On Tuesday, February 9, the Board of Supervisors heard a report from the County Economic Development Department, followed by a presentation by Julie Benbow, the executive director for the Humboldt County Visitors Bureau, on their plan to market Humboldt County’s tourism resources for the next three years. The supervisor’s agendas are released to the public around 5pm on Friday evenings. HCGA staff saw the agenda, read HCVB’s reports, and in response spent what is likely a combined total of 48 hours pulling together background information, analyzing, and writing what became a 17-page public comment letter submitted to the county at 4pm Monday. Additionally, staff put a call out to members to see who was available to hop on an impromptu call to help deliver public comments at the Board of Supervisors’ hearing. What was likely set up as a perfunctory presentation with little public engagement, instead was met with critical feedback and questions. The identity of Humboldt County as it markets itself for tourism is at stake. This is not just a cannabis issue, but a community issue that impacts restaurants, boutique retail, adventure guides, arts & entertainment, cities, chambers of commerce, wineries, breweries, distilleries, cannabis farms, enjoyment lounges, cheese-makers, and more. We believe today’s agenda item represented a rare opportunity where a single topic can drastically change the lives and course of the county for generations, while moving the whole county forward, and aiding in critical post-covid recovery. The Supervisors kicked the can down the road for 90-days. Stay tuned. Click here to read HCGA’s comment letter.
As drought conditions persist and intensify, we view additional and widespread adoption of decentralized water storage as the single most essential tool in promoting long-term sustainable water usage in cannabis agriculture, and an area of shared priority for cannabis farmers, environmental advocates, and the county.