Another Cannabis Trade Association in SLO County? Why?

Greetings and Happy New Year!

I can't tell you how happy I am to be on the other side of 2017.   I know its psychological, but January 1st, just seems like a new, fresh start is making it's self available.  As I look forward to the future of SLO County Cannabis Business Association and it's impact here in San Luis Obispo County, I cannot help but to take a quick look back, just so we can better identify how to move forward.

December 19th several dozen cannabis industry operators were compelled to gather at SLO Brew, The Rock in San Luis.  I decided to sit that one out when I learned the purpose was to form a trade association for San Luis Obispo Cannabis businesses.  Hello!? SLOCCBA is already a cannabis trade association in SLO County, how many does this little county need?  I was puzzled as to why one would want to create yet another trade association in SLO County when the industry partners are supposed to be uniting, not dividing at this time.  It was my hope that now with solid regulation to sink our teeth into and we've put this referendum drama behind us, the several different factions here in the county could finally come together.  Another attempt at a trade association, I think, will be confusing.  Let's see what we can do to unify.
Before we get to that, I'm going to tell you what I've observed as I sit on the side of the local industry looking in.  It seems to me that some of the major players who are "local" have all done business with one another at some point, and have screwed or have been screwed by someone along the way.  It also would seem that some of the operators have unsavory pasts.  Most legacy operators that I have spoke with have very little if any positive things to say about other operators. This has been the single most difficult thing to get past, in my opinion.  This behavior makes the local industry operators look very unprofessional and unsophisticated in best business practices.  Note that I say "some", not all fall into this category, nevertheless, they've been reluctant to associate with unsavory characters, exacerbating the difficulty with unification.
I've lived in this county for almost 40 years, in the conservative North County, mind you.  In the past year, as I've tried to build this association and made affiliations along the way, it's mind boggling how many times I've been "warned" about who I should be cautious of because of past this or that.  It's absurd and it's crippling our local efforts!  As frustrating as John Peschongs "Slow" approach has been to roll out regs, I find I've been just as cautious in building the foundation of SLO County's cannabis trade association.  But at what point do we come together, accept each other, opinions, talents, past flaws and all, instead of starting another faction every time someones unhappy with members or the Association?
When I got into this, all I wanted to do was to help businesses connect with the professional business services they will need to be successful. I saw a need to bring this local cannabis community together. I was also hoping I'd be able to connect better with elected officials in my neck of the woods.  This has all proved a little more difficult than I had imagined.  Bottom line:
Local cannabis businesses must compromise with each other first before they can expect any compromises from elected leadership. 
SLOCCBA is having a board meeting, Monday, January 15th, 4PM. Location is 3524 El Camino Real, Atascadero, CA.  We do have a few board seats to fill and will be opening up membership, something we've been working on for the past year.  I'd encourage you all to attend and consider how you can help pull folks together and begin to work as one representation.  We're asking for those who are interested in a position on the board to submit a resume and/or bio including what expertise and experience they would be lending to the organization.
Let's start this new year off on a positive note with a fresh, clean slate.  I'd love for you to come to the meeting and let's get this thing moving in a coordinated fashion.
In kindness,
Marie Roth

SLO County Licensing workshop

Know Before You Grow- Application Workshop on December 11, 2017

Author: Department of Planning & Building
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 2:01 PM

Do you have questions about the recently adopted regulations for cannabis activities in the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County? Read on for more information regarding the permanent ordinances and application process.


The Board of Supervisors adopted regulations for cannabis activities in SLO County on November 27, 2017.

Are you an applicant seeking to apply for a land use permit?

The Department of Planning and Building will be holding an application workshop on December 11, 2017. The workshop will be held from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. in Room 161/162 (next to the Board of Supervisors’ Chambers). No applications will be accepted at this workshop; instead, staff will be on hand to answer questions regarding the application process and to provide general property information and information on the cannabis ordinances.

If you would like to look up specific property information from home, please use our PermitView program.

No inland land use applications will be accepted until the inland ordinance is effective (December 31, 2017). No coastal land use applications will be accepted until the coastal zone ordinance is certified.

What activities require a land use permit?

All activities, except for personal and caregiver cultivation, require a County land use permit to operate, in addition to a County business license and a State cannabis license.

Where can you find more information on the adopted ordinances?

Where can you find more information on the application process?

What do you need to do after a land use permit is approved?

What about taxation?

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

 

 

October 3rd Board of Supervisors Meeting

 

October 3rd Board of Supervisors meeting will be hearing the final recommendations from the SLO County Planning Commission.

9:00am  Board of Supervisors Chambers

1055 Monterey St.

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Medical vs. Adult use Cannabis Products

This is for the benefit of those attempting to understand (including myself) the differences of cannabis deemed for medicinal use as opposed to adult use aka recreational use of cannabis and how best to make it available to consumers.

  • What's the difference between medicinal and adult use cannabis?
  • How will it be licensed for retail?
  • How will it be tax exempt for State ID issued card carriers?

In essence, there is physiologically no difference between a Type M-licensed medicinal cannabis plant and a type A-licensed cannabis plant destined for adult use. In addition, the standards of quality will be the same for both license types as per California Dept of Public Health. The only difference between an “A-license” and an “M-license” is how the consumer could be exempt from paying sales tax if used as a prescribed medicine for treatment of a specific ailment and holds a State issued ID card.

Definitions:
“A-license” means a state license issued under this division for cannabis or cannabis products that are intended for adults who are 21 years of age and older and who do not possess a physician’s recommendation.

“M-license” means a state license issued under this division for commercial cannabis activity involving medicinal cannabis.

“Retailer,” for the retail sale and delivery of cannabis or cannabis products to customers. A retailer shall have a licensed premises which is a physical location from which commercial cannabis activities are conducted. A retailer’s premises may be closed to the public. A retailer may conduct sales exclusively by delivery.

“Microbusiness,” for the cultivation of cannabis on an area less than 10,000 square feet and to act as a licensed distributor, Level 1 manufacturer, and retailer under this division, provided such licensee can demonstrate compliance with all requirements imposed by this division on licensed cultivators, distributors, Level 1 manufacturers, and retailers to the extent the licensee engages in such activities. Microbusiness licenses that authorize cultivation of cannabis shall include the license conditions described in subdivision (b) of Section 26060.1.

Tax exemptions:
“The sales and use taxes imposed by Part 1 (commencing with Section 6001) shall not apply to retail sales of medicinal cannabis, medicinal cannabis concentrate, edible medicinal cannabis products, or topical cannabis as those terms are defined in Division 10 (commencing with Section 26000) of the Business and Professions Code when a qualified patient or primary caregiver for a qualified patient provides his or her card issued under Section 11362.71 of the Health and Safety Code and a valid government-issued identification card.”

  • Is it feasible for a dispensary to operate as medicinal only and not offer adult use licensed products?

The short answer is no.

Tax exempt people. Let’s consider a few more complicated issues concerning “M Licensed” cannabis. The consumer is only exempt from paying taxes if they are a STATE card issued patient. This is very different from a physician's recommendation that is widely used to gain membership in today’s collective. Please see HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE - HSC for the requirements for patient & caregiver tax exempt status.

So in comparison to what collectives accept now as a “medical recommendation”, this state issued identification card isn’t something I see a majority of dispensary visiting consumers applying for, in my opinion. The question I’d ask now is, of those that have a current “medical recommendation”, how many will actually go to the state and apply for the tax exemption status vs. how many will just opt to pay taxes for either type A or M licensed products? From what I can understand a consumer can purchase both A or M licensed products. Only the State ID card carriers would be exempt from paying tax on M licensed products only. So it’s not a matter of the Medicinal or Adult Use of the products, it’s just whether or not sales tax is collected.

I would estimate that a larger percentage of those who currently have current “medical recommendations” to gain access to a collective currently would opt to not renew those recommendations and purchase type A or M licensed product and happily pay the taxes, (motivation to keep them low). Because they are essentially the same products.

Considering that From 2004 through January of this year, 85,370 medical marijuana identification cards have been issued by California counties, an average of 7,100 cards per year, wouldn’t that would severely limit the opportunity for profitable business if a dispensary were limited to selling only type “M-Licensed” products to only State ID holders? And would it cause consumers to unnecessarily obtain a medical ID card to be able to purchase a product such as a pain relieving topical.

I often hear elected officials contemplate medicinal only dispensaries because “we’re just not comfortable with adult use yet”. I ask you to consider this truth; A large part of the SLO County population is comfortable with it. They are experienced, educated, ready and eager to purchase the products they voted for access to. Aside from prohibition of adult use complicating product sales for such things as topicals it would seem that by allowing for a combined A & M licensed dispensary or retail store-front would result in:

Providing the consumers what they asked for.
Lessen the propensity for black market sales.
Keep revenue in your locality instead of giving it all to Grover Beach or outside delivery services.
Save time in the future from having to go back and change ordinances.
Greater chance of profitability for the dispensary by being able to offer a wider range of products for consumers.

These matters are extremely complicated especially if one is unfamiliar with the how’s, who’s and why’s of cannabis activities. So without seeming to minimize the complexity and implications of cannabis business in our communities, I’d argue that by allowing a dispensary that sells both type A & M licensed products the process would be less complicated in the long run, better suited for local consumers and profitable for the store owner.

San Luis Obispo County Cannabis Business Association is a local non-profit agency offering assistance in understanding state law and how it applies to SLO County and it’s residents. We strive to bridge the gaps of understanding by working with stakeholders and community leaders to compile timely and accurate information needed to implement conscientious regulations that will serve our communities without compromising their integrity.

Please feel free to use us as a resource by reaching out to any of our SLOCCBA Board Members, or myself.

Kindly,
Marie Roth
SLOCCBA President
(805) 712-5963

P.S.

AB133 is now positioned to replace SB94. Other notable language in the trailer bill AB133:

By using the “Ctrl F” key please search “requirements” to learn more about licensing requirements.

MAUCRSA requires that a licensed medicinal cannabis manufacturer only manufacture cannabis products for sale by a medicinal cannabis retailer. AB133 would repeal those provisions making it possible for one manufacturer to produce for both medicinal as well as adult use products. These products can also be sold in the same store right next to each other on the same shelf.

“The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), among other things, consolidates the licensure and regulation of commercial medicinal and adult-use cannabis activities.”

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

Cannabis In Your Community, Community Forum at McLintocks, Shell Beach

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.

5:45PM - Registration & Networking

6:15PM - Welcome and Sponsor Introductions

6:30PM - Panel Discussion

7:15PM - Dinner and table collaboration

8:00PM - Dessert and Question & Answer period

8:30PM - Closing

This events requires pre-registration, there will be no ticket sales at the door.  $65/pp includes dinner. 

What to expect:

  • 7 tables of 8 people (business community {aka residents}, community leaders, planners and currently operating industry stakeholders)
  • 1 sponsor per table, who is present and is an "industry expert" relative to their part in the industry available to answer and discuss current cannabis activity.
  • 1 Panel member to join your table for dinner and collaboration
  • 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.  Participants to date:

Leanne Horvath, The Number Crunchers in Los Osos     The Number Crunchers

Daniel Garcez, New Growth Insurance   New Growth Insurance

David Hua, Meadow Delivery Software  

Table Sponsors:

Matrix

Matrix Card Services

 

 

Join us to dispell myths, reveal truths and discuss solutions to cannabis industry businesses. Open minded, collaborative discussion, over the breaking of bread, strengthens 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. 

Remember there will be no ticket sales at the door, click here to reserve your spot now.

San Luis Obispo 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! 

SLO County Cannabis Public Comment Workshop, Friday at Willow Nipomo

Cannabis Public Comment Workshop, Nipomo this Friday!

Join SLOCCBA for a "Public Comment Workshop" where we will be discussing  zoning and application requirements in regards to the latest draft release of SLO County cannabis regulation. While you're there, receive information on how to make a public comment in response to the proposed ordinance.

Willow Nipomo, 4 to 5 PM.

1050 Willow Rd, Nipomo

Stay for live music by the Crisptones starting at 6PM.  Food and drink available for purchase.

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