Friday, November 28, 2008

Closer to home

The Great Arcata Grow House Saga/Resolution
Arcata Eye -
Council adopts cannabis standards – November 25, 2008
ARCATA – When the new medical marijuana land use standards go into effect Dec. 19, Arcata’s many cannabis patients will have simple, legal options for meeting their medicine needs. And neighborhoods blighted by grow houses will have options, too.

With a doctor’s recommendation, patients with a green thumb – or a caregiver with the knack – will be able to set up a home grow in up to 50 square feet. This might yield an ounce of cannabis per week – more than enough for most patients. Those with special needs may request more grow space.

Or, the patient can go downtown, where four non-profit cannabis centers – consituted as collectives or cooperatives per state guidelines – will sell them what they need. Terminal patients will likely be able to obtain cannabis at no cost.

And, in theory, the cannabis will flow in medically appropriate amounts to those in genuine need without surrendering whole houses, neighborhoods and prime downtown retail space to the marijuana industry.

The new standards apply only to areas of Arcata outside the Coastal Zone, which rings Humboldt Bay. A separate but identical ordinance covers those areas, but will not go into effect until approved by the Coastal Commission, which will take at least a year and probably longer.

Home grows

Home cannabis growers may use up to 50 square and 10 vertical feet to grow, with a maximum of 1,200 watts of lighting. No gases such as carbon dioxide or butane may be used.

The resulting cannabis can’t be sold, the growing can’t be detectable from outside the home and the home must be occupied as a residence. ...
Read the rest.

And more...
Ruinous cannabis grow takes out another rental – November 11, 2008
First, he said, “the smell hit you.” Then, as he walked the house, he found that it had been minimally occupied but fully ravaged by the tenants in service of a multi-room cannabis cultivation and processing operation (see photos, page A7).

The source of the water leakage was an overflowing irrigation reservoir in the laundry room, the floor of which glistened with standing water interspersed with soaked pellets of growing medium and pot leaves. An adjacent carpeted room was also soaked, with dark footprints where the waterlogged carpet had been mooshed down by people walking through.

Two upstairs rooms were converted for growing, with large frames containing the plastic-enclosed grows. Lights hung from hooks punched into the ceiling and large holes had been cut into the ceiling through which large ducts had been snaked. A carbon dioxide infusion system fed the growth-stimulating gas from tanks through ducts to the plants. Other ducts carried away exhaust through the house’s attic.

The priority appeared to have been cannabis, with honoring the rental agreement and respect for their landlord’s house a negligible consideration.

“There was total disregard for the property,” Fisher said. “They didn’t have to be as destructive as they were.”

Other than the elaborate cannabis cultivation apparatus, furnishings in the home were minimal, but similar to those found in other grow houses, right down to the Prop 215 recommendations posted on the wall, signed by the infamous Dr. Hany Assad.

(Illegal grow houses often sport posted cannabis recommendations signed by Assad and Dr. Ken Miller, who has said he bases his diagnoses on “sound science.” At last week’s City Council meeting, Miller told the council it should outlaw residental growing entirely.)

Yeah, you should grow it on Ken's Plantation on the Palco land he covets, that'd be my guess. I'm sure he'll have a more creative name than Ken's Plantation, it'll be something Orwellian. Pfffft.
Even though the grow has been removed, the house won’t be available to help relieve Arcata’s housing shortage, because, like other landlords, Fisher has decided not to risk the likelihood that new tenants will turn the house into another indoor farm.

“We’ll remove that house from potential rental,” Fisher said. “It’s a shame, because the HSU students need somewhere to live.”

Council passes around pot, passes cannabis standards – November 11, 2008
The new standards limit home cultivation for Prop 215 patients to 50 square feet with 1,200 watts of lighting and a 10-foot height limit. Use of growth-stimulating gases is prohibited. Homegrown medical marijuana may not be sold, and a patient may only maintain one grow. Homes with grows must retain functional kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms and can’t stink up the neighborhood.

Those who require more than 50 square feet of cultivation for their medical needs may be granted a variance to grow in up to 100 square feet with extra fire safety measures in the form of greenboard firewalls.

No more than four medical marijuana cooperatives/collectives may operate in Arcata, and if one closes, the limit drops and stays at three. A cannabis center may not use more than 1,500 square feet or 25 percent of its floor space for growing.

The centers can’t buy from grow houses. They must develop detailed Operations Manuals documenting patients screening procedures and tracking data for cannabis acquisition and dispensation. They must develop energy conservation and waste recycling procedures. Annual performance reviews are required. A proposed limit of four dispensed ounces of cannabis per patient per month came under fire, with heavy criticism from patients, caregivers and clinicians.

...Some citizens wondered how the fancy new standards regarding grow houses will be enforced. Under the standards, citizens may complain to Community Development about suspected illegal grows, which will trigger code enforcement by the City via property inspections and, if a grow house is discovered, possible electrical power disconnection and nuisance abatement proceedings. Complaints will be kept confidential unless subpoenaed by a court in an ensuing criminal case....

Cannabis dispensary takes Arcata to court over cultivation ban – July 1, 2008
MMJ clinic halt renewed as DEA rumor clears grows – June 24, 2008
Jason Browne: The down-low on the get-high from an old hand on medical cannabis (Part 1) – June 17, 2008
Grow houses: the cost and the carbon – June 17, 2008
Kevin Hoover: One more time – neighborhood wrecking bad, compassionate use good. Got it? – June 17, 2008
Tagged "grow house" turns out to be just that – June 10, 2008
Multi-grow house bust nets 30-day sentences – June 10, 2008
HUMBOLDT – On June 4, 2008, Judge Marilyn Miles sentenced John Devoe and Clare Holmes to felony probation and 30 days in jail for cultivating marijuana.

On August 20, 2007, agents with the Humboldt County Drug Task Force served search warrants on six properties that belonged to Devoe and Holmes. The investigation began based upon an anonymous tip. Agents then obtained PG&E records for the properties prior to seeking search warrants for any of the homes.

At 2929 Greenbriar Lane, the agents found 216 marijuana plants in four grow rooms and 21 pounds of processed marijuana bud (17 pounds were packaged in one-pound bags). PG&E records showed the power usage ranged from 2,420 to 8,065 killowatt hours per month over the past 16 months.

At 1271 Anina Way, the agents found the house empty except for 18 marijuana plants with six grow lights in one room and in another room potting soil and cultivation equipment. The house had a damp, moldy smell. PG&E records showed 6,380 killowatt hours were used in June, 2007.

At 200 California Ave., agents again found a house with no furniture and the walls and floors covered in mold. The house was being used at that point for storage of soil, grow lights and other materials. PG&E records showed monthly usage ranging from 1,251 to 4,415 killowatt hours for the prior 16 months. A calendar there described the grow and water cycles.

At 1685 Hyland St., the agents located Ms. Holmes. In a brown bag agents located $20,000 in cash. An additional $1,429 was found separately. About three pounds of marijuana trim was located at the residence. The defendants’ two remaining properties, at 536 Nature Lane in Arcata and 117 Berry Road in Trinidad, did not contain any contraband.

In addition to the money found in the residence with Holmes, bank and stock accounts were seized and the monies from all sources totalling in excess of $66,000 were seized by law enforcement and the defendants agreed to forfeit those monies as part of the plea.

Holmes was represented by Ann Moorman; Devoe by Mark Harris; and the case was prosecuted by Maggie Fleming.

Dear grow house owner... May 21, 2008
Overlay zones eyed to curb cannabis dispensary problems – April 29, 2009(8?)
Eye Editorial: 'Stuck in legalism' – April 8, 2008
More grow houses go down – March 25, 2008
Clash of the cannabis clinicians – December 11, 2007
Council forms cannabis working group – October 23, 2007
Jeff ( Schwartz: How to solve Arcata's grow house crisis – October 23, 2007
Building codes key to grow house crackdown – Novermber 6, 2007
Legalize it, say Supes – August 28, 2007
Three fewer grow houses, thanks to DTF – June 19, 2007
Fresh pressures compound Arcata's housing shortage – March 28, 2007
Grow grabbed at gunpoint – June 13, 2006

Nobody covers this like Kevin at the Arcata Eye. I suspect he has enough material for another book.

◼ The Journal Arcata Council passes new pot guidelines


  1. Rose, You've put together an excellent source of information here. Thank you.

  2. Thanks, Kym... I should add the links to your Diesel Spill Posts and Articles. I will when I get time.


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