SLO County Cannabis Business Association > Blog > FEDERAL MARIJUANA PROHIBITION

Anticipating California Cannabis Licensing Applications from Bureau

Well, here we are, one month away from the GO date for legal and regulated cannabis sales in California!

Normally, I'd be excited about such a thing, but unfortunately am feeling the stress and anxiety of SLOcal cannabis business owners scrambling to find new property to cultivate on, buildings to lease, requirements to meet, services to contract, application fees as well as License Permit fees to pay all within this next 30 days.  It's like watching the largest game of musical chairs I've ever seen, with multiple chairs being pulled each time the music stops.

Before we get into the State issues, let's visit the local regulation first.  The SLO Board of Supervisors on November 27th voted to adopt the new regulation concerning commercial cannabis production & retail as well as banned all outdoor cultivation for personal use.   I don't have much that is positive to say about this at the moment except for it was not at all what I expected when we started this journey over a year and 1/2 ago.  SLOCCBA board members will be convening today to discuss our position as well as any options that may be available as a response to unpopular restrictions.   More to come.

The state as of this moment hasn't opened up the portal to accept applications yet.  You can sign up to receive email updates from the state as well as monitor the FB page or Twitter account by following @Bccinfo.dca to be one of the first to know!  In the meantime, requirements are posted.  If you're anticipating having a cannabis business, I sure hope you've already viewed, know and began assembling your application package!

Here's a great article in The Desert Sun summarizing what you can expect come January 1st as the long awaited legalization rolls out.  Availability will be scarce. No where in SLO County, will you be able to legally purchase cannabis products....that I know of at this moment.

I'm still disappointed that our local leadership thought time was better spent in restricting access to legal cannabis rather than investing time to help these businesses become legitimate, legal and ready to apply with the State agencies.  It remains to be seen how local law enforcement & leadership are going to treat providers and consumers as they struggle to find the products they're used to purchasing come the new year.

If you are a business owner in need of resources or have services to offer, please feel free to email Marie@SLOCCBA.org for referrals or give me a call at (805) 712-5963.

Peace,

Marie Roth

SLOCCBA President

 

 

California Allows Cannabis Monopolies

In the past almost two years that I've been working in the California cannabis space, I've been inspired by the American dream of owning one's own business.  The opportunity that's come about for Californians to transition to a legitimate, above board cannabis business has been met with unprecedented enthusiasm by thousands of currently operating small canna-biz owners.

This is precisely why I got into this gig, I could see the potential for these businesses to provide locally grown, quality products to those in need in their community and even enjoy a little California Cannabis market competition much like our California wine industry does.  I instantly wanted to be a part of this historic transition to help guide these business owners by gathering & sharing the resources I've acquired to help businesses become competitive & successful in the modern marketplace.

While these small businesses have been busy positioning their seat at the table so have inventors,  investors and large corporations.  Unfortunately, the State of California Regulators made a decision yesterday in the release of  final state commercial cannabis production regulations to not limit cultivation to 1 acre.  This is a devastating decision and does little in protecting the original California cannabis growers way of farming.  Say hello to big corporate and mechanized cannabis farming in California.  Say good by to your small scale local cannabis provider as the vicious competition begins to provide cheap mass produced California cannabis products to the undiscriminating consumer.  Ultimately lowering the price of cannabis making it financially impossible for the small farmer to afford to participate.

Can we demand a fair market place for the original cannabis producer?   Can we salvage the legacy of California sungrown cannabis cultivated by the loving hands of experienced and compassionate farmers?

Yes we can!  Start by completing this survey TODAY from California Growers Association. asking for a cap of 1 acre cultivation. http://www.calgrowersassociation.org/1_acre. 

And then be sure to contact your local state representative to let them know how you feel about large corporate monopolies taking over California cannabis production.

Corporate cannabis cultivation is contradictory to California Cannabis Cultivation! 

Contact - Assemblymen Jordan Cunningham

Contact - Senator Bill Monning

Until next time~

Peace

Marie

 

 

Sold out Wine & Weed Event in Santa Rosa, CA

Wine & Weed Symposium, a brief overview.

August 5, Santa Rosa, CA,

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Wine Industry Network's Wine & Weed Symposium in Santa Rosa Ca.  I'd been looking forward to it for weeks as the event had sold out about a month prior. Two of my favorite things coming together in one event? Surely, I must be dreaming! I couldn't help but to anticipate with excitement what could come of such a gathering.

Off we set from Paso Robles wine country in the wee morning hours of August 5th, headed North to Santa Rosa.  We were scheduled to arrive by 8am at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek, where the symposium was to take place. I dragged along a couple of event coordinator associates of mine to gain their perspectives on how all this may play out when it comes to meeting the demands of consumers concerning parties, events, cannabis consumption and party favors. None of us had a clue as to what kind of experience awaited us.

The Program:

We walked into a bustling environment thick with anticipation to get this program started! The layout flowed down a great foyer into an adjacent banquet room lined with exhibitors as well as a constantly updated (throughout the day) variety of refreshments and canapé items. (non medicated, just in case you wondered).  The time finally arrived for us to be seated among the sold out crowd of 450 attendees to hear opening comments by Senator Mike McGuire and Wine Industry Network President, George Christie.

The vast array of speakers line up at the Wine & Weed Symposium consisted mostly of seasoned cannabis entrepreneurs and advocates with one winemaker in the mix who happens to sit on the Mendocino Cannabis Industry Association representing both wine and cannabis. Senator Mike McGuire started off with opening remarks, a little bit of history as to how we all ended up in that room together, encouraging both industries to collaborate seeking to find innovative solutions for all of California's Ag crops to be profitable and sustainable.

Hezekiah Allen, CGA and Aaron Smith, NCIA started off the discussions with the hard realities facing the cannabis industry.  7 in 10 canna-businesses will not make the cut.  Cannabis production in California is out of control producing 8 times more than in previous history.  The quality is questionable. The Feds and banking continue to be a problem.  Listening between the lines, the painful truth of industry take over by those investors looking to "make millions" did not escape me, nor did the frustration of legacy growers due to this intrusion.  How does it seem fair that growers, producers and providers who've sacrificed EVERYTHING for the past 20 or so years do all this work so that business men in suits can move on in with money and resources, growing Walmart weed?  How could that possibly have a place in the California Cannabis industry?  Ahhhh, something our California wine industry knows all too well.  The wine industry can offer some lessons to those legacy cannabis growers.  You're in for a big long fight to hold on to what you've created. It's not impossible, just takes hard work, partnerships in resources, passion and determination. Another parallel.

Stats:

I'm somewhat of an optimist, and I've had experience bringing adverse groups together in one room, always anxious to spot & nurture the spark of collaboration, and this group was no different.  It's been no secret that the wine industry has been looking at this new crop of cannabis with wary speculation.  Wary of competition, not only of consumers but in resources needed to produce these commodities, water and workers being the two most prevalent issues facing farmers today.

Organizers of the event used a fantastic audience interaction tool called Sli.do to capture polls and questions from the audience. It was interesting to see which industry the attendees were representing as well as the attitude they had brought with them to this symposium, collaborative or competitive?  As you can see by my screenshot here, the results were overwhelmingly collaborative with a majority of the wine industry deepening their understanding of how these two crops cross over in many ways.  The event was attended by primarily wine industry folks, with only 7% considering cannabis to be a competitor in their market place.

The big question:

Are grapes and weed compatible crop mates? That would only depend on if your idea of organic is all natural microbial sustainability using no "certified" organic products anywhere on your farm.  Cannabis testing requirements will require acceptable contaminant levels be in the parts per billion, standards of which very few grape growers could adhere to, let alone any commercial farmer growing anything in California. Except, that is, for the legacy grower who's been doing this for a while, adhering to Mother Natures organic ways.  In addition the state has set some pretty hard lines between cannabis and wine production & consumption in the same locations.

 

Exhibitors:

In addition to several hours of riveting speaker content there were dozens of vendors lining the hallways and filling up another entire banquet room. What really impressed me most was the sophistication of products and who those products were being consumed by! Would you believe professional business women & mothers over the age of 40?   Companies like HerbaBuena and Garden Society have nailed this market with beautifully designed packaging and micro dosages that make sense for the functional adult.

Garden Society's Bright Blooms
HerbaBuena

Then there's CannaCraft.   Remember how I mentioned larger companies with the money and resources?  Well this is what they look like and I gotta tell you, it's impressive. We did get to tour their facility in Santa Rosa, I'll admit to strong feelings of envy for SLO County who I don't think has the capacity quite yet to appreciate something like their amazing "tasting room & lounge".  Don't get me wrong here, I do believe there is a place for large scale, consistent, cannabis production, but I don't think it should squeeze out traditionally grown flower, in fact I believe embracing the traditional outdoor grower would be a positive addition to any product line up.  Read a bit about CannaCrafts adventures in compliance. 

Overall, the Wine and Weed Symposium resonated with most that there is not only room for collaboration, but it just might be downright necessary in order for the boutique farmer (of any produce) to survive in California.  The State of California has made provision for cannabis cooperative farming and production, who's to say we can't collaborate/cooperate with other crop producers?  Coupled with a constant flow of thoughtful & creative product development presented with brilliant branding and marketing techniques, the possibilities are endless.  Co-farming, co-marketing and co-consumption.  Sounds like an idea worth considering.

Many thanks to the Wine Industry Network for putting on this event, it was spectacular!  I loved the interaction and the many people I met.  I look forward to Wine & Weed on the Central Coast in 2018!

Cheers & 'ere,

Marie Roth, President, SLO County Cannabis Business Association

The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact

Good day!

I wanted to share with you and impact study that was done by The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area of Colorado and released in September of 2016.   This information came my way recently byway of local law enforcement.  During my conversation with the officer I found my self sympathizing with the plight of the peace officer in their daily struggles to maintain peace and order especially when it comes to outsiders coming to the Central Coast for some R n R.

I'm going to be the first to point out that this contradicts what the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey of 2015 indicates about use among the youth. Nonetheless in order to be as balanced as Fox News, we report, you decide.

It is, however, critical to note that policy makers get most of their insight from local law enforcement.  What well behaved board of supervisors or city council would go against the advice of local law enforcement?

Enjoy "The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact" during your next reading session.

If you wish to discuss this topic as well as others please consider joining us at F. McLintocks this Thursday at 5PM for a "Meet and Mingle" event in the saloon.

 

Cannabis In Your Community, Forum at The Carlton Hotel

Click here for your seat

Cannabis In Your Community 

This cutting edge event brings a unique networking opportunity where SLO County Cannabis Business Association will attempt to blend traditional business services & community leaders together with currently operating & proposed cannabis businesses.  The objective is to promote a synergetic vortex, pooling resources, ideas and solutions as we integrate legal Canna-Biz into our communities.

$40 per person, purchase your tickets today before they're gone!

Seating will be limited to 40 people.

10:30am - Registration & Networking

11:00am - Welcome and Sponsor Introductions

11:15am - Panel Discussion

12 Noon - Lunch and table networking

12:30 pm - Dessert and Question & Answer period

1:00 pm - Closing

  • 5 tables of 8 people (business community {aka residents}, community leaders, planners and currently operating industry stakeholders)
  • 1 sponsor per table who is present and an "industry expert" relative to their stake in the industry available to answer and discuss current cannabis activity.
  • Assigned seating to maximize collaboration.

"The Panel" will consist of cannabis and industry experts speckled with community planner/leaders facilitated by Marie Roth, President of SLO County Cannabis Business Assocition.

This collaborative luncheon event will be the first in a county wide series of cannabis business advocacy, attempting to dispel myths  and untruths, relate on a human level to discuss solutions to community concerns.  Providing for an open minded, collaborative discussion, over the breaking of bread, we'll have strengthened our community by coming together with one common goal, "Cultivating relationships, ideas and solutions" for those in need and those who can provide quality, tested cannabis products to the regulated and legal marketplace.

Menu provided by Jeffry's Catering

Purchase your tickets now! 

Canna Luis Obispo County Be Shining Example of Local Cannabis Collaboration?

SLO Board of Supervisors punt the

County Cannabis Ordinance back to the Planning Commission for further detail.

Tuesday's meeting at the San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors was positive in the way that county staff  and the Board of Supervisors' education in the ways of cannabis is coming along nicely, but it's still back to the drawing board for the Planning Commission. Watch the archive here. (Its last on the agenda, maybe around the 2:00pm mark.)

Set backs and "limits" were the topic of most comments from the public.  Let the market be the dictator of "limiting" the license types, to put it simply. Even Lynn Compton was in defense of "Her Nurseries" in Nipomo. And now that she knows what a delivery only dispensary is, things are looking up for that segment of the industry as well. (I have to tell you that there was talk of a company outfitting ice-cream trucks as mobile dispensaries, I kid you not.  As wonderful of an idea as that sounds, it wasn't going to fly in SLO County. )

So, staff was sent back to get familiar with how the Governors Budget Trailer Bill will effect the whole process; come up with a defensible limit or cap on cultivation licenses if they can;  take another look at how that 300 ft set back for outdoor and if that's a defensible distance; Define indoor, outdoor and mixed light; Map out out a process in which applications would be received and prioritized among other things due to present themselves along the way.  The process continues.....

During this process, the Planning Commission is where you'd want to send your specifics to if you're wanting to hone in requirements for a specific license type. I would imagine there to be more workshops through the planning commission, I'll check on those dates and make sure their posted on the SLOCCBA.org calendar.

They'll be bringing the ordinance back to the board sometime in August. I think they'll be pretty close to the mark by then, we could be looking at meeting the urgency ordinance deadline of September 18th.  There is still one more extension to the ordinance available if needed. There was also talk of extending it for the Coastal Zone while the Coastal Commission deliberates later this summer, if I remember correctly.

What about taxes you ask?  July 25th is when the tax discussion will come in front of the board of sups. Since we have a majority of conservative supervisors we can anticipate the taxes being reasonable and in line with other Ag. John Peschong said on Tuesday that he's not interested in the county making any money off of this industry, just to recoup costs of what it takes to process and manage. It will be important to be involved in that process as the cities will be making their own decisions.   There is one thing the tourist industry would like to see is consistent taxation, rules for retail and available consumption areas (If any) throughout the county unincorporated areas and cities.   This will still require alot of continued input by alot of people representing several perspectives.

Eat your Wheaties folks, we still have alot of work to do!

That's it, in the smallest coconut shell I could find for today!
Good day!

Could the VA be helpful in declassifying cannabis?

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin speaks during a briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 31, 2017. Shulkin is warning the VA is "still in critical condition" despite efforts to reduce wait times for medical appointments and expand care in the private sector. (Susan Walsh, Associated Press)

 

Oh boy things are going to start to get tricky here PDQ when it comes to the reclassification of cannabis.  I came across this article summarizing the new Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin's views on cannabis therapy today.

No matter what your opinion of cannabis is I think we can all agree with the Secretary that 20 suicides per day among our country's Veterans is absolutely unacceptable. Now even he says the Feds are tying his hands when it comes to looking at cannabis therapy as a part of the solution.

Read the article here

Listen to Secretary Shulkin's comments here

I just worry that getting universities and governments involved could become the casual ( & experienced) cannabis users unpleasant regulatory experience (as if that could get any worse).  Not only that but I see it becoming a BIG wrench in the individual States legalization plans.  It would take me a while to research particular instances but I'm going to make a cynical estimation that having our Federal Government involved in the study of cannabis and it's effects on the human body isn't going to turn out quite how we all would like.  And who has that long to bear in ones suffering?

If you're a Veteran and have experienced positive effects from the use of cannabis, please contact your congressman and let him know your story as well as push for a total de-classification of cannabis all together.  Because, quite frankly, they'll never understand until they try it.

These 6 groups help vets get access to medical marijuana, so please do what you can to help support them in your efforts, and don't forget to call or write your congressmen!

Until next time,

Marie Roth

SLOCCBA