In regard to the ordinances put forth by California Cannabis Voice Humboldt concerning cannabis cultivation ("Draft Day," July 2 and "Pot 'O Money," July 9), for the most part these ordinances seem very well thought out and deliberated and I commended the CCVH for its efforts. However, there are significant problems with determining taxation on the basis of a one-time measurement of canopy at the height of its peak total coverage.
Though perhaps well intended, the current proposed system of parcel and canopy measurement can have unfair consequences for many different groups: for breeders and farmers that grow from seed and will have males to cull; for farmers that plan for multiple harvest times, growing different varieties maturing at different rates; and especially for those who simply get hit with a late run of bad luck and suffer ruined crops.
For the last group, this method of canopy measurement and taxation adds insult to injury. Not only do they suffer crop failure, but they are made to pay the same taxes as neighbors who did not suffer their fates — as if the crops were never ruined at all. Why should one be made to pay tax on plants that never make it to market? In the end, they suffer both wasted investments AND higher taxation.
Fortunately the solution is simple: Allow for multiple and separate taxation on multiple and separately measured parcels. However, in addition include the mandate that within a reasonably short period of time — such as one week (my personal suggestion) — that said measured parcel must be harvested.
Mandating that the measured parcels be harvested within a week of measurement forgoes all the aforementioned problems above. It allows for selective parcels to be measured at different times, accounting for different maturity rates, males are allowed to be culled beforehand (or to simply exist on unmeasured parcels), possible increases to canopy via further growth is still minimized, and possibility for subsequent crop ruin is also minimized — being unlikely to occur in such short time before harvest.
I thank CCVH for their time and efforts, and hope we can eventually all come to agreement on initiatives truly best fitting for our community and for all of Humboldt County.
Dawson Eliah Darling, McKinleyville