Wednesday, March 29, 2023

‘A Referendum Would Effectively Shut Down the Legal Cannabis Industry’- Executive Director of Visit Mendocino County on Referendums


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Remember opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of MendoFever nor have we checked the letters for accuracy.

I have been hesitant to speak on the new cannabis ordinance because of how it’s been  portrayed by referendum proponents, but I feel an issue this important for our community merits  thoughtful discussion. 

It’s ok for community members to come down on both sides of this issue and it’s ok if you signed  the petition with the best of intentions but, didn’t realize the impacts a referendum would have.  You can contact the County Clerk if you would like to remove your signature. 

For those of us who hold a vision of environmental stewardship and sustainable economic  development for Mendocino County, the referendum is unfortunately not the path that it  promises to be. While claiming to protect the environment, it would actually remove all  environmental protections and limits to activities like water hauling and illegal diversions. 

A referendum would effectively shut down the legal cannabis industry and set back our  economy several years in terms of developing new tourism opportunities which celebrate our  local legacy farms. The new ordinance offers a path forward for licensed farms which will allow  them to build out the Mendocino brand and build on our rich heritage of local agriculture to  share with the world. This agriculture heritage and the Mendocino Cannabis brand directly support our tourism economy. Visitors are traveling for cannabis, exploring, learning and  engaging with communities and tend to stay longer as visitors, spending more during their  stays.  


Travis Scott 

Executive Director 

Visit Mendocino County

PO BOX 89 UKIAH CA 95482

p 707.964.9010 



  1. Not having a cannabis program would keep us from accessing the 100s of millions of dollars earmarked for eradication that comes from cannabis taxes, as mandated by the voters of prop 64. So essentially closing the cannabis program will be a boom for environmentally damaging illegal operators. We would have to rely on our local funds for eradication, which is a bumpy road since the sheriff is trying to hire legal counsel to represent them against the BOS. When Humboldt started eradicating farms it caused an exodus, which went to Mendocino. Same thing happened when Sonoma started eradicating. If we drop the ball and loose state and federal support it will not bode well for our county.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at if you know a story that needs to be told.

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