typical days."

Bad Landlords

Busted for a grow on your land? Go ahead and point the finger down 
the line at your tenants. As fig leaves go, it's pretty flimsy. But 
it's not a Humboldt-exclusive phenomenon.

Consider Wayne Robinson of Worcestershire, England, who was sentenced 
to 14 months in jail for growing 883 plants in the Drakelow Tunnels. 
The Drakelow Tunnel Network, currently a preserved historical site, 
consists of 3.5 miles of underground passages and has a storied 
history as a World War II-era factory site for the Rover car company 
and a bunker for the British government during the Cold War. Robinson 
was its caretaker, and gave tours of the site up until the day he was 
busted, back in November of 2013. His sentence, three years later, 
comes after a lengthy appeal process in which Robinson claimed he had 
no idea what was going on, that he just rented out portions of the 
catacombs at the rate of about $260 a month. Only $260 a month to 
bribe a public official to look the other way while you grow cannabis 
in a national monument? By Humboldt standards, that's a steal.

Bob Marley

There is a stunning number of products for sale bearing the name of 
the immortal Bob, including green tea, earbuds (I own a pair) and, of 
course, weed. The Marley Natural brand launched last February, the 
result of a collaboration between dubiously-titled Privateer Holdings 
(Peter Thiel, the now-notorious Gawker litigation funder, is a 
backer) and the Marley progeny. Attaching the Marley name to such a 
blatantly capitalist enterprise drew controversy at the time.

Last week the company announced it will pony up to help clear the 
criminal records of people in Oregon convicted of minor 
cannabis-related crimes. The project is a collaboration with the 
Minority Cannabis Business Association, a fairly new organization 
aimed at promoting diversity in the equally new world of legal 
marijuana entrepreneurship. One of the ironies of the burgeoning 
industry is that due to the disproportionate arrest and prosecution 
rates, many people of color have been barred from opening 
dispensaries or other cannabis-related businesses. According to an 
article in USA Today, about 30 people across Oregon will qualify for 

Bonafide social justice or callously motivated PR move? What would Bob say?
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom