SLOCCBA Meet Mix & Mingle

Meet, Mix and Mingle on January 24th, 4 to 7PM at The Carlton Hotel in Atascadero, CA

You need this information to do cannabis business in SLO County! 

4PM - 5:30PM  FEATURED SPEAKERS

Jamie Jones, Kirk Consulting, Land Use Consultant

8830 Morro Rd., Atascadero, CA  93422, 805.461.5765

Jim Erb,  SLO County Tax Controller, “The Erb Tax”.  Link to county presentation.

Currently proposed ordinance implements a 4% SLO County sales tax that may increase by 2% each year capping at 10%.  The County is seeking input.

Inspector Kenn Burt, Department of Agriculture / Weights & Measures.  

Scale requirements - What types/suitability, scale inspections, registration requirements

Repair and installation of scales - Licensed Registered Service Agency requirements

Packaging and Labeling Requirements - Prepackaged and direct sale requirements

Weighmaster requirements - Who and why. Inspector Burt will also provide literature and contact information for industry stakeholders. (p) 805-781-5922 | (f) 805-781-1035, www.slocounty.ca.gov

Rigo Caldez, UFCW Local 770.

UFCW Local 770 is committed to creating a sustainable cannabis industry in Los Angeles. For several years, our union has been building a movement of cannabis workers to win good jobs and professionalize this industry. We have successfully campaigned alongside our industry partners to win responsible cannabis regulations at the state and local levels. We championed the enactment of the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) and we were the only labor union that endorsed Proposition 64. Rigo Valdez (Rigo.valdez@ufcw770.org) or Matt O’Malley (Matt.o’malley@ufcw770.org).

Scott McKenzie, Ag Zone.

We formed AGZONE Services, LLC so people like you can get started, without having to spend all of your waking hours figuring out – and keeping tabs on – the eddies of government regulation.”  805-591-4404, grow@agzone.services

5:30PM- Mix - Who’s who and who does what?

Each Attendee will have an opportunity to introduce themselves to the audience. 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.

6:00PM- 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!

Click Here to Register Online at EventBright.

General admission to the event is $100, that can be applied towards annual membership to SLOCCBA & SLO County Business Network.

Thank you to the many business professionals bringing this valuable information to cannabis business owners, 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.

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

 

 

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

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

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!

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~