A Cal Growers Update on the Assembly Business and Professions Committee

For the last few weeks our partners at Cal Growers team has been focused on solutions to many of the issues we have seen with regulations and the trailer bill. On Tuesday May 23, the Assembly Business and Professions Committee met to discuss a series of issues that are important to all of us!

As the Governor, the Assembly and the Senate work to strike a balance between MCRSA and Prop 64, the assembly–led by Speaker Rendon and Assembly members Wood, Cooley, Lackey, Jones-Sawyer and Bonta–has identified a number of problems with the proposed trailer bill.

The assembly discussed those problems and proposed solutions. Here are a few highlights from the background paper for the committee hearing. We will be updating you on some of these issues soon!

  • Delivery Services: In 2015–working with Meadow and dozens of delivery services up and down the state– Cal Growers determined that as much as half of cannabis retail was conducted by delivery services. These businesses provide access without the “nuisance” impacts that some critics say storefronts can create. Still, neither MCRSA or AUMA explicitly allows these businesses to get licensed. In 2016, we successfully won support for this license type from law enforcement and local government. Now, in 2017 the state assembly has prioritized the establishment of a license option for non-storefront dispensaries and retailers.
  • Taxes: After the passage of Prop 64 our members identified a critical issue: lack of clarity surrounding the collection of the cultivation tax. This ambiguity led to the coining of the term “Harvest Tax” at the Emerald Cup in December because the tax was to be collected at the time of harvest. Clearly unworkable, Cal Growers communicated this problem to anyone who would listen in Sacramento and–thanks to the support of more than 2,000 growers, business owner and concerned people–the legislature has made solving this problem a top level item.
  • Agricultural cooperatives: Since Hezekiah Allen moved to Sacramento three years ago, there has been one basic reality that has driven his work: Contrary to the caricature of a greedy grower in the hills swimming in pools of gold, many cultivators lack access to capital and have no viable path forward as compliance costs grow. Allowing the formation of non-profit agriculture cooperatives by cultivators will give more growers the opportunity to transition. This model is helping small growers around the world work together to achieve efficiencies of scale and remain competitive.
  • Inclusivity and social justice: The criminalization of cannabis has had a disparate negative impact on poor communities and communities of color. That is why it is so critical to be intentional to focus on inclusion and diversity in entrepreneurship as the regulated marketplace emerges.

 

This week is also a major deadline for the other 60+ pieces of legislation we are tracking. Take a look at our legislative affairs page–we will get it updated by Monday or Tuesday of next week so you know what bills are moving and what bills have been tabled for the year.

The work that our partners, the California Growers Association, does on a day-to-day is invaluable. We get to focus on local policy with the trust in our hearts that our interests are being represented in Sacramento. As a member of the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance, you are also a member of Cal Growers. However, they need our help more than ever, please contribute what you can so we can continue to have the support small farmers need at our State Capitol. Consider making a contribution HERE.

Check out some of our partners and friends events. See you somewhere out there:

Tuesday, May 23: Auburn: Placer County Growers – Informational meeting and Membership Drive (at Crooked Lane Brewing Company, 536 Grass Valley Highway, from 6 to 9 PM)

Saturday, June 3: Sonora: Tuolumne Cannabis Alliance – “Out of the Woods” Debut Membership Drive and Informational Event (at the Sonora Opera Hall, from 1 to 9 PM)

Monday, June 5: Camptonville: Sierra County Growers – Informational meeting and Membership Drive

Thursday, June 8: Oakland: Supernova Woman – Licensing teach-in (Location TBA)

Wednesday, June 14: Fresno: Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaboration

Wednesday, July 12: San Francisco: Intersolar North America

Tuesday, July 25: Sacramento: Cal Growers Board of Directors Meeting (Details TBA)

Friday, July 28: San Francisco: SF-OAK Membership Drive and Annual Celebration (at Meadow)

Thursday, August 3: Sonoma: Wine and Weed Symposium

Friday, August 11: Oakland: Cal CPA: California Cannabis Industry Symposium