March 22nd SLOCCBA March Meet & Mingle

San Luis Obispo County Cannabis Business Association,  “Cultivating relationships, ideas and solutions for SLO County cannabis businesses."

Join SLOCCBA for the March 22nd Meet & Mingle at The Firefly Haven, Arroyo Grande, CA                                                          **Limited to 30 attendees only!** 

5:30 - Doors open for mingling.

6:PM -Regulatory, Legislative & Compliance Updates, Know the "Rules of Consumption" in SLO County and cities. 

**Exclusive reveal from a local vertically integrated cannabis business, be the first to see the topical product line up! Stay tuned for more details.

6:30PM- Mix - Who’s who and who and what do they do?  Each Attendee will have an opportunity to introduce themselves. Please be prepared to state your name, business, what you services or products you have to offer, or your request for products or services.  Bring your business cards or contact information.  Contact the organizer to arrange a specific connection you'd like to make.

7:00PM- Mingle aka, Networking.  It is our goal that by this time you have a pretty good idea of who you want to connect with. Go get em!

Enjoy refreshments and appetizers brought to you by Natures Kitchen in Templeton!

March 22 Mix and Mingle SLOCCBA

General admission to the event is $100.

Future events dates are:

April 26th - TBA

May 10th - Wine & Weed Symposium at Embassy Suites

June - SLO Arts Museum

Thank you to the many business professionals bringing valuable information to cannabis business owners & consumers, and those who plan to be seeking any type of license approval, both locally and at the state level.

Interested in membership?  Please call (805) 391-4970 and speak with Marie regarding the many different ways to become involved and support our mission to provide quality, locally grown cannabis products to the regulated marketplace.

If you are a:

  • Professional business service
  • Cannabis Industry Stakeholder
  • Consumer

SLOCCBA Membership provides you:

  • Professional Business Referrals
  • Local Government & Agency Liaison
  • Community & Consumer Education
  • Access to events and latest industry developments
  • Discounts with affiliate members

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 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.

SLO Cannabis Ordinance Questions to Stakeholders!

 

San Luis Obispo County Cannabis Ordinance Public Comment - Draft #3

SLO County is asking for more input.

Yet again our county representatives are reaching out to the stakeholders for input as they carefully consider commercial cannabis activity in San Luis Obispo County.
Originally the focus had been on medical cannabis activity, however, due to the passing of Prop 64 combined with the Governor's proposal to mesh the two license types, you'll notice some questions pertaining to adult use commercial cannabis activity as well.
Click on the images below to link with the full slide show presentation.

Please follow the link to the SLO County Board of Supervisors agenda documents pertaining to commercial cannabis activity in SLO County unincorporated areas. Agenda, documents, & SLO Planning Cannabis site.

Be at the hearing meeting, Tuesday, June 20th at 1055 Monterey St. SLO County Board of Supervisors.  this item is #48, expected to be up after the 1:30PM lunch break.

See ya there!

Making an impact using the public comment process.

Making an impact using the public comment process

                   

Why make a public comment?

Public comment is an essential component of a healthy community, county and state.  It’s the only way the leaders, policy makers and legislators can really discern what the people want.  Voting is important, but it doesn’t stop there.  

Your City, County, State and Federal governments all make possible the opportunity for your voice to be heard on all issues. Let’s use those opportunities to be involved in the development of our own communities!  

Public comment requires thought and preparation as well as some guts. Making your opinion heard on any subject in front of the public can be very intimidating.  One of our desires at SLOCCBA is that every citizen learn how to make a clear, concise and impactful public comment on any issue they wish to respond to.  The better prepared you are with your message the less horrifying it can be to make your public comment to a governing body staring back at you intently.

When do I make a public comment?

Public comment opportunities happen various times during the meeting including a general public comment regarding items not listed on the agenda.  This can be for things not being addressed by the board that perhaps a citizen thinks ought to be.  For public announcements, events, problems or acknowledgements. Kudos or criticism to the county for something they did or didn't’ do; things of this nature.

Commenting on agenda items:

These are specific items that are up for presentation, discussion or vote to the board or council.  An agenda is posted online or mailed out to view before hand. Online will usually offer links to documents associated with that agenda item.  Go online to www.slocounty.ca.gov/bos/BOSagenda .

The board will usually receive a presentation or report of some kind before they open to public input so that everyone know’s what’s being discussed as well as what direction the staff is needing from the board.

Pay attention to the recommendations put forth by staff for the board to act on.

When making your public comment be sure to conclude with your thoughts of the proposed recommendations and always feel free to offer up your own if you feel they missed the mark!   Remember, staff and supervisors are people too!  They don’t always get it right the first time.  Part of the process is to work until all parties are satisfied they’ve been heard and understood and best policy is put forth for the people to abide by.

How do I make a public comment?

A citizen can make their comment heard in a few ways and will need to be done in advance of any vote or decision.  Don’t be late and make your comment after the board has taken action!  By then it may be too late!

Representatives can be contacted directly on the phone, by email, letter or one can go to a supervisor meeting to use 2 to 3 minute “public comment period”.  A meeting agenda is posted online about a week prior to the meeting listing the items that will be discussed in order of appearance. County Board of Supervisor meetings are every Tuesday for the most part at 1055 Monterey St in San Luis Obispo, CA 93401.

What ever way you wish to deliver your comment keep these few things in mind:

 

  • Whether you read it out loud or send it in a letter or email, keep it under three minutes reading time.  

 

  1. Keep to the facts and get to the point. Nothing will make eyes glaze over faster than a rambling monologue about how “you feel”.  They need facts, statistics, ideas and solutions.

 

San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors:

Non-incorporated towns and areas that are not cities in San Luis Obispo fall under the immediate jurisdiction of the County Board of Supervisors.  

The County is divided into 5 districts, each with a representative that make up the County Board of Supervisors.

Mailing address: 1055 Monterey St.,  San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

District 1 - John Peschong, Chair

jpeschong@co.slo.ca.us

Assistant - Vicki Janssen

vjanssen@co.slo.ca.us

805-781-4491


District 2 - Bruce Gibson

bgibson@co.slo.ca.us

Assistant - Cherie McKee

cmckee@co.slo.ca.us

805-781-4338


District 3 - Adam Hill, Vice Chair

ahill@co.slo.ca.us

Assistant - Hannah Miller

hmiller@co.slo.ca.us

805-781-4336

 

District 4 - Lynn Compton

lcompton@co.slo.ca.us

Assistant - Caleb Mott

district4@co.slo.ca.us

805-781-4337

 

District 5 - Debbie Arnold

darnold@co.slo.ca.us

Assistant - Jen Caffee

jcaffee@co.slo.ca.us

805-781-4339

You can send one email to all at:

boardofsups@co.slo.ca.us

What district are you in?  Map Link: http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/bos/districtmap.htm

How do unincorporated areas represent themselves?

Area Advisory Groups of SLO’s unincorporated areas based upon public comment & deliberation they receive during their monthly meetings offer Advisory Board direction to the board of supervisors representing their district. These meetings are open to the public and also will offer opportunities for public comment. See an online listing and contact information to SLO Area Advisory Groups by following this link:  www.slocounty.ca.gov/bos/Area_Advisory_Councils

Avila Valley Advisory Council
Cayucos Citizens' Advisory Council
Creston Advisory Body
Los Osos Community Advisory Council
North Coast Advisory Council
Oceano Advisory Council
San Miguel Advisory Council
Santa Margarita Area Advisory Council (SMAAC)
Shandon Advisory Committee
South County Advisory Council
Templeton Area Advisory Group

 

Can I make a public comment at an Area Advisory Group?

Yes!

 

Public Comment at City Council Meetings.

Incorporated Cities of San Luis Obispo have City Council meetings usually every other week.  The agendas will be posted to their websites about a week before the meeting as well as the pertaining documents.  

Public comment is handled in the same way as a County Board of Supervisors meeting we discussed earlier in this presentation.

Each City has it’s own elected City Council Members that can receive public comment in the same ways we discussed earlier; contact your representative directly on the phone, submit an email, a letter or one can go to a City Council meeting and use the 2 to 3 minute “public comment period”

Can I comment on issues outside my city? Or if I live in the county can I comment to a city council?

Yes! Anyone can make a public comment in any town or city or county they wish.

GENERAL OVERVIEW TO THE PUBLIC COMMENT PROCESS

Basic Steps to preparing for public comment: derived from: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Public-Comment-at-a-City-Council-Meeting

  1. Research your topic of interest. Do local governments have the power to do what you want them to do? Gather any facts you want to present, including citations.
    • Read the local news. Keep current on issues facing your community.
    • Review the minutes from recent meetings to find out what actions have recently been taken relating to your concerns.
  2. Find out when your next city council (or County board of Supervisors depending on if it’s a county or city issue) meeting is. Check at your city's website if they have one, see links provided above.
  3. Read the agenda for the meeting you plan to attend. While there is often a period for public comment on any topic, councils generally cannot act on anything unless it is on the agenda.
    • Understand what is being done. Is your council studying and planning, or is it voting on an issue? What will the vote decide?
    • Read any supporting documents for the agenda item which concerns you. Plans, reports, drafts of ordinances, proposals, and many other documents may be available. Understand what is being proposed and what action may be taken.
  4. Write your comments.
    • Be aware of any time limits on comments (typically 2 or 3 minutes), and practice your comments out loud a few times to make sure you can say what you want in the allotted time.
    • Make notes. You could read from a paper, but be aware that you may sound flat and make little eye contact. You could also make a note card of points and speak from that.
    • Be prepared to be nervous. Even if you plan and practice well, you may still feel pressure when you are at the podium, with the timer running and the council looking at you. Pre-write your notes if you need to.
  5. Go to your city hall and fill out a speaker card, if one is required. If you're not sure what the procedure is, arrive a little early and ask.
    • At some council meetings, you may also speak simply by lining up to do so during the comment period. It is usually best to submit a card if you know in advance you plan to speak.
  6. Attend the meeting, and wait until you are called up.
    • Dress appropriately. You need not dress overly formally, but dress more as you might for an office than for the beach. If you are affiliated with a group, and especially if other group members will be present, consider wearing a uniform, t-shirt, or other insignia.
    • Listen to others' comments on the issue(s) of concern,
    • Listen to anyone giving a presentation on the issue(s) of concern. Sometimes city staff, engineers, architects, or other direct stakeholders make presentations to explain what is being proposed. Listen carefully.
  7. Decide whether you want to adjust your remarks. If you are confident enough to make changes at this point, it can save scarce time to say that you agree or disagree with previous speaker(s), and would like to add something. It can also help your comments to be on point with what is really at issue.
    • The simplest adjustment to make is to strike out and omit any part which is no longer relevant or correct.
  8. Go up to the podium confidently when called. Thank whichever person called you, putting their title (mayor, council member) before their last name.
  9. Introduce yourself, state that you live in the city, and state any relevant affiliations. If you are a member of a group but are speaking for yourself, say so.
  10. State your position clearly. This is the most important part, and the reason you came. Briefly explain your reasoning or describe evidence.
    • It's ok to be nervous, and to refer to your notes. Do your best to speak clearly, to make eye contact, and to sound human.
  11. Thank the city council when done making your comments.
    • Conclude when your time is up, whether you have completed your thoughts or not. It's generally all right to finish your sentence or say thank you after the timer goes off, but don't keep going any longer than that.
  12. Submit any additional communication in writing. If you have additional remarks or supporting materials, or if you can't attend, write it down. Many city councils have an email address, and most should have a city clerk or other staff member present, who can collect printed material for the record. Ask before the meeting if you're not sure what to do with such matter.
    • If you are submitting photos, graphs, or other supporting material along with your comment, mention it during your comment.
    • It's best to submit written materials before a meeting, especially if the council will be making a decision on a matter the same day.

 

Policy Makers & Cannabis Regulation

Message to policy makers,

If I’ve sensed one thing in my time studying the people of cannabis history it's that regulation cannot stop the insatiable and inherent desire to cultivate this plant. Some of us love to grow roses, or tend to our fruit trees, many of us carefully plot the time to plant our summer gardens and wait with anticipation the fruits of that labor. The cannabis cultivator is no different.  Much like the vintner who tends to the vines as well as sees through to the production of wine, the cannabis cultivator is a way of life!

The regulated market will not allow for privately grown cannabis to enter into the market place therefore making unnecessary the need to "regulate" personal grows.   Conversely, I believe that all commercial cannabis endeavors who do have the means to become fully licensed should be considered. This would encourage a healthy relationship between policy makers, the industry participants, (otherwise known as entrepreneurs) and the consumer, yea, let's not forget why we're doing all of this.

What policy makers ought to strive to avoid as an unintended consequence of limiting business from operating, are that people will do it anyway.  It's what they're accustomed to (and have a thriving customer base) and still don't trust the government to regulate an industry they do not comprehend with, pardon me, stupid rules.  For example, consider that if a delivery business is already doing business that means they are serving a client base that is accustomed to receiving their products.  If the delivery service is interrupted by being unable to become licensed then the legitimate consumer base will be adversely effected, quite possibly causing those consumers to seek unregulated products from those people who are "doing it anyway".  It's one thing to control the industry....what's going to control the consumer?

Might I suggest serving the consumer (otherwise known as a constituent)?  When policy makers consider regulation, they ought to consider how it will effect the consumer and will the consumer be motivated to buy into the idea of regulation.  Because they don't have to.  Remember, many are already buying the product through ways they've become accustomed and many more are waiting to purchase the products legally as an alternative to prescription medications.  Did you know the fastest growing segment of the population using cannabis for the first time are those 55+?  They're sick of prescription meds and want alternatives.  Also remember, cannabis consumers are not criminals, they're voters.

So, to sum all this up, I guess my message to policy makers would be to cultivate relationships with the people who are doing business in the California cannabis industry already.  These businesses are like precocious children, they've planned this out way ahead; learn to trust the people of the existing cannabis industry.  While you're at it consider meeting someone who uses cannabis or has used it to get through an illness.  Find out how they would have liked to purchase their products.  Everybody's got a little different perspective, some folks like the convenience of delivery while some would rather paruse products on the shelf in a store. It's only judgement or fear that will prevent these discussions from happening.

SLOCCBA is here to help put you in contact with the people who can fill in any gaps of understanding.

M~

 

 

 

 

A Challenging Task for SLO County Cannabis Planners & Regulators

SLO County Planning Department looks to have swatted the cannabis ordinance birdie back to the BOS for further public comment today.  A #3 Draft Ordinance was due for release by Monday June 5th but instead, today, released this statement:

From: Brandi Cummings <bcummings@co.slo.ca.us>
Date: June 6, 2017 at 12:56:26 PM PDT
To: Brandi Cummings <bcummings@co.slo.ca.us>
Subject: County of San Luis Obispo Cannabis Update This email is an update regarding San Luis Obispo County's cannabis regulations and process.For jurisdictions across California, crafting legislation on a topic as dynamic as cannabis is a significant challenge. This is no different for the County of San Luis Obispo. We want to ensure that the Planning Commission receives a draft that is clearly in line with the Board’s broader direction. For this reason, the ordinance’s next draft will be brought to the Board of Supervisors on June 20th, as opposed to issuing another public input draft on June 5th.We will post details and a link to the agenda item about the June 20th meeting on our website as soon as the agenda is published online. The public is encourage to participate and comment at the meeting on June 20th.For more information, please visit our website at http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/planning/Cannabis-Cultivation.htmBest, Brandi CummingsPlanner II(p) 805-781-1006

bcummings@co.slo.ca.us

 

Yes, your vote to legalize it matters, however in this particular instance as it sometimes happens, you’ll need to continue to articulate what your expectations of legalization are to your elected officials and policy makers. Even though Prop 64 passed in SLO County at about 60%, there’s a good chunk of the population who oppose the legal use of cannabis and they aren’t taking it lightly.  See the latest questionable DOJ behavior reported just today. 
In SLO County we still have much to focus on,  Cultivation sites, brick and mortar dispensaries, testing and manufacturing but what about the collectives currently operating delivery services?  Consumers now have to deal with another barrier to access by cities and counties banning the non-storefront delivery system currently known as "The Collective Model"

Where will you get your cannabis?

Imagine having to drive to the industrial part of Grover Beach (serving all of the 805 area code, including Santa Maria) to wait in long lines at one of the two dispensaries operating on the ENTIRE central coast, (as currently there are no plans anywhere that I know that will be in operation before GB's cannabis park) If you place your order for their mobile delivery how long will it take to get your delivery?.....1, 2 or 3 days to make it up to you in the North County?  Will they be as compassionate as your current provider?  Because remember, those two dispensaries legally are the only way delivery of cannabis is allowed to happen as it currently stands in SLO County.  See Draft #2 page 24.  Your local friendly collective that's taken care of your needs in the past will be targeted for operating without a license and who knows what else by what I can only assume will be some kind of sting operation.  We need to protect all segments of the cannabis market, especially those who are currently serving consumers with success.

What do we do?

We're still needing to show some viable solutions to regulations that could cripple clustered cultivation sites (aka cannabis campus or co-ops') as well as future dispensary sites on actual farms located throughout the county.  In addition, those of you making your own topicals, salves, lotions? Any products you create using cannabis will need to be produced by a legitimate licensed business in order to make it into the legal market, Will you be able to continue to produce those products in your home?  Will your current production facility pass the State requirements, let alone your city or county?  Sorry, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Prepare public input. Thankfully it looks like SLO County is thirsting for more public input.  Come on out of the closet!  Prepare your public comment for June 20th at the County Board of Supervisors meeting. MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW TO BE AT THE MEETING!  You don't have to speak, just be there.

Share your business plan: Consider participating in the writing of regulation for your particular business idea?  Want to be a cottage producer?  Show regulators your business plan, expected income, potential (or existing) market.  We've got them curious, now's the time to share your dreams.

Delivery businesses currently operating.  1. Let your customers know they need to reach their county or city representatives.  2. Let your county and city representatives know how many customers you are currently serving.  Offer up your business and security plan. Policy makers need to understand your unique business, only you can teach them.

Consumers: Cannabis use has come with a long history of stigma.  I've lived it for the past 25 years.  Wishing I could share my creative secrets but fear of judgement kept me silent until 1 year ago.  It was scary at first, wondering what my professional peers would think of me.  Turns out that for me, it was a motivator.  This whole experience has motivated me to work harder than ever before. It's expanded my horizons in ways I never thought could be possible and helped me to understand compassion and tolerance on a whole different level. My professional peers see that I am who I am and will always be.   They now get to see and appreciate the real me, the whole me, and they still believe in me.

Most Importantly, get plugged in!  Use @SLOCCBA in your url search to find our social media sites or connect, or hit the social media buttons on this website.   Join in the conversation on our SLOCCBA blog page!

Stay tuned! SLOCCBA will be hosting more public comment workshops.  Please contact Marie@sloccba.org ASAP if you'd like to host a workshop next week or have questions.

Until next time!

Marie Roth, SLOCCBA