Vintner Michael Honig echoed Wagenknecht’s opinion that it would be best for the county to explore crafting a law to its liking.
“If this goes to the ballot, all bets are off,” he said, raising the specter of multinational corporations coming in to finance a measure many in the community might dislike.
But others said cannabis hoop houses and odors from grows wouldn’t mix with wine country. In addition, Napa Valley Vintners, Napa County Farm Bureau, Napa Valley Grapegrowers and Visit Napa Valley opposed exploring a cannabis cultivation law at this time.
The Farm Bureau disputed the idea that a compromise county cannabis cultivation law would fend off a ballot initiative. The group noted that county law changes to further protect trees didn’t prevent watershed protection advocates from pursuing another measure.
“The Board of Supervisors has no evidence of an overwhelming support for commercial cannabis cultivation whatsoever,” wrote Farm Bureau CEO Ryan Klobas and President Johnnie White.
Debra Dommen of Treasury Wine Estates, which owns six Napa County wineries, said the company grows grapes in other areas that allow commercial cannabis cultivation. It has not been a good experience, she added.
Nor did she see the county as having to fear a ballot initiative.