How recreational marijuana legalization would impact small farmers in Humboldt County will mostly depend on the actions of the local industry, according to a Humboldt State University panel discussion Wednesday.
Fred Krissman, a research associate with the HSU Anthropology Department and scholar in the university’s Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research (HIIMR), said marijuana is currently the “last small farm industry in California.”
But he said the legalization of recreational marijuana through Proposition 64, also called the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), this year could change that by allowing for large scale grows after five years, which he said could pave the way for larger businesses taking over the market as has happened in other agricultural sectors.
“This is a major threat to small scale grows,” he said. “Most best practice growers that I have met oppose AUMA on that issue alone.”
Krissman was one of four marijuana experts who spoke in Wednesday’s panel discussion in the university’s Kate Buchanan Room. The panel, hosted by the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research, allowed the crowd of students, local residents and cannabis industry stakeholders to ask questions about the legalization measure anonymously by text.