Humboldt County, California is well known for its illegal cannabis cultivation. In light of recent governmental approval to make marijuana legal for recreational purposes in California, many cannabis processing and production plants are sprouting up throughout the state to meet rising demand. Mercer-Fraser Company, a legal cannabis production and processing company, sought to gain property rights along the Mad River. Mercer-Fraser would have used volatile compounds, including butane, propane, and carbon dioxide in the extraction and edible production process of marijuana.
Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District (HBMWD) voiced concern about the health of Humboldt County’s citizens, with the potential for toxins to leach into the watershed and impact clean drinking water for two-thirds of the County’s citizens. The plant was stopped after the HBMWD appealed the Humboldt county planning commissions 3-2 vote for moving the project forward, with the help of two-thirds of Humboldt County’s residents.
The denial of this project is a successful victory for Humboldt County’s residents and the HBMWD in saving the local watershed and drinking water from contamination. Aesthetic value is saved both at the site of production plant and downstream, and biotic and abiotic composition is also maintained.
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