Setting the Bar
The Green Trade monthly policy working group will meet in room 4 of the Louden Nelson Community Center 11:30-1 on Wednesday June 21. Our monthly general meeting on Wednesday June 28, 7pm at the Freight Building at Depot Park will also be policy focused.
The working group will begin the process of “Setting the Bar” for an environmentally responsible, socially conscious, safe and fair cannabis trade in Santa Cruz County and defining “good standing” as it applies to eligibility for state licensing.
High quality standards, a commitment to best practices and the sense of community is what created our world renowned reputation for great cannabis. As we transition from prohibition and quasi legal status to full membership in local and state commerce we have new responsibilities but also a great opportunity to provide leadership within the wider community.
The recently announced delay in the expected release of the draft EIR makes it nearly certain that the Board of Supervisors will not get to vote on the proposed final ordinances before the end of the year. New state legislation and the agency regulations being finalised should provide a much clearer path toward state licensing.
One thing remains certain, eligibility for state licenses requires local approval. Local approval may come in many forms, (the state will likely provide some guidance). It would certainly be a local license but it could also come as an affirmation that a business is in “good standing” with the local jurisdiction.
We do not yet know how the new leadership at the County Office – the replacement of long time Chief Administrator Susan Mauriello with Carlos Palacio – will affect how cannabis businesses are treated but we do know that the county staff have heard our calls to develop a plan that allows for business continuity and ensures eligibility to seek state licensing. We need to be clear that disruptions are not good for anyone.
We’ve been invited to share our thoughts on what benchmarks or other criteria could establish “good standing” and that will be one of our focuses this Wednesday.
In other news:
State Bureau of Cannabis Control
The passage this week of SB94 now awaits only the Governor’s signature to become the law of the land. This almost 60,000 word law replaces both the AUMA and the MCRSA language. A lot of ambiguity has been removed and generally the new law should help small producers and processors to enter and compete in legal cannabis marketplace. The various state agencies who have been drafting regulations will now need to realign them to fit this law. Public comment periods will reopen soon.
State Environmental Impact Report
The State CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) for public review and comment. This environmental report can be viewed here. The Draft PEIR provides information about the potential environmental effects associated with the adoption and implementation of statewide cannabis cultivation regulations. Additional information on the PEIR can be found by reading this Frequently Asked Questions handout on the environmental review process. The release of the Draft PEIR triggers a 45-day public review and comment period to allow agencies and interested parties the opportunity to provide input on the environmental analyses, mitigation measures, and alternatives associated with statewide cannabis cultivation. Public and agency comments on the Draft PEIR are a critical part of the environmental review process.
The formal comment period for the CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Draft PEIR begins on June 15, 2017, and ends on July 31, 2017, 5pm (PST) A number of public meetings will be held around the state including one in Monterey on July 18th.
Marketing Working Group Update
A lot of progress is being made on collaborative marketing initiatives by our marketing working group. We will share more information at our June General meeting but here are few highlights:
- Progress continues on a “Santa Cruz Brand” logo for use by members.
- A cannabis speakers bureau is being formed. Brenda Chadwick and Christopher Carr are taking the lead in the organization of this service to reach out in the local community to provide reliable information on a variety of topics. A short generic presentation is being developed, speakers are being recruited and audience groups are being identified.
- A “Swag Bag” of Santa Cruz cannabis related products for use as promotional gifts for visiting celebrities and dignitaries and as a prototype for future promotional activities is being designed.
Green Trade Membership Update
We have resolved our banking issue and can now resume accepting membership fees. A separate announcement with all the details is coming soon. It will be important that prospective members sign up and remit their fees to assure voting rights, eligibility for election to the Board of Directors and other membership benefits.
Plans for a Professional Services focused meeting
We are planning to hold a general meeting (possibly in July) featuring service providers – attorneys, accountants, realtors, insurers, packaging, marketing, etc. – If you fall into this category let us know by email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be interested in participating. If you are in need of any of these services, stay tuned for more details.