HUMBOLDT GROWER

– the gold standard

Our response to Humboldt’s draft cannabis ordinance – part 2… — October 17, 2017

Our response to Humboldt’s draft cannabis ordinance – part 2…

Good day,



Humboldt County’s definition of a small farmer needs to be in line with the State at 10,000 sq ft. We have permits in process at 5000, 10,000, and 43560 sq ft. We consider ourselves the minimum size to make it in this economy. 10,000 sq ft farms will struggle to survive and must have all the exemptions that small farms get. The 3000 sq ft farms will all be out of business this year and the Humboldt Heritage torch must be passed off to the small farms that work. We are giving the exemptions to farms that are not viable with or without them.

We are all up against the black market now. If the black market continues, legalization in California will not make it.  Especially now with so many white market farms being destroyed in the recent fires.

All future permits should be given to “multiple harvest farms”.

Humboldt County has the only microclimate in the United States that supports harvesting flower for up to 8 months without any heating or cooling requirement. It is our biggest advantage in this industry moving forward. The permitting process itself must support the multiple harvest model in Humboldt County. Our summer weather is mild enough that we can harvest throughout the summer months. Other counties would have to implement costly heating and cooling strategies to replicate our climate. Our farmers must take advantage of this ability in order to succeed. Humboldt County farms have the ability to be first to market every year. Promote their success by encouraging them to do so!

Multiple harvest (light deprivation) farms are a white market (environmentally and economically sustainable) model.

– farms that harvest throughout the summer do not take water when aquifers are low. They also tend to use more of the water for actual salable flower(70%+ goes to actual flower).
– farms that harvest throughout the summer do not use dirt roads for high traffic during the rains.
– farms that harvest throughout the summer do not add to the trimigrant paradigm. These farms spread the processing out so they are able to use much smaller facilities and much smaller numbers of seasonal employees. This in turn is a much lesser impact on the community and the environment. The people that trim on these farms live here or have a steady annual income that would allow them to live here.
– farms that harvest throughout the summer do not contribute to the trimmers ability to pressure farmers into paying 200$ per pound trimmed. Farmers can not move into the white market while paying this amount. Farmers cannot find affordable employees to work their farms, while trimmers charge such a high rate.
– farms that harvest throughout the summer do not contribute to the price drop. Historically, prices rise across the summer. Every year for decades the prices have dropped significantly as a result of desperate full term farmers dumping cheap weed on the black market to pay their bills in mid October.
– farms that harvest though the summer are able to maintain employees full time and pay their employees salaries.
– farms that harvest though the summer are open for business year around.

Full term farms are a black market business model that can not transition unless large enough to convert 100% to oil production.

– full term farms fuel the black market and put unnecessary pressure on the environment.
– full term farms require water during the months when the aquifers are in danger. This requires amounts of storage that utilize water inefficiently for nonsalable biomass (70% of water used in Sept. on full term plants goes to stocks and stems), and this positions people to cheat the system taking water illegally. This required water storage is not affordable for most farmers. Water storage compliance requirements are exasperated by the water needed for full term plants.
– full term farms force large employee populations and high traffic during wet months. Roads are damaged during the rainy season. The damage is done during rainy season.
– full term farms have to process and sell ALL their product at the same time. This requires much larger drying and processing facilities. Ultimately increasing their start up cost dramatically.
– full term farms are forced to bid on overpriced trimmers and are unable to process their product in time for sale. They are through desperation bound to the black market.
– full term farms drive the price down by creating a glut every year. We never regain the price – we have now entered into our 15th  annual profit loss. The more farms that harvest in early October, the worse our economy will be. The combination of the price drop and the processing costs will kill the full term flower farms.
– full term farms are not year round businesses. They attract seasonal employees. They don’t attract year round members of the community. They are only in operation 6 months a year. What business is open half the year? This is a black market concept.
– full term farms pay their employees percentages rather than salaries. Paying your people in pounds is a black market business model.

In the end, the reason for the evolution of the light deprivation farmer was one of necessity. The farmers you want to listen to are those that changed to survive and not those that stubbornly continue in old ways. Those who have already chosen the light Dep as a business model have also chosen not to be in competition with the black market. Changing from black to white is not just about compliance costs or getting a license….it is about choosing a business model that has a history of success over model with a history of failure.  This is a factor our farmers have direct control over.

The County could go a long way to sidestepping any more environmental scrutiny and promoting successful white market permitted farming by simply telling farmers to light deprovate their crops in order to get permit approval.

The County has direct control over the roads. The private access roads are now no ones specific domain and must be the responsibility of the County. If farmers  must upgrade roads, the expense will destroy them. The trunk roads into every viable cannabis farming community must be upgraded with utilities and then serviced. Target the largest power draws. Communities with the most generators running. Upgrade them first. There are 100s of farms within a mile of service. Many of them with services running 20 miles past them on the hardtop. The process of getting a power drop added to the other compliance nightmares is impossible. No one wants to run a generator in the woods. They want electricity. With utilities comes compliance, fire safety, and watershed safety. The County must lead the way and at minimum streamline and subsidize utilities expansions.

The roads in Humboldt County will never get worse than what the water trucks and diesel trucks can safely drive on. Every road in question has delivery trucks on it all day. Truck drivers don’t drive where they can’t. The road committee will only further communities fighting among themselves. The road committee plan has not worked well as a precedent. Simply making them public roads would solve this problem.

Thanks for attending to my comments and concerns. You have worked very hard to make all this happen. We at Humboldt Growers want our County’s success more than anything. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Thank again

Tobias Hafenecker-Dodge
Humboldt Growers Collective
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Our response to Humboldt’s draft cannabis ordinance – part 1… —

Our response to Humboldt’s draft cannabis ordinance – part 1…

 

Comments on :

ORDINANCE AMENDING PROVISIONS OF TITLE III OF THE HUMBOLDT COUNTY CODE RELATING TO THE COMMERCIAL CULTIVATION, PROCESSING, MANUFACTURING, DISTRIBUTION, TESTING, AND SALE OF CANNABIS FOR MEDICINAL OR ADULT USE

I question whether these new ordinance changes will actually benefit the small farmer. The chief issue that is putting a cap on the small farmer’s success is the continuing cascade of fees and mandated demand to utilize expensive professionals. Bear in mind, that until this moment, the County did not care about road health at all and made no effort to protect the environment. Now, suddenly, the County expects the County’s citizens to pick up this cost. This looks suspiciously like the on-going effort the County and its Planning Department has engaged in over many decades to penalize and restrict the South County’s development (the Planning Department has long hesitated to grant permits to the backcountry residents of Southern Humboldt – this means that South County backcountry residents have been unable to get loans on their unpermitted property)

I would like to point out that the State’s Prop 64 considers a small farmer to be no more than 10,000 sq ft, not 3000 or 5000 sq ft. The County should consider Section 55.4.6.5.1 Small Cultivation Sites to apply to 10,000 square feet, not the 3000 square feet mentioned. The 3000 square foot limit does not provide the small farmer with a viable economic base.

55.4.13 Humboldt Artisanal Branding is too narrowly conceived. Do not limit to 3000 square feet, 10000 square feet is more appropriate. Do not insist on organic certification, if the product is artisanal then certification is not relevant; if a farmer wants to add the extra value of “certifying”, then they can reach out to the industry. The residence requirement must remain.

For cannatourism/on-site consumption (a big money maker) to flourish, the County should lighten road requirements and also stage any road improvements over several years – it would be prudent to grandfather in as many access roads as possible. The RMA proposal must be totally scrapped as it is inherently unworkable – and it seems that the County may have already done so.

Private road systems should be grandfathered in. Requiring backcountry citizens to upgrade their roads to Category 4 is unrealistically expensive. Rather than preemptively demanding expensive road work, the County should track the traffic volume on those roads that are of concern. If there is no inappropriate traffic volume then there is no need. If road work is necessary, then the County should bear the cost; after all, the tax monies collected rely on the success of the County’s farmers. No roads = no taxes.

If the County demands that citizens improve their roads, how will the County deal with the black markets growers who use the roads and quite likely will refuse to be involved? The logic here is that other legal growers will turn them in. Does that seem like something you want your fellow citizens to do? Very ill-advised approach.

It is unrealistic to require that “Electricity must be exclusively provided by a Renewable Energy Source”. Generator use is very necessary in the backcountry and can be regulated without a blanket rejection. Basically, can we or can’t we use generators? The expense of renewable systems makes this proposed implementation unrealistic. People have been using generators for a long time in the backcountry – and, suddenly, they have to go?

Additionally, restrictions on generator use will seriously impact cannabis Nursery license holders – much Nursery activity occurs during the Fall, Winter and early Spring when solar power is at a low ebb. The Special Permit requirement for generator use should be dropped. By definition, citizens living in the backcountry will not be able to afford access to grid power. No grower wants to be “forced” to give up their own propagation efforts. Propagation centers have a very limited value.

By restricting generator use, the County will seriously impact the cannabis farmers ability to succeed. Again, requiring installation of alternative energy infrastructure is far too expensive for the farming community. Section 55.4.12.5 must be re-worked; it is unreasonable to favor grid power, which is not easily accessible to backcountry farmers, and exclude necessary generator power – especially if these generators were in use at pre-existing sites. Many backcountry homesteaders have integrated their alternative power and their generator power to such an extent that it is not possible to distinguish whether the power is running the homestead or the cannabis operation.

The ordinance’s “Stored Water” concerns seem unworkable. You cannot ask citizens to bear the cost of multiple large water tanks or pond construction – this is another nail in the small farmer’s coffin. This is especially the case when no other California agriculture is required to do this – the almond growers are not required to endure a “Stored Water” requirement. Bear in mind, that cannabis farmers can only grown as much as they have water available. This means that this perceived water problem is actually self-correcting.

Additionally, all pre-existing water storage, including large tanks and ponds, should be grandfathered in.

The County should consider limiting cannabis grows to mid-summer operations, not full-term, October harvest, operations. This would go a long way to eliminating the dry season pressure on water use. Growers would be need to dep gardens to accomplish this.

I am given to understand that the Planning Department is attempting to include language that will demand code inspection on previously constructed, non-cannabis, structures. If the County has not already done so, this language must be removed from the Ordinance. It was a vast error in judgement to attempt to include this – it went quite a way towards alienating those the County professes to want to help. All backcountry structures should be grandfathered permits.

How does the County plan to apply this Ordinance to the 80% black market? This smacks of unequal application of the law and could well lead to multiple lawsuits. The black market has repeatedly survived all attempts at eradication and it is waiting with open arms for any farmer that thinks they are being unfairly oppressed by the restrictive white market that is developing.

Do not require that road exceptions are prohibited for Microbusiness or Nursery licenses. A microbusiness may sell on-line and have only a delivery truck and a Nursery does not always have visitors and often use a delivery truck to transport their product.

Bottom line? The County is asking far too much and these requests are too expensive. Every road, every pond, any development across the board, is now about to be monitored. The County did not care about this until now. Apparently, the roads have been fine til now…. Why not leave things as they are; that is certainly what the County has done up to this point?

This all needs to be staged and grandfathered. The effort the County has made to grant provisional permits was especially apt. More of this is needed.

This regulation effort does very little to ease the burdens that the farmers are bearing. Although the allowances for canna tourism are a step in the right direction.

Thanks for attending to my comments and concerns. You have worked very hard to make all this happen. We at Humboldt Growers want our County’s success more than anything. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Thanks again

Steve Dodge
Humboldt Growers Collective
answers.humboldtgrowers@gmail.com

Some xamples of this year’s genetic work… — October 12, 2017
The Sisters of the Valley visited the Ranch… — September 24, 2017

The Sisters of the Valley visited the Ranch…

The Sisters of the Valley, otherwise known as The Weed Sisters, came up to the Ranch last Thursday for a photo shoot with the British documentary film company Salon Pictures. We put together some lunch with staff and helped them out. They were a lot of fun.

 

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I interviewed them on my radio show, KMUD’s The Cannabis Show, airing each Thursday from 530 to 600PM. The show archives and streams at http://www.kmud.org. Sister Kate, the one in the middle in the picture, is quite outspoken about helping those in medical need.

I found them to be dedicated to their task. A “sisterhood”, while not related to any conventional religion, that is doing the good work.

Humboldt Growers has first seeds… — September 12, 2017

Humboldt Growers has first seeds…

Humboldt Growers Collective will be soon releasing older 2015 seed stock to its members. And by November, we will have our 2017 offerings available. These seeds are grown on a farm close to Garberville in Humboldt County, California at approximately 1260 feet elevation. We are in a Zone 9 growing area.

These 2015 seeds germinated just fine this year when we were doing our backcrosses. But, do keep in mind that as seeds age into their third year, their quality begins to drop.  Our 2015 batch of seed was very robust, so we are still offering them, but at a discount. Below are some pictures from 2016 specimens that will give you an idea of what to expect.

This cannabis strain is a hybrid of Purple Urkle and our ranch Mazari, it is an F1. It produces fine color and aroma; good tight buds; but, more importantly, it is Mazari tough and very early – looks like full maturity about six weeks after flowering begins.

7:13:16-urkle:maz1-27:13:16-urkle:maz17:13:16-urkle:maz1-3

Email answers.humboldtgrowers@gmail.com to become a Collective member. We welcome any questions.

Our seed moms – looking coy… — September 1, 2017
Humboldt Growers farm manager position is open – career starts in January. — August 20, 2017

Humboldt Growers farm manager position is open – career starts in January.

This is a unique job. You must be highly skilled in large scale cannabis cultivation. You should know as much as the boss does – that’s forty years of experience. You must be able to work with a team – if you cant work easily with people, do not bother to apply.

You must be passionate about living in the country and about creating a success in the new emerging cannabis industry. Here, you die trying.

This is not a training facility. If you don’t have it walking in, then we don’t want you on staff.

There is no glory here, just hard work.

The job involves far more than just cannabis. The farm is a wholesale ornamental tree nursery; a 350 tree olive orchard; and a cannabis nursery and cultivation farm.

Humboldt Growers is fucking serious; we are part owners in a dispensary; we have a radio show; we mean what we are doing. We wholly own our land; unlike our competition, who are in debt. We are licensed to grow in Humboldt County. We have elaborate infrastructure already in place. We are ahead of the game; we mean what we are doing.

You are about to talk with owners that have 80 years of collective cannabis experience in our family.

And you heard that right, we are a family operation.

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Our perfect Field Manager has

– more than mere technical proficiency in cannabis growing
– beginner’s mind; not a beginner
– can think two steps ahead, always
– able to lead teams and interact well with people (2 or more)
– organized

– shared living situation
– manager has own sleeping cabin
– manager has office space & work wi-fi access
– well water
– farm-generated electricity
– we got a pond
– real country beautiful – bears, mountain lions and the real woods

– farm management involves
– care of the wholesale/retail nursery – japanese maples mainly
– care/harvest of 350 olive tree orchard
– planting/care/harvest of 10K sq ft of cannabis cultivation – awards!
– ranch maintenance – machinery and systems
– infrastructure
– automatic water systems

If you want to be considered for our team, to be a part of what we are doing, send your resume and references to answers.humboldtgrowers@gmail.com

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the other owner:

There is glory. The kind of glory one experiences climbing Mount Everest or winning a catamaran race by working in perfect unison with his comrades. The feeling of free American blood pumping through your veins.

This is not about cannabis. This is the free world’s and America’s last stand against the pharmaceutical companies and big business monopolies. Cannabis is the world’s and America’s opportunity to re-write the rules in favor of small family run business providing higher quality products and personalized service. The other states will get on board or they will tank.

There has only ever been one front line. If you want to be part of winning this war…..pick up a shovel and come to work in Humboldt County. With your commitment we will all win or we will die trying.

Humboldt Growers Unite!

 

We are done with talk but no walk; we are done with short-sighted people whose thinking stops with themselves only; we are done with the yahoos and this fucking transition out of the black market; we are done. If you are part of the old paradigm, don’t apply.

first 2017 harvest… — July 6, 2017
Indica, Sativa & Hybrid – What Are Differences? — May 4, 2017

Indica, Sativa & Hybrid – What Are Differences?

It’s a beautiful, HOT, sunny day at Humboldt Growers.  This season at Humboldt Growers we have planted GSC (Girl Scout Cookie, “Cookie”), Headband and Jack Herer.

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GSC: A popular hybrid, it’s a cross between OG Kush and Durban Poison, giving a sweet/earthy scent. The effects of the this particular strain according to Leafly are: happy, relaxed, euphoric, uplifted and creative.  The medicinal aspect of the strain helps with stress, pain, depression, lack of appetite and headaches.  Cookie has an earthy sweet scent that is also pungent.

gscHD2

Headband:  Also a hybrid is a cross between OG Kush and Sour Diesel, she has a smooth, creamy smoke with hints of lemons and a bit of diesel.  Headband’s effects will include: happy, relaxed, uplifted, euphoric, and creative.  Medicinally Headband will target stress, depression, pain, nausea and fatigue.  Headband has an earthy, diesel scent that is quite pungent, she’s delicious!

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Jack Herer: A very popular and one of my favorite Sativa dominate strains named after the cannabis activist and author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes.  Jack Herer is a cross of Haze with Northern Lights #5 and Shiva Skunk.  JH effects are happy, uplifted, energetic, euphoric and creative, whereas it’s medicinal benefits help with stress, depression, pain, fatigue and lack of appetite.  JH has an earthy, pine and woodsy scent, perfect for a day hike in the beautiful Redwood Forrest.

jackhererHD1

Today, we’re going to break down the differences between Indica, Sativa and Hybrid strains.  Back in the day I don’t ever recall having so many choices, but then again I wasn’t what you would call a weed connoisseur .  When I first started using medical cannabis I was at a loss, I had no idea where to start or what to research, there was just so much information out there, it was overwhelming.  And oh my goodness, walking into a dispensary for the first time was beyond intimidating, I walked in and walked right back out, took me nearly a year to step foot into another shop.

The first noticeable difference between indica and sativa strains is the plants structure. Indica plants have shorter, wider leaves, and are typically darker in green, they can grow up to 4 feet tall making them ideal for indoor grows.  The sativa plant has longer more narrow leaves, she is lighter in green color and can grow upwards of 20 feet, making it perfect for your outdoor grow.

Indica strains typically have sedating/relaxing effects which induce a full body high thus giving a “couch-lock” feeling.  Indica’s are great to treat body pain, muscle relaxation, reduce seizures, sleep aid, nausea suppressant and also helps to relieve stress and anxiety. Grab a movie, blanket and your favorite munchies, kick your feet up and enjoy the relaxing effect of your favorite indica.

Sativa’s are best known for their uplifting effects providing energy and creativity, it’s a fabulous strain to get the creative juices flowing.  Sativa’s generally provide stimulation and energy making it a good “wake and bake” and mid-day smoke.  Sativa’s are great to smoke while on a hike in the beautiful Redwood Forrest, a day at the beach or just shopping for some fresh, yummy, local produce at the farmers market.  Sativa’s are also know for fighting depression, and increases focus and creativity.

Hybrid cannabis is a cross between Indica and Sativa plants, most genetics are of some sort of hybrid.  Hybrid cannabis takes the best of both worlds, some strains are indica dominate, while others are sativa, and there are also 50/50 hybrid strains.

I found a little web-site that I like to call the “Weed Bible” a.k.a. Leafly.  This is my go to site for most things cannabis.  If you’re unsure of a strain, or you are looking to treat a certain ailment check this site first.  Medical Jane is also a great go to for all things cannabis.

Leafly

Medical Jane

How To Clone A Mom — April 14, 2017

How To Clone A Mom

In today’s blog I will write about how to clone from a mom.  First lets address the verbiage that will be used, a “mom” plant is the mother plant which typically receives 18-24 hours of light each day, this keeps the plant in a vegetative state where it will not bloom and produce buds. Cuts are made at one of the top nodes of the mom.

Always start with strong, healthy moms. A clone is a cut you take from the mother plant. With sanitized and sharpened pruning shears you want to make your cuts from the top branches.

HowToClone1Your cutting area should be clean and free of debris, ensure you have new/unused razor blades, and any rooting compound.  Once you make your cut, place the cutting in a glass of room temperature water, take one cut and place on your cutting board, with a new razor make your slice at an angel of 45 degrees at a node. Always leave 2 nodes below the cut.

Score the cut at the base and dip into a rooting compound and place the cut into a rooting cube.

Within 10-14 days you should start to see healthy, white, fuzzy roots.  We will discuss repotting the plant in next weeks blog.