Top Five Ways to Facilitate a Smooth Review of your Application

Dear Humboldt cannabis community and those working with the industry,

Many thanks to the hard-working people who are deep in the trenches of bringing the this industry in Humboldt out of the fog and into the light: to the staff across the counter at the Planning Department; to the farm hands working from sun up to sundown; to the building inspector braving roads full of potholes; to the consultants and lawyers who are having a hard time finding time to sleep; to our Agricultural Commissioner who has enthusiastically participated every step of the way; to the farmers who find themselves buried in meetings and paperwork instead of soil and sun; to the five Supervisors and new planning director; to the licensed contractors; to the loyal trimmer who is filling out their first 1099; and to the interim Sheriff for his transparency with regard to enforcement priorities--we applaud and we appreciate you.

But, before we get ahead of ourselves, there are still thousands of applications pending completion and review. On Thursday, May 18, Humboldt County Planning Director John Ford made a public commitment that all applications deemed complete by June 30, 2017, will be processed to decision by Dec. 31, 2017.

Director Ford has explained the new directives and provided clarity about how to navigate the permitting process, so it is time to get the job done.  Consultants, lawyers, agents, and applicants must work diligently to complete the process in a timely manner.  In response,  county departments must step up to the challenge and process applications before Jan. 1, 2018, when the state begins issuing licenses.

Here are the top five ways to facilitate a smooth review of your application:

  1. Be thorough. Make a checklist of planning and other agency requirements. Double and triple check your documents and reports to ensure they match with regard to proposed activities, and that all prior comments are directly addressed in the resubmittal paperwork;

  2. Be patient. If caught commencing cultivation or making site improvement actions prior to obtaining all needed permits these actions could result in permit delays (at best) and possible violations;

  3. Do not change the project description as the project is being processed, this can require re-evaluation of the project;

  4. Be available. In order to provide timely responses to planning department requests, make sure lines of communication are open including voicemail is setup and email is checked frequently; and

  5. Do not make daily calls to the planning department asking for an update (each call takes a planner away from working on the project).

Humboldt County, it’s time to see what we are made of. June 30 is right around the corner!

With kind regards,


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