Humboldt County Grand Jury Recommends Improvements to Cannabis Permitting System

The Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury has recommended a series of changes to the county’s cannabis permitting process and its online permit management system Accela. The report, which was released May 8, is aimed at improving a burdensome process that has a backlog of 900 pending cannabis permits.

The recommendations include the following:

  1. Approve sufficient funding for the Planning and Building Department to upgrade the Accela system so that applicants can complete the application and payment online.
  2. Have the Public Works Department submit a budget request to build out Accela modules for Planning and Building Department referrals for 1) encroachment permitting 2) legal document review 3) map review 4) drainage fee calculator 5) encroachment violation and tracking 6) reporting tools for each module and/or other modules determined to be necessary.
  3. Approve funding for the Public Works Department to fully implement Accela to a level which enables Public Works to meet its specific needs.
  4. Provide specific instructions for the general public to search a location without creating an account in Accela or the need to contact the Planning and Building staff in the Citizen Access Portal.
  5. Have the Planning and Building Department act on all County interim cannabis permits upon receiving notice of approval or denial of the State provisional license.
  6. Have the Planning and Building Department notify applicants of the corrective actions required for approval whenever applications are pending more than 30 days.

The Grand Jury has requested responses to its report within 60 days from the heads of the Humboldt County Planning and Building Department and Humboldt County Public Works Department. Within 90 days, it has requested a response from the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors.

Read more at the Times-Standard.