Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Driscoll On Humboldt's Pot Future

One of my favorite commentators, contrarian environmentalist Uri Driscoll, was published in the Times- Standard this morning discussing the future of the marijuana industry in Humboldt. That sort of thing usually has my eyes rolling into the back of my head. It did this time as I browsed through the article. If someone else had written it, I wouldn't have bothered reading. Then I came to this part:

" If indeed there is to be a need for large amounts of marijuana to be grown in Humboldt County, perhaps the Samoa industrial site is most suited. The county and/or the Harbor district could develop a co-op type facility where Humboldt residents could rent an area that has been converted into a greenhouse and share processing and growing equipment. Regulations and security would be rather simple to enforce."

Great. Let's turn one of our few, if only, industrial sites into a pot garden. Whatever. But he did make a point right after that. Unlike current grow areas, Samoa does have access to lots of water. Fifty million(?) gallons a day is the surplus available from the closing of the mills:

"While marijuana growing may not technically be a coastal dependent industry, it is heavily water dependent and there is plenty available that is not being diverted from streams."

There could be a downside to that should it actually come to pass: If those marijuana farms use up all our surplus water, those of us in the greater Eureka area might have to actually follow water use restrictions as those elsewhere do.


At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a pretty obvious best use of the Mad River allottment, that we are threatened with losing it if we don't use it.

But now that we have a Sacramento Water commissioner in chief that problem may be moot..and that water will make it's way south cause those three year old almond trees may die without it!!


At 10:26 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

They had a story in one of the local papers about potential plans to export water down south. Not to almond farms, but Mendocino and Sonoma Counties. It read to me as if it was just too expensive for most to consider outside of crisis.

If we ran a pipeline down there costs would be akin to desalination. If the drought continued for a decade, they might not have any choice, but we have no idea how long it will last. The bottom line, though, is even if we did pipe our water down there, they'd never have enough. They would outgrow the additional water soon enough.

At 11:40 AM, Blogger uri driscoll said...

I don't think that marijuana grows would take up all the water the pulp mills did but it may take up enough to help pay for the water infrastructure costs that are going to hit rate payers hard.
This is an idea that hopefully would not take up all the industrial land but the revenue per acre that was being talked about was a million $ per two acres per year. If that is accurate it would be interesting to compare that to what traditional industry could produce.
Personally I am not a marijuana user except for applying an infused oil to relieve my horses skin irritation and regrow his rubbed out hair. Don't know what would happen if he ever got drug tested and no I have not used it on my own bald spot. Yet
My main point is that the mountain grows are over if this gets legal. It will have to be produced in a much more efficient way. Besides the water diversions are only going to become a bigger issue as is the TPZ etc. So why not get ahead of this and bring it to an area that has water and could actually be a positive example. The Humboldt brand as it stands now is not very positive. It needs a makeover if it is going to survive.

At 12:07 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I have to wonder if the grows at in the hills might still be there- at least a fair number of them- if there was a more legitimate place to do it like the Samoa industrial area?


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