Happy Healthy New Year to you & yours. When we look at the state of cannabis locally & beyond regarding subjects both on & off of today's agenda... it's becoming more & more mainstream, researched as medicine, accepted for adult use, yet still being treated as a dangerous drug. Today in some ways we have made small steps towards progress. But in most ways, it's all still operating under the prohibition mentality which does not bode well for those of us counting on it to succeed.
Obviously the biggest problems are the slow moving Federal policies. It makes sense that when there can be basic banking as well as inter-state commerce, your small farms & other cannabis businesses will have a better playing field. The State, as well, must allow for more fair business practices, beginning with more fair designations, like cannabis as an Agricultural Crop.
Did you know the California State Fair is holding it's 1st ever official cannabis competition this Summer?! Marty was asked to be one of Cannabis Ambassadors for the State Fair. He is honored, but it's a small consolation in the face of a very scary market climate at the present time. It's also another good start toward normalizing cannabis in society. We noticed cannabis is yet again left out of the official County Annual Crop Report. We appreciate you for including cannabis in the County Legislative Platform. We agree with all you wrote & we ask you to consider incorporating more of the MCA & CCAG suggestions as well.
We are now years into regulation with no clear paths even at the County level. The portal folks are still stuck with uncertainty on how or what they should do. The ApG folks are waiting patiently behind the portal folks for attention.We are all over here hanging on to hope, while waiting for various departmental approvals from Planning & Building to Environmental Health to County Counsel to the Cannabis Department itself, of course there are even more than just these departments involved, but you get what we mean. Everyone is on eggshells, wondering how, or even if, to proceed.
Since it's also part of the Adhoc committee's focus, we will mention also that the Equity program could have & should have been more clear from the start. We hope the County will actually be administering the Equity funding very, very soon for farmers, as they said at the last BOS meeting where it was discussed that the applicants who were approved would have their grant money by December 2021... & as far as we know no one has received any, meanwhile, the clock's ticking on the County returning the allocations to the State.
Last but not least, You are all at least a year in as County Supervisors now, so you have had a chance to get a better understanding of the multi-faceted dilemma of County cannabis policy. The fact that no one needs an introduction, plus the need to rescind &or repeal last year's cultivation & facilities ordinances are an exceptional situation. Especially with the $20+million jurisdictional grant coming in soon to assist you & your State Provisional license holders with the transition to Annual licenses. We believe if we look at the present situation through a different lens, we actually have be given another golden opportunity to get this right.
Cannabis needs people to speak up & act on behalf of the power of the plant. We are that voice. We are those activists who want to participate in the democratic process. That is the way toward change. We support Hannah Nelson's letter to the Board today. She has been a tireless advocate since before the beginning of this process & we appreciate her clarity & persistence. Associations like MCA & CCAG & the people of main street, not wall street, the cannabis mom & pops & the wider county residents who have been here all along are your community! It's time to truly engage the stakeholders & co-create a masterful template focused on the rustic simplicity of what Mendocino is already world renown for: cannabis is the ticket to the next steps toward local resiliency & eco-tourism. Let's get all these moving parts of environmental & enforcement issues right this time & it will sustain the entire County. We still believe this vision could be a beautiful future.Thank you for your tireless efforts on this & so many other issues. To 2022...
Laura & Marty Clein