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Board unanimously places commercial marijuana tax on Nov. ballot

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The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors unanimously placed a local commercial marijuana cultivation measure on the Nov. 8 ballot to maintain essential county services, including public safety, environmental clean-up and restoration, and mental health services for children and families.

"Illegal marijuana grows have caused a lot of harm to our watersheds and our environment over the years," Mark Lovelace, 3rd District Supervisor and Chair of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors said. "They've cleared forests, sucked streams dry and polluted our environment with toxic pesticides. Regulating and taxing legal marijuana cultivation ensures that this industry pays its fair share to fix this past harm and to protect public health, safety and the environment."

"Hard drugs and narcotics like meth and heroin continue to be growing problems in Humboldt County," Sheriff Mike Downey said. "The funds the cultivation measure will generate will help fight drug-related crimes, eliminate meth labs, and provide needed drug prevention and rehabilitation services."

With over $325 million in state takeaways over the past 24 years, Sacramento continues to take significant revenue from Humboldt County's budget. The cultivation measure would provide locally controlled funding to maintain essential services including public safety, protecting victims of child abuse, and drug rehabilitation services.

"Passing this measure locally protects this revenue so that it cannot be taken by Sacramento, ensuring that it will all be spent locally to address our needs here at home," Lovelace said.

If adopted by voters, the commercial marijuana cultivation measure would tax commercial growers a $1-$3 per square foot tax, based on the type of commercial marijuana grow. Funds from the measure would be subject to strict accountability provisions including annual independent audits and public review of expenditures that ensure funds are spent efficiently and responsibly.

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