Humboldt Bay harbor district Executive Director Jack Crider confirmed Friday that the district has been illegally renting its Samoa pulp mill property to businesses in full awareness that it is violating county land use laws.

Crider said his decision to rent to these four businesses “was all about saving jobs in this community” and said the county government is aware of the district’s actions.

Some of the businesses currently renting the district’s property — such as An Electrician, Inc. — were displaced from their previous locations due to the newly regulated marijuana industry, Crider said.

“What triggered the whole thing was the desperation of local businesses that were getting forced out because of the cannabis industry,” he said. “The warehouses in town and everywhere else were being sold at an incredible price. The tenants were being kicked out, forced to vacate.”

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