Mom-and-Pop Cultivation Loses in Mendocino

Small cannabis farmers in Mendocino County, in the heart of California’s marijuana-producing “Emerald Triangle,” lost big in their attempt to write mom-and-pop cultivation into the fabric of local law on Election Day.

Marijuana is one of the chief economic drivers in rural Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties—and, for small farmers, even rivals wine in some areas of Sonoma County. In some areas, it is the main source of economic activity.

Mendocino’s so-called “Heritage Initiative,” which would have legalized cannabis cultivation nearly everywhere in the county—including on former timber land—and removed a cap on the number of cultivation permits granted, lost by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. By early Wednesday, Measure AF was losing 64 percent against to 35 percent for, according to the latest county election results.

Opponents of the measure said Measure AF masqueraded as an effort friendly to small business. At least with its law-enforcement provision—removing cops from local cannabis regulations and replacing police enforcement with civil penalties—it appears to have badly overreached.

Read the full story >