Mercer-Fraser withdraws application for hash lab facility on Trinity River property

In a surprise move, Mercer-Fraser withdrew their application for a cannabis production facility at Tuesday's Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meeting.

Local construction company Mercer-Fraser withdrew their application to build a cannabis extraction facility on property they own nearby the Trinity River in the Hoopa Valley after intense opposition from community members at Tuesday's Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meeting.

One of the items on the board's agenda for their Dec. 4 meeting was a potential zoning reclassification for the plot of land in question. By reclassifying the land as "industrial resource related," it could be used for both heavy industrial production and commercial cannabis production. The move was at the center of a heated controversy because the proposed cannabis production facility would be located a quarter mile down the road from an elementary school.

"We want them to shut it down. This is not a fit for our community," Hoopa Valley Tribal Councilmember Vivienna Orcutt said before the board began deliberating Tuesday afternoon. "This is not a fit to put a warehouse full of butane and ethanol in an area that has major wildfires every year 56 feet from an elementary school."

"We believe common sense would be to keep controlled substances away from school-aged children, controlled substance being cannabis," Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified School District Superintendent Jon Ray said. "Any type of processing, growing or cultivation, anything to do with the substance should be kept away from elementary-aged children especially."

Although the board did approve the zoning reclassification, they did not vote to do so until Mercer-Fraser decided to pull their application to build the cannabis facility. The land will still be used for heavy industrial production.

The construction company decided to withdraw their application for the hash oil lab due to severe outcry and backlash from community members during the item's public comment period.

The board began deliberation on the rezoning agenda item at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. The final decision to approve the reclassification after Mercer-Fraser withdrew their application for the cannabis production facility came down at 5 p.m.

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