California county’s voters reject measure restricting marijuana cultivation

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Voters in Humboldt County, California, soundly rejected a ballot initiative Tuesday that aimed to widely curb marijuana cultivation in that region.

According to the final election night report from the county, Measure A was opposed by nearly 73% of voters, a blowout by election standards.

Measure A, dubbed the Humboldt Cannabis Reform Initiative, featured several new business restrictions, including:

  • Capping the size of farms at 10,000 square feet, which would make more than 400 licensed farms noncompliant.
  • Requiring public hearings for all grow operations larger than 3,000 square feet.
  • Limiting farm locations on two-way roads that can accommodate speeds of 25-40 mph.
  • Restricting noncompliant farms from expanding, including increasing space, water and energy use or any structures related to cultivation.

Humboldt County, part of California’s famed Emerald Triangle, is one of the nation’s most fertile agricultural regions.

In October, a group of small marijuana farmers and a trade group in Northern California filed a lawsuit seeking to remove the initiative from the ballot.

The suit alleged that ballot organizers utilized false and misleading information to secure the required number of signatures and failed to include the full text of the initiative, as required by law.