Planning Director’s estimate on processing pot permits: Between 7 and 36 years for all permits received

County of Humboldt Planning Director John Ford was kind enough to give this response to a friend of THC’s inquiry about the total number of commercial cannabis permit application received before year’s end; Ford was also gracious enough to provide an estimate on how many permits the County would work through by year’s end.

Here’s the exchange:

Now, there are a couple of points we’d like to make about this: first, the Planning Department “taking action” on an application is, of course, not the same thing as approving it.

More importantly, let’s look at the anticipated rate of action-taking on permits. Ford (very generous) estimate that the County will take action on 300 of the 2,773 applications received this year means that – at the rate of 300 per year – we will be well into 2024, maybe even 2025, before the first round of applications are addressed. (Assuming the County doesn’t allow more applications in the future.)

But if you, like THC, are pretty damn skeptical about 300 applications being processed by year’s end, then you might want to consider the rate at which applications are being approved/processed now.

In terms of approved permits, we’ve got 19 so far, for a rough rate of 76 per year. Which would mean it will take over 36 years to get through all of the submitted apps should they be completed. 36 years in the future is also known as 2053.

This gives us an effective estimate of between 7 and 36 years for the County to handle their work on processing cannabis permits.

Which, as we are sure you are aware, is a big f***ing joke.

All told, this should be taken as yet another indication that the Supervisors didn’t have the faintest clue what they were getting into when they jumped into bed with the cannabis business. Far from cannabis turning into a cash cow, the green industry is turning into a massive drain on the County’s resources.

Of course, all the people waiting in line to get their applications processed once they’ve completed them shouldn’t be too concerned. By the time the County gets through the process – even if it happens in the shortest amount of time predicted – the majority of people won’t have the ability or even want to use those permits, as the green rush will have moved on after picking our area’s bones clean.

Which is a real darn shame, seeing as how the County and various cities in Humboldt have done their very best to completely screw over non-cannabis businesses in the short term. By the time cannabis in Humboldt collapses, those businesses won’t have the ability because zero effort has been made to invest in their success by our local governments. Hell, most of the businesses getting chased out by pot might not even be around anymore.

Be sure to thank your representatives when that time comes.

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5 Responses to Planning Director’s estimate on processing pot permits: Between 7 and 36 years for all permits received

  1. Lynn Mae says:

    I have a different (but unfortunately more skeptical) opinion. I think County Planning is laying the ground work to request another five or ten employees to handle the processing….and because things are the way they are, there would either have to be a manager which would then require two supervisors or two supervisors whose work would come under the management of someone else who will then declare that they are overworked and need another employee to assist so they can handle the new employees… endless, mind-destroying, bureaucratic commitment to herd cats.
    I wanted to write something else but I really like the image of people in suits trying to herd cats.

    Personally, I think it should be contracted out so a private company can make money (outsource outside HumCo as I doubt anyone could do it properly locally and it would eliminate favoritism) and they would be paid for actual results, not for motivational meetings, birthday parties, out-of-town trips to gain experience and share knowledge, or having meetings with other agencies/personnel, paid for actually W-O-R-K with finished product to show for it.

    I truly do not think I am a cynic but I do hope that I am a realist.


  2. Uri Driscoll says:

    I certainly would have liked to see something different and kept saying Keep it Small Stupid.
    If we had just let any appropriately zoned parcel grow a small amount of product and pay a $1000 per year fee. That would be a three year program to establish who is growing and make it so the paper work is simple. I liked the zip tie program as well that Mendo did.
    Then during that three years a proper EIR is developed using collected data. Those who want to grow bigger have a way to do that IF they have been in compliance and have there act together.
    The $10 mil per year ($1000 X 10,000 sites) would allow for proper training and development of a system to handle all this. The three years would allow time to train staff and determine the level of work load for the Planning Dept.
    What to do now?
    Filter the applications according to realistic compliance potential. Process the ones that have their act together first and see where the market goes. In 2053 the market is going to look a lot different.
    One has to wonder with the amount grown legally in California how the hell do Californians smoke that much. I would love to see those figures published.
    Maybe THC can pull that together after their latest Mike’s lemonade bender.


  3. the misadventures of bunjee says:

    How is it I can do my 1040s each year, with everything included from business expenses to offsets, or EICs and keep every receipt for the last 2 years and have that shit done in under a day, AND looked over by my tax guy, yet these folks can’t process them in 35 years? I’ve seen the applications. They are not 20 pages long. To process them is manual data entry with really a check box for approved or not. Hell I can do that on my free time and get it done faster. Correctly too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Donn says:

    Clearly the Planning Department wars of the last decade have changed little or nothing. The Supes failure to keep Ulansey on the Planning Commission removed the last meaningful voice for change and progress.


  5. Pingback: The Always Updated Guide to California Cannabis Regulations by County

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