Cannabis Cultivation and Redwood Restoration
Save the Redwoods League is working to ensure that funding from California’s marijuana markets is directed to support redwood forest restoration activities, and eventually redwood park stewardship.
The funding stems from the California Adult Use of Marijuana Act, or Proposition 64, which voters passed in 2016. The measure legalized recreational marijuana in the state and thus created the world’s largest legal pot economy. The law includes funding for the restoration of forested watersheds and eventual stewardship of public lands most adversely impacted by illegal marijuana cultivation.
Studies conducted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife have revealed that the conversion of forests to unregulated cannabis grow sites has severely damaged water quality and supplies, special status species, and other natural resources. In addition to providing a regulatory framework for recreational marijuana cultivation and sales, such as establishing excise and sales taxes, as well as licenses for growing, distributing, and selling marijuana, Prop 64 also prioritizes the protection and restoration of redwood forests.
The measure accomplishes this by helping to enforce existing laws to protect water resources and wildlife, by dedicating 20 percent of all cannabis sales and excise tax revenue to an Environmental Protection and Restoration Account in the state budget. The law also dedicates funding to stewardship and operations of impacted State Parks and natural areas to prevent damage from cannabis cultivation.