Measure A: Humboldt Cannabis Reform Initiative

Measure A: Humboldt Cannabis Reform Initiative

The purpose of Humboldt Cannabis Reform: Measure A is to amend the Humboldt County General Plan in order to protect residents, land owners, and our beautiful natural environment from harm caused by large-scale industrial cannabis cultivation.

More specifically, what will the Humboldt Cannabis Reform: Measure A do?

Measure A would amend the Humboldt County General Plan, Humboldt County Local Coastal Plans, and Humboldt County Code as they pertain to commercial cannabis cultivation. It would improve enforcement of environmentally responsible cultivation practices, protect watershed health for residents, property owners and ecosystems, and support the small-scale, high-quality, and sustainable type of cultivation that made Humboldt famous.  Specific goals are:

  • Prevent large-scale grows that damage the environment and harm the community by: a) limiting new and expanded permits to outdoor and low-wattage “mixed light” cultivation with a maximum area of 10,000 sq. ft. and b) not allowing new cultivation applications that result in multiple cultivation permits per person or per parcel.
  • Support small-scale, high quality cannabis cultivation that minimizes environmental and social impacts by protecting the vested rights of farmers.
  • Limit the number of permits and acreage under cannabis cultivation by capping total number of permits and acreage to levels existing as of March 4, 2022, while allowing continued processing and approval of complete permit applications filed before that date.
  • Reduce impacts of cannabis cultivation on water availability and quality by: a) prohibiting reliance on diversions from streams between March 1 and November 15 of each year and b) requiring hydrological analysis of well water usage on springs, stream flows, and other water users.
  • Ensure greater participation and official accountability in decision-making by: a) requiring expanded public notice of cultivation applications and b) expanding the range of applications subject to public hearings.
  • Ensure that existing operations are inspected and compliance verified prior to permit renewal by requiring: a) annual in-person, on-site inspections, b) correction of violations, and c) investigation of legitimate complaints from the public before permits can be renewed.
  • Limit use of generators in cannabis cultivation operations by phasing in requirements that limit generator size and restrict usage to emergency purposes.

“We are not the only ones.” Sonoma County Cannabis EIR. November 9, 2023.


Sage Alexander, “12 water restoration projects funded from cannabis enforcement settlement“, Times-Standard, July 18, 2023.

Key Provisions of the Initiative

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Full Text of Measure A

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Notice of Intent to Circulate

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County of Humboldt Title and Summary of Initiative

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FAQ

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