Addendum To Planning Commission Agenda of March 26, 2020

***This updated Agenda was put out by El Dorado County 3/20/20

ADDENDUM

County of El Dorado Public Meeting Protocol In Response to Coronavirus COVID-19
California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-29-20 on March 17, 2020,
relating to the convening of public meetings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At this time, the County of El Dorado Planning Commission meetings will be limited to
hear only those items related to immediate public peace, health, and safety issues and
Permit Streamlining Act items that cannot be delayed by Tolling Agreement, as provided
in the publicly posted agenda notice and until further notice.

Accordingly, and as included in the attached staff memo, staff will be requesting
continuance of item No. 4 to hear the Central El Dorado Hills Specific Plan project to a
date certain of April 23, 2020.

Pursuant to the Executive Order and to maintain the orderly conduct of the meeting, the
County of El Dorado will allow Planning Commissioners to attend the meeting
telephonically and to participate in the meeting to the same extent as if they were
present.

In order to ensure compliance with federal and state guidance regarding large
gatherings and social distancing and in accordance with State of California Executive
Order N-29-20, to provide the public with the opportunity to provide comments to the
Commission, the Commission is providing a call in number (please see below). When
you hear the item called that you wish to comment on, please call the number and await
your opportunity to speak. Your call will be muted upon joining the meeting and, when
you are notified that your call has been unmuted, you may speak for three minutes or as
otherwise provided by the Commission Chair. While speaking, please reduce any
background noise to ensure that your comments can be heard.

Dial in line – 1-669-900-9128
Meeting ID – 393 945 785

You may also view the meeting through the Granicus livestream
http://eldorado.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.

Members of the public who wish to participate may appear at the public meeting held in
the Board Chambers and are to maintain a minimum six-foot buffer between you and
others, as suggested by the State Department of Public Health. Additional seating for
the Commission meeting is available in the lobby of Building A.

Planning Commission audio recordings, Agendas, Staff Reports, Supplemental Materials and Minutes are available on the internet at:
http://eldorado.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx

To listen to open session portions of the meeting in real time, dial (530) 621-7603. This specialized dial-in number is programmed for listening only and is operable when the audio system inside the meeting room is activated. Please be advised that callers will experience silence anytime the Commission is not actively meeting, such as during a break period.

The County of El Dorado is committed to ensuring that persons with disabilities are provided the resources to participate in its public meetings. If you require accommodation, please contact the Clerk to the Planning Commission at 530-621-5355 or via e-mail, planning@edcgov.us.

All Planning Commission hearings are recorded. An audio recording of this meeting will be published to the website. Please note that due to technology limitations, the link will be labeled as “Video” although only audio will play. The meeting is not video recorded***.

***The Planning Commission meeting of March 26, 2020 will be video recorded and available for Live Web Streaming on the internet at: http://eldorado.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx

The Planning Commission is concerned that written information submitted to the Planning Commission the day of the Commission meeting may not receive the attention it deserves. Planning Services cannot guarantee that any FAX, email, or mail received the day of the meeting will be delivered to the Commission prior to action on the subject matter.

For purposes of the Brown Act, Section 54954.2(a), the numbered items on this agenda give a brief description of each item to be discussed. Recommendations of the staff, as shown, do not prevent the Commission from taking other action.

Staff materials related to an item on this agenda submitted to the Commission after distribution of the agenda packet are available for inspection during normal business hours in Planning Services located at 2850 Fairlane Court, Placerville, CA. Such documents are also available on the Commission’s Meeting Agenda webpage subject to staff’s ability to post the documents before the meeting.

El Dorado County Planning Commission

Large Scale Cultivation Planning – Important Factors to Consider

By David Perkins

Before you begin any large-scale cultivation, you must consider the four factors highlighted below, among many others, to ensure your cultivation is successful. Failure to do so will cost you greatly, in both time and money, and ultimately could lead to failure. While the four areas highlighted below may be the most important considerations to address, you should hire a cultivation consultant to determine the numerous other considerations you must deal with before you begin. 

  1. Genetics 

Genetics must necessarily play a huge role in your cultivation plan, as they can ultimately make or break the success of your business. Access to quality, verified genetics will greatly affect your profits. All cannabis genetics grow differently and may require different conditions and nutrients. Further, consumers in today’s regulated market have greater awareness; they are much more knowledgeable about genetics and able to discern between quality cannabis versus commercially produced green bud. 

Market trends will dictate whether or not you’ll ultimately be able to sell your harvest at market rate. You need to project out at least one year in advance the genetics you will be growing. But, oftentimes it is impossible to predict what consumers will be purchasing a year in advance so this part of your cultivation plan should be well thought out. Further compounding this difficulty is the fact that it may take six months to ramp up production of any given variety. 

Genetics that are popular now may still be popular next year, but that also means there will be more competition for shelf space, as more competitors will also likely be growing these same genetics. Therefore, don’t rely on only one trendy variety as the bulk of your selection for the year, no matter how popular it is at the moment. Producing a single variety as the bulk of your crop is always risky, unless you have a contract with a sales outlet, in advance, for a set quantity of that one particular variety. Diversity in your genetics is beneficial, when chosen correctly. 

Making proprietary genetics from your own seed collection can give you a big advantage in today’s competitive market. Having a variety with a distinct, unique and desirable smell, taste, effect or cannabinoid profile will allow you to distinguish your brand amongst others. Entire brands have been built off of a single variety: Cookies and Lemontree are two examples of companies that have done this. All it takes is one really good variety to attract a lot of attention to your brand. Individuals, who are constantly striving for a better flavor profile or euphoric effects in their genetics, create the best cannabis genetics. Having your own breeding project on-site will allow you to look for and identify varieties that work for you and your business model, and ultimately will help to distinguish your brand apart from others. 

Only buy seeds from reputable breeders! Any new varieties that you are going to be cultivating should be tested out at least three times, on a small scale, before being moved into a full production model. If you are growing from seed there is always the potential for your crop to get pollinated by male plants or hermaphrodites that went unnoticed, and therefore, they could be a potential risk to your entire harvest. Treat them accordingly, i.e. by cultivating them on a small scale in a separate, enclosed area. 

Buying clones from a commercial nursery can be risky. Genetics are passed from one grower to another haphazardly, and names are changed far too easily. This can create a lot of confusion as to what variety you are actually purchasing and whether you are getting the best version of the genetics. Just because a clone is called “sour diesel” doesn’t mean you’re actually getting the real, authentic sour diesel. And to further complicate things, the same clone grown in different environments can produce a noticeable difference in flavor, smell and effect depending on your cultivation method. Always try your best to verify the authenticity of the genetics you purchase. Ask about the history and origin of the particular genetics you are purchasing. Better yet, ask for pictures, physical samples, and most importantly certificates of analysis from a laboratory, indicating the potency. In many states anything under 20% THC is going to be hard to sell, while anything over 30% will easily sell and yield the highest price. It’s a good idea to have a laboratory test the terpene profile in order to verify a variety is actually what the seller purports it to be. 

Knowing the source of your genetics is imperative. It will help ensure that you actually have the variety that you were intending to grow, and therefore, allow you to achieve your intended results. Knowing what varieties you are going to cultivate, before you grow them, will also give you a better idea of the ideal growing conditions for that specific variety, as well as what nutrients will be required to achieve optimum output. 

  1. Automated watering systems 

Installing an automated watering system, during build-out, will by far be the most cost-effective use of your money, and will save you the most amount of time in labor. An automated watering system, commonly referred to as a “drip system” or “drip irrigation,” is necessary regardless of whether you are cultivating indoors or outdoors; it will allow you to water multiple different areas at once, or only water a few specific areas of the garden at one time. Hand watering a 22,000 square-foot cultivation site will take one person eight hours every single day, on average, to maintain. However, a properly designed drip system can water an entire large-scale garden in a couple of hours, without any employees; record all the relevant data; and notify you if there is a problem. This enables you more time to spend closely inspecting the plants to ensure there are no bugs or other problems present, and that your plants are healthy and thriving. This attention to detail is necessary if you want to have consistent success. 

Automated watering systems not only save a great deal of time but also eliminate the possibility of human error i.e. over watering which can decimate an entire crop quickly. There are water moisture sensor meters that can be used to regulate the supply of water to the plants in a precise manner. Without an extremely skilled, experienced workforce, damage to plants due to watering error is very common. A drip system will avoid the threat of human error by ensuring delivery of precisely the correct amount of water and nutrients to each plant every single time they are watered. 

Not all drip systems are created equally. There are different types of automated watering systems. Designing the right drip system for your cultivation site(s) can be complicated. Make sure you do your research, or better yet, work with a cultivation consultant who has experience with automated irrigation systems in conjunction with a licensed plumber, to ensure you are installing the best system for your particular set up. 

Adding a fertilizer injector to your drip system can further increase the efficiency of your operation and save you money on nutrients by using only what you need and ensuring correct application. Again, automating this process will save you time and money, and reduce the threat of human error. 

  1. Nutrients 

The types of nutrients you use and the amount of nutrients you use, are going to directly effect the quality of your cannabis flower. Conventional agriculture and Dutch hydroponic cannabis cultivation have always used salt-based fertilizers. However, they can be toxic for the plant in high amounts. While cheap and easy to use, salt-based nutrients are made in big factories using chemical processes to manufacture. They are not good for the environment, and overall, they produce an inferior product. The highest quality cannabis, is grown with organic living soil. Although seemingly contrary to popular knowledge, when done properly, cultivating in organic living soil is more cost-effective than using powdered or liquid salt-based fertilizers. 

It is a common misconception that synthetic nutrients produce higher yields especially when grown hydroponically. Yield and quality depend on the skills of the cultivator, more than the method they are using. Having healthy plants from the start, will always yield better results, no matter what way they were grown. In my 20 years of experience I have seen plants grown in balanced living soil yield as much or more than plants grown with chemical nutrients. Further, the quality is not comparable. 

Always remember, it is the quality of your flower that will determine the price it is sold for, not the yield. Even if you produce more overall weight of chemically grown cannabis, if nobody wants to purchase that product, then you are going to yield far less profit than another person growing in the same space using organic practices that yield a higher quality product. 

The difference in quality between plants grown in balanced living soil versus any other method of cultivation is undeniable. It is really easy to post a pretty picture of a flower on Instagram but that picture doesn’t tell you anything about what went into producing it. When flower is produced using chemical nutrients, it is likely going to be harsh and not enjoyable to smoke. Lesson learned: don’t judge a bud by an Instagram photo! There is a stark difference between consuming mass-produced, chemical-filled cannabis, versus that grown in living soil, with a proper cure. Once you’ve experienced the difference you will never want to consume cannabis that is grown any other way 

  1. Plant propagation 

Having the ability to propagate your own clones, from mother plants that you have cultivated, can save you a staggering amount of money. In most states having a cultivation license allows you to produce your own clones for your cultivation, while having a nursery permit will allow you to sell clones for commercial sales to other companies. The average price of a wholesale clone is around eight dollars. If you require 5000 plants for every harvest, that’s a $40,000 expense you must bear, every grow cycle. This can obviously add up quickly. And as previously mentioned there’s the risk of purchasing inferior genetics or unhealthy plants, both of which greatly affect your profit margins. 

On the other hand, the cost of materials and labor to produce a healthy clone can be as low as one dollar when using advanced cloning techniques. It will also ensure you know the genetics of your clones and the health of your clones before you spend time and money growing them out. Further, it doesn’t take a lot of space to propagate your own cuttings. In a 400 square-foot space one could produce between 5,000 to 10,000 clones per month, all of which could be maintained by one person depending on your situation. 

And last but definitely not least the most important thing you can do to ensure the success of your cultivation, is hire an experienced knowledgeable grower who is passionate about cannabis. The success of your company depends on it. You need someone with the knowledge, experience, and skills to make your cultivation dreams a reality. You need someone who can plan your build-out and cultivation to ensure success from the start. And you need someone with the skills to handle the multitude of inevitable problems that will arise in a cost-effective and efficient way. 

These are just some of the many considerations you must account for when planning a large scale grow in the regulated market. An experienced cultivation consultant can help you with these, and many other considerations you will need to contend with before you begin your grow. Creating a well thought out plan at the outset can end up saving you thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars down the road. 

David Perkins is a cultivation manager and consultant with over 20 years of experience in the grow room. From build out to cultivation, cloning to processing, he has done it all. David can help you succeed in the grow room, and save you money along the way. If you are considering hiring a consultant, please reach out and discuss the ways in which he can help you achieve your goals. You can reach David at (530)277-5891 or marleybrutusdave@gmail.com 

TO READ MORE ARTICLES BY DAVID PERKINS:

Five Factors to Keep in Mind When Entering the Regulated Market

Thinking of hiring a cultivation consultant? Here’s what you can expect.

https://cannabisindustryjournal.com/feature_article/top-3-ways-cultivation-methods-must-change-with-regulations/?fbclid=IwAR0t0hazOggMJGemNXCH259CAWpd6GeFoHtXKGiQgfPt8IovqKuESJ6KNdE

 

Five Factors to Keep in Mind When Entering the Regulated Market

by David Perkins

It’s a different world growing cannabis in California; in fact it’s a completely different experience than it was even four years ago. It can be overwhelming to begin the process, which is where an experienced cultivation consultant can help. This article will highlight 5 factors to keep in mind before you begin growing in California’s regulated recreational market. 

Start Up – Costs, needs, and endless variables 

So you’ve decided to begin a recreational grow, here are the factors to consider before you get started. 

Permitting, the necessary precursor to cultivation, can be time- consuming, extremely expensive, and overwhelming. General experience dictates that any grow will take longer than planned and cost way more money than you ever expected or anticipated. Always account for more money and time than you think you need. Working with an experienced consultant can help you plan and account for all the costs and variables you may not have considered, prior to beginning cultivation, in order to ensure your success. 

Equipment. When choosing what equipment to use, stick to reputable equipment manufacturers. Don’t just go with the latest high tech gear because you see it on Instagram being advertised by a big, fancy grow operation. Stick to what you know best. Do your homework and research the equipment as much as possible, prior to purchase. Use equipment that has been tested and well documented with success. Some questions to ask yourself: is this necessary? Is it cost efficient? Will it help me reach my goals? 

Grow your business slowly and naturally. Getting too big too quick will most likely expose inefficiencies in your operating plan, which will be further compounded when production increases. Don’t sink before you can swim and start out on a massive scale before you have perfected your process. 

Cultivation – It pays to design it right the first time 

Success begins in the grow room. Never forget that. A properly engineered cultivation plan can be the difference between 3 and 6 harvest per year. Again, it is imperative here to do your homework. A well thought out plan can make or break you, and that is where an experienced cultivation consultant can help. 

Set realistic expectations. Understand that growing boutique-style cannabis is very difficult on a large scale, consistently. Don’t expect to grow perfect cannabis every time – it is unrealistic and can ultimately lead to failure if your financial model depends on it. Growing a plant, while mostly in your control, involves too many variables to rely on a perfect outcome round after round. You can do everything in your power, yet something unexpected can still happen and be detrimental to your yield, and therefore your profit. You must expect and plan for this. 

Automating as much of your grow as possible is always a good idea. This will greatly reduce labor costs and more importantly, minimize human error. In some instances, it will even allow you to review data and information remotely, in real-time, allowing you to ensure your cultivation site is always running as efficiently as possible, even when you aren’t there. 

Processing – Don’t skimp on the process 

If you are going to be harvesting cannabis for flower, it is imperative to have a properly built facility for drying, curing and storing your product. You must consider that this building will need to be large enough to house and properly store all of your harvest at once. This can make or break your crop at harvest time. If you don’t have the capacity to handle your harvest properly, it can lead to disastrous issues such as mold or too quick of a cure – conditions which make your cannabis unsellable in the regulated market. 

Although costly, if done correctly, you can also design this area to serve as your propagation, trimming, and breeding areas, which will ultimately save on costs in the long run. 

Also keep in mind, hand-trimmed cannabis will always look more appealing to the consumer than machine trimmed cannabis. However, hand trimming can be time-consuming, labor-intensive, and therefore far more costly than machine trimming. These are factors you will need to consider and budget for when deciding how to 

proceed. If you use a machine, you may save money upfront, but will you be able to sell your cannabis at full price? 

Distribution – Have a plan 

It is a good idea to have a plan for distribution, prior to startup. If you have an agreement with a retail outlet (or contract with a distributor), in writing, you will protect yourself from financial failure. Cannabis will never grow more valuable over time, therefore, you want to have a plan in place for distribution, as soon as the cannabis is harvested and processed. Just as was the case in the black market days, you never want to hold on to your cannabis for long periods of time. 

Do not distribute without agreements in writing! While some oral agreements may be enforceable, it will be extremely costly to litigate. Therefore, you should plan to hire a lawyer beforehand to create fail-proof agreements that will hold up in court, should a distributor not pay you for your product. 

Sales – Build your brand, but be realistic 

Building your brand is important. And if you don’t produce your own high-quality flower you cannot expect to have a product up to your standards. Your brand will not be successful if you cannot consistently provide consumers with high-quality cannabis. Relying on other growers to produce your cannabis for you is risky to your brand. Even if you are a manufacturer, you may not be able to rely on other suppliers to maintain the quality volume you need in order to manufacture your products consistently. 

The regulated market in California is new. Therefore your must necessarily account for a great degree of price fluctuations in the market. When creating your budget at the outset, you must account for fluctuations in profit. Knowing when prices are going to be at their lowest can help you avoid having an oversupply of inventory. It can also help you avoid such situations by planning your cultivation/harvest accordingly. 

There are both consumer and government influenced market trends that can affect your bottom line. Therefore, these must be accounted for at the outset. 

On the consumer level, you must know what people are buying and how they are consuming. And these factors can change quickly with the introduction of new technology, methods, or new devices intended for cannabis consumption. You must stay on top of these trends. The government regulations can also affect these trends. Products used for cultivation can become banned i.e. products you once relied on in your cultivation can be found to have contaminants known to cause test failures, even in “approved products.” 

Ultimately, all of these factors can make or break your success, and therefore, must be considered, researched, and accounted for prior to beginning your cultivation in the regulated market. Working with a consultant with over 20 years of grow experience, and more importantly, extensive experience in large scale cultivation in the regulated market, can help you achieve the success you desire. Cultivation in the regulated market is costly, but working with a consultant can help you cut costs at the outset, and save you from unexpected expenses in the long run.

David Perkins is a Cultivation manger and consultant with over 20 years of experience in the grow room. From build out to cultivation, cloning to processing, he has done it all. David can help you succeed in the grow room, and likely save you money along the way. If you are considering hiring a consultant, please reach out, and discuss with David the ways in which he can help you achieve your goals. You can reach David at (530)277-5891 or marleybrutusdave@gmail.com 

The Launch of Agora C Business Services

Agora C Business Services exists to solve the critical issues facing cannabis operators, both large and small. Their unique approach is not only what differentiates them, but also what makes them successful. They provide a broad range of services and solutions to help “grey market” cannabis operations transition into the regulated market, achieve their vision and optimize performance and productivity.

Agora C Business Services is the culmination of a restructuring of the Law Office of Dale Schafer, in order to lower the legal fees associated with entering or transitioning to the regulated cannabis market and service more cannabis operators in CA. By contracting with Agora C Business services, I can lower the cost for 3/4 of the necessary work required to obtain “Local Authorization” and a state license for CA cannabis businesses. I can also help operators to formulate good teams and train those teams in all areas necessary to adequately run a cannabis corporation, thereby helping those businesses to be as sustainable as possible.

I would encourage anyone seeking to enter or transition into California’s regulated cannabis market to visit the Agora C Business Services website and subscribe for all upcoming events and information on the opening of the El Dorado County Resource Center.

https://www.agoracbusinessservices.com/

ANNOUNCEMENT – El Dorado County Board of Supervisors Meeting to Certify Commercial Cannabis Measures and Direct Office of Administration

EDC BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING 
12/4/18 @1:00pm
“Chief Administrative Office recommending the Board: 1) Receive and file a presentation outlining next steps and an estimated timeline for the development of the County’s Commercial Cannabis Program, pursuant to voter-approved Measures (pending certification), and; 2) Adopt and authorize the Chair to sign Resolution 243-2018, amending the Authorized Personnel Allocation Resolution 132-2018, thereby adding one Principal Management Analyst allocation to the Chief Administrative Office to allow staff to adequate time toward the development of the Commercial Cannabis Program, while continuing to address other County priorities as well as manage the budget and operational responsibilities within the CAO’s office. (Est. Time: 30 min.)”

Law Office of Dale Schafer November 2018 Cannabis Voter Guide

Courtesy of DrugSense.org, California City & County Regulation Watch and CANORML is the November 2018 Cannabis Voter Guide. Please note that this voter guide is NOT intended to instruct potential voters on how to vote. The November 2018 Cannabis Voter Guide is simply a list compiled to help you make the best decision for you.

 

STATE OFFICES

GOVERNOR

No state official has done more to champion legal marijuana than Democratic frontrunner Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. A longtime advocate of drug harm reduction, Newsom convened a Blue Ribbon Task Force on legalization that served as a blueprint for Prop 64, which he backed strongly. Some worry that Newsom is partial to big-money interests. As of last July, he had received over $300K in donations from the cannabis industry. Newsom has a history of leadership on other social issues, most notably gay marriage, which he championed as Mayor of San Francisco, as well as gun control and single-payer health care. Newsom has dealt with personal issues, including a bout with alcohol and cocaine addiction, but has recovered with impressive dynamism reminiscent of JFK.

Republican businessman James Cox made news when he said, “I’d like to go to the Portugal system where they actually put people who use marijuana in hospitals and cure them of their substance abuse. I’m not interested in jailing recreational marijuana users, and I’m certainly for medical marijuana.” He now says, “I’m not necessarily demanding that it [hospitalization] be done with regard to cannabis.” Among other nutty ideas, Cox has proposed that California be governed by a 12,000 – person “citizens legislature.”

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Incumbent Xavier Becerra was appointed by Gov. Brown to fill the seat of Sen. Kamala Harris. Since taking office, Becerra has aggressively moved to protect California’s interests against federal interference. Admitting to have tried pot “at a younger time,” he has vowed to protect the state’s legalization law against federal intrusion by A.G. Jeff Sessions. Becerra represented downtown L.A. in Congress from 1993 to 2017, where he posted an excellent voting record on drug and criminal justice reform, without taking an active role in advocating for them.

The Republican challenger is Stephen Bailey, a former judge running on a law-and-order platform who has called Becerra “soft on crime.” Asked by the Claremont Independent if he supports marijuana legalization, Bailey replied, “I think classifying marijuana as a schedule one is a mistake on the federal side. The reason for that is because schedule one assumes that there’s no medicinal value in that particular drug. I think that’s been proven incorrect. It also curtails research on marijuana in this case.”

He added, “Marijuana has changed over the last couple decades. The people who cultivate marijuana are good farmers, and have actually enhanced the percentage of THC in marijuana from in the 1960s—it might be roughly three percent—t’s now running at 18 to 22 percent. I have had kids in front of me from my time serving on juvenile court, that I had seen for a period of time, that became paranoid from using marijuana. Marijuana impairs the brain’s ability to function properly and it has a negative impact on a significant number of users. What we’ve done with the wholesale legalization of marijuana down to the recreational level is creating a long-term public health crisis.”

Asked whether he would defend Prop. 64, Bailey replied, “The voters passed Proposition 64. Whether I think it’s the best public policy is immaterial. As Attorney General, my duty is to defend the laws of the state and I intend to do that, whether I have reservations about marijuana or not.”

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

State Senator Ed Hernández (D-Asuza), has consistently voted well and thoughtfully on cannabis issues, medical and otherwise. An optometrist, he has taken a special interest in health care access and pharmaceutical drugs. Hernandez sponsored legislation to outlaw the dangerous synthetic marijuana substitute “Spice” and to raise the tobacco smoking age to 21.

His challenger Eleni Kounalakis, who won 24% of the vote in the primary to Hernandez’s 20%, is a former ambassador to Hungary (in the Obama administration). During the 2016 election cycle, she was a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and part of Clinton’s foreign policy advisory team. When asked whether or not she supports medical or recreational legalization, her campaign responded, “California voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, and Eleni believes that now we need to make sure that the implementation of the law protects the public, especially our kids. Regulations must be put in place for a wide-range of aspects, from ensuring products are properly labeled, to setting up a banking system which keeps the industry from operating on an all-cash basis. Legalization poses other new challenges to public safety that must also be addressed, including a possible increase in people driving under the influence. Eleni believes we can develop effective regulatory practices to address these problems by imposing taxes, ensuring strict identification for purchases, and proposing and supporting bills that are specifically designed to protect our kids, and the public at large.”

CONTROLLER

The Democrats have a fine candidate in State Controller Betty Yee. When serving on the Board of Equalization in 2009, Yee emerged as one of the first state officials to publicly advocate legally taxed and regulated cannabis. Yee actively courted the medical cannabis community, and enjoys wide support from both business and consumer interests.

TREASURER

The Democrats have another fine candidate in Fiona Ma, who like Yee before her now serves on the Board of Equalization from San Francisco. Upon joining the board, she took a serious interest in the cannabis industry, talking to farmers and touring businesses to figure out how they could best be integrated in California’s legal economy. Like Treasurer Chiang, she has struggled to figure out how to provide banking services to cannabis businesses so they can stop having to deal in cash. Her efforts have won her support from the cannabis community.

US CONGRESS

US SENATOR

During her long career in public office, incumbent Dianne Feinstein has been a staunch opponent of all things marijuana. Though praised as a moderate on other issues, Feinstein has been one of the Senate’s leading drug warriors, vociferously opposing Prop. 215 and 64, and using her power on the Senate Judiciary Committee to block rescheduling, water down sentencing reform, impose tougher penalties against drugs and their users, and criminalize more drugs. Shamefully, Sen. Feinstein was the only Democrat on the Judiciary Committee to vote against an amendment to prohibit Attorney General Jeff Sessions from interfering in California’s medical marijuana law, and another to protect banks from being prosecuted for serving the cannabis industry. Her stubbornness has led many Californians to think she is too old and out of touch for the job. In a stunning move, the state Democratic party declined to endorse her at its convention.

Finally, in a stunning announcement one week before the start of primary voting, Sen. Feinstein announced that she is shifting her position and would drop her opposition to legal cannabis. Feinstein’s views are said to have been changed by meeting constituents, especially those with young kids who have benefited from medical cannabis. “Federal law enforcement agents should not arrest Californians who are adhering to California law,” said Feinstein. Sen. Feinstein is now a co-sponsor of the STATES Act, which would amend federal law to legalize actions that are legal under state marijuana laws. This is a welcome if long overdue act by the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, though many voters are asking themselves whether it is too little, too late.

State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D- L.A.) is Feinstein’s challenger. De León is campaigning from the progressive left as an energetic, young advocate for protecting immigrants, the environment and clean energy, and other progressive issues. In the legislature, De León was not a vocal leader on drug or criminal justice reform, but consistently voted right. Just before Feinstein’s about-face, de León announced that he would back Sen. Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act. “Cory Booker’s bill recognizes that legal cannabis is the law of the land in California and many other states. More importantly, it corrects deep-rooted racial disparities in the criminal justice system.” he tweeted. Speaking at the State of Marijuana Conference in Long Beach, he promised, “I’ll be your champion in the fight to deschedule cannabis at the federal level, so we can strengthen the Golden State’s flourishing cannabis industry.”

 

US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

California is a prime battleground in the struggle for control of Congress. Although most districts are sure wins for incumbents, Democrats have mounted strong challenges in several currently Republican seats. San Franciso’s Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who stands in line to become Speaker if the Democrats flip the House, has made it known she thinks marijuana reform should be an important Congressional priority. On the other hand, Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, the top candidate for Speaker if the Republicans hold the House, has consistently opposed cannabis reform bills in Congress. California’s Democratic delegation has consistently voted well on marijuana issues, while most Republicans have voted poorly. Three notable Republican exceptions are Dana Rohrabacher (O.C.), Tom McClintock (Tahoe), and Duncan Hunter (San Diego), all of whom are strong conservatives who have co-sponsored bills to end federal cannabis prohibition.

 

KEY CONGRESSIONAL RACES:

Most districts are sure wins for incumbents; some key or contested districts are:

4th C.D. – Roseville/El Dorado Co.- Incumbent Republican Tom McClintock is a rock-ribbed, small-government conservative who opposes federal interference in California’s marijuana laws. He co-sponsored an amendment that would have barred the U.S. Dept. of Justice from spending funds to undermine state adult-use legalization laws. His opponent is Democrat Jessica Morse, whose views are unknown.

8th C.D. – Mono/Inyo/SBd County – This all-Republican race has former Assemblyman Tim Donnelly challenging incumbent Paul Cook, who has a dismal “F” voting record. Donnelly, a hard-core Tea Party conservative, sponsored drug decriminalization legislation in the Assembly to help reduce prison overcrowding, although he opposed the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act to legally license medical marijuana production.

10th C.D. – Modesto/Manteca – Incumbent Republican Jeff Denham is a social conservative with an atrocious voting record. His opponent is Democrat Josh Harder

21nd C.D. – Bakersfield/Kings/Fresno- Incumbent Republican David Valadao co-sponsored a hemp bill, but has voted against every marijuana reform measure and opposes recreational legalization. HIs opponent, Democrat TJ Cox, is in favor of legalization.

22nd C.D. – Fresno – Incumbent Republican Devin Nunes, a social conservative with an “F” voting record on marijuana, is notorious outside this Republican-leaning district for his partisan mishandling of the Russian investigation. His Democratic opponent, former prosecutor Andrew Janz, supports taking cannabis off Schedule One and re-doing the federal sentencing guidelines.

25th C.D. – Palmdale/Santa Clarita – Incumbent Republican Steve Knight has a mediocre voting record, having opposed the Rohrbacher-Farr and McClintock-Polis amendments to protect California’s marijuana laws from federal interference, while supporting medical use by veterans and saying it should be reclassified to Schedule III. He is opposed by Democrat Katherine Hill, whose campaign says she supports California voters’ decision to legalize marijuana and likewise federal legislation to protect it.

39th C.D. – Fullerton – In this open seat formerly held by Republican Edward Royce, former Naval officer and lottery winner Gil Cisneros (D) faces former legislator Young Kim (R). Kim has a poor voting record, except on more recent regulatory bills, and she opposed Prop. 64. According to VoteSmart, Cisneros supports recreational marijuana legalization.

45th C.D. – Irvine – Incumbent Republican Mimi Walters has a NORML “D” rating in Congress and was on DPFCA’s State Senate Hall of Shame. She faces Democrat Katie Porter, a consumer protection lawyer and former student of Sen. Elizabeth Warren at Harvard Law, who expressed “strong support” for marijuana reform measures on Cal NORML’s candidate questionnaire.

48th C.D. – Republican Dana Rohrabacher has been a leading champion for cannabis in Congress, being the co-sponsor of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer (or -Farr) Amendment that currently bars the U.S. Dept. of Justice from spending funds to undermine state medical marijuana laws. Rohrabacher is also facing criticism over what he claims were innocent meetings with Russian officials implicated in the Mueller investigation. His Democratic challenger, Harley Rouda, is solid on marijuana issues, having responded positively regarding all aspects of marijuana legalization on a Cal NORML candidate questionnaire.

49th C.D. – Oceanside/Dana Point – Vying for Darrell Issa’s vacant seat are BOE member Diane Harkey (R) and Attorney Mike Levin (D). Harkey had a lousy voting record when she was in the Assembly. From her position on the BOE she opined, “The cannabis initiative pads the pockets of the industry participants, funds a growing bureaucracy, promotes the products and, when considering the potential cost or unintended consequences, has very little direct benefit to our existing state budget. If all goes according to plan and marijuana becomes our new ‘cash’ crop replacing existing agriculture, California could be on its way to establishing the next big tobacco industry and the first banana republic in the nation.”

50th C.D. – San Diego – Embattled incumbent Duncan D. Hunter, who is fighting an indictment for misusing campaign funds, is one of the few Republicans who has taken a strong stance for marijuana reform. He co-sponsored the “Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015” the CARERS Act, and Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act. He has also been a proponent of e-cigs and vaporizers. Hunter won an “All-Star” rating from the San Diego Association of Cannabis Professionals. So did his opponent, Democratic party activist and businessman Ammar Campa Najjar, who says he will work “proactively” toward national cannabis reform if elected.

Other Pro-Reform Congress Members who have co-sponsored legalization bills, but aren’t in competitive races::

Dist. 01 – N. Coast – Jared Huffman (D)

Dist. 09 – Antioch – Jerry McNerney (D)

Dist. 13 – Oakland – Barbara Lee (D)

Dist. 15 – Pleasanton –Eric Swalwell (D)

Dist. 17 – Santa Clara – Ro Khanna (D)

Dist. 18 – Palo Alto – Anna Eshoo (D)

Dist. 19 – San Jose – Zoe Lofgren (D)

Dist. 24 – Santa Barabara/SLO – Salud Carbajal (D)

Dist. 30 – LA Valley – Brad Sherman (D)

Dist. 33 – LA – Ted Lieu (D)

Dist. 46 – Santa Ana – Lou Correa (D)

Dist. 47 – Long Beach – Alan Lowenthal (D)

 

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE

Few seats are expected to change hands in the state legislature, which is firmly controlled by the Democrats. By and large, Democrats have voted well and Republicans poorly on cannabis-related issues, but this isn’t true in all cases (for example Palmdale AD 36 and San Bernardino AD 40).

(Click here for 2017-18 DPFCA Voting Scorecard of all incumbent State Senators and Assemblymembers. Listed below are candidates running in this year’s election.)

 

KEY LEGISLATIVE RACES

SENATE:

District 8 (Amador, Calaveras, Fresno, Inyo, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Sacramento, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne) – Republican contender and Fresno county supervisor Andreas Borgeas does not support the use or sale of marijuana. He faces Democrat Paulina Miranda.

District 12 (Fresno, Madera, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, Stanislaus) – Assemblywoman Anna Caballero has a good voting record. She faces Madera County Supervisor Rob Poythress.

District 16 (Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino, Tulare) – Democratic archeologist and activist Ruth Musser-Lopez faces former Assemblywoman Shannon Grove (R), who has a dismal voting record.

District 22 (Los Angeles) – Assemblyman Mike Eng, who has a good voting record, faces fellow Democrat Susan Rubio.

District 32 (Los Angeles, Orange) – Democrat Bob Archuleta, a Pico Rivera City Councilman, faces Republican attorney Rita Topalian.

Other Senators with notably good records, but not in competitive races:

Dist 02 (North Coast) – Mike McGuire (D)

Dist 10 (Fremont) – Bob Wieckowski (D)

Dist 18 (LA/Van Nuys) –Robert Hertzberg (D)

Dist 30 (LA) – Holly Mitchell (D)

ASSEMBLY:

AD 15 – Berkeley/Oakland – Two Democrats are running in this race. Richmond Councilmember Jovanka Beckles is running a progressive, “people-powered” campaign. Her platform advocates criminal justice reform: “Mass incarceration must be ended, drug offenses should result in rehabilitation, not imprisonment, and the use of illegal drugs should be decriminalized.” Her opponent, Obama aide and campaign organizer Buffy Wicks, is endorsed by Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris and also has favorable views on criminal justice reform.

AD 36 – Palmdale – Incumbent Assemblyman Tom Lackey has been the leading Republican sponsor of legislation to advance the legal licensing of cannabis, including a bill to lower Prop. 64 taxes in order to help the licensed industry compete against the black market. His opponent, former Assemblyman Steve Fox, posted the worst voting record of any Democrat in the legislature, an atrocious 0% in 2013/4.

AD 40 – San Bernardino – Republican Henry Nickels, the Mayor Pro Tem of San Bernardino City, has worked constructively with the cannabis industry to try to establish local regulations. His opponent, Democrat James Ramos, has opposed cannabis licensing efforts as a member of the county board of supervisors.

AD 42 – Yucca Valley– Like most of his fellow Republicans, incumbent Chad Mayes has a sub-par voting record. His opponent, DeniAntoinette Mazingo, has expressed support for Prop. 64 and protecting the rights of medical marijuana patients, and is endorsed by the Brownie Mary Democratic Club.

AD 76 Oceanside: Two Democrats are vying for the seat of outgoing Asm. Rocky Chavez. Elizabeth Warren (no relation) supports both adult and medical use of cannabis, which she calls a “wonder plant.” The views of her opponent, Tasha Boerner Horvath, aren’t known.

Other Assembly Members with notably positive records, but not in competitive races:

Dist 13 (Stockton) Susan Eggman (D)

Dist 18 (Oakland) Rob Bonta (D)

Dist 20 (Hayward) Bill Quirk (D)

Dist 27 (San Jose) Ash Kalra (D)

Dist 59 (LA) Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D)

Dist 64 (Carson) Mike Gipson (D)

 

LOCAL RACES

ALAMEDA COUNTY

  • Berkeley City Council District 4 – Kate Harrison has a good record on the council.
  • Emeryville City CouncilDianne Martinez recommended by local advocates.
  • Fremont City Council District 2 – Cullen Tiernan favors licensed cannabis sales; CC District 3: David Bonaccorsirecommended by local advocates.
  • Hayward Mayor – Barbara Halliday; Councilmember – Aisha Wahab recommended by local advocate
  • Newark City Council – Mike Bucci recommended by local advocates
  • Oakland City Council District 4 – Local advocates recommend both Sheng Thao, Chief of Staff for pro-cannabis At-Large Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, and Matt Hummel, Chair of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission.
  • San Leandro City Council District 1- Deborah Cox; CC District 3 – Victor Aguilar; CC District 5 – Corina Lopez recommended by local advocates.
  • Union City CouncilHarris Mojadedi recommended by local advocates.

BUTTE COUNTY

  • Chico – Cannabis supporters Alex Brown, Rich Ober, and Scott Huber are running for city council.
  • OrovilleMarlene del Rosario, Art Hatley, and Jack Berry (a mix of progressives and conservatives) are supportive candidates. Also, as per Jessica MacKenzie, Vice Mayor and councilmember Janet Goodson is running for mayor and also supports the ordinances.

CALAVERAS COUNTY

Fifth District supervisorial candidate Ben Stopper has support of local activists, as does Third District candidate Marist Calloway. For sheriff, Rick DiBasilio is the favored candidate.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY

Advocates are still struggling to win local approval for licensed cannabis providers in this county that voted 61% for Prop 64.

  • Concord City Council District 2 – Candidate Kenji Yamada favors licensed adult use cannabis sales.
  • Walnut Creek City Council – Candidate Iman Novin favors licensing cannabis outlets in the city.

EL DORADO COUNTY

South Lake Tahoe – Cannabis activist Cody Bass is running for City Council on a platform to support local businesses and youth programs.

ORANGE COUNTY

Dana Point – In the District 1 city council race, Amy Foell says, “It’s about time marijuana became legalized for recreational use just like alcohol. Dana Point has been prudent to restrict recreational operations within city limits. However, we should permit delivery service and cultivation for residents.” Her opponent Joseph “Joe” Jaeger does not support marijuana-related businesses in the city of Dana Point and Joe Muller did not support Prop 64.

NAPA COUNTY

Napa City Council – Medical cannabis advocate James Hinton is one of five candidates running for two spots on city council. “The city needs to permit adult use and marginalize the black market” he says.

PLUMAS COUNTY

Portola – Cannabis advocate Kimberly Anne Scales-Scott is running for City Council. Read more.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY

Supervisor District 4: Former DA Bonnie Dumanis, infamous for her zealous prosecution of medical cannabis cases, is opposed by Democrat Nathan Fletcher, who has the support of the San Diego Association of Cannabis Professionals.

Supervisor District 5: Michelle Gomez would like to reverse the county’s ban on cannabis facilities.

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY

Lompoc Mayor: Jim Mosby (Current City Council Member with 2 years left on term) voted for “open market,” voted for no caps on cannabis businesses, voted to permit cannabis lounges/on-sight consumption, voted to allow for personal grows outdoor or indoors up to 6 plants (recreational). Voted originally for no local taxes on cannabis. Voted No tax on local medical cannabis. Opponent Jennelle Osborne is pro-cannabis but advocated for limited amount of cannabis businesses, advocated for lottery system for “limited market” as opposed to an “open market,” voted for on-sight consumption/lounges, advocated to only allow 2 or 3 plants to be grown outside personally (recreational). Advocated and voted for several local taxes. Voted No local tax on medical cannabis.

City Council District 2: Victor Vega (incumbent) same record as Mosby.

City Council District 3: Dirk Starbuck: same record.

SOLANO COUNTY

Vallejo – Cannabis advocate Hakeem Brown is running for city council.

 

LOCAL BALLOT MEASURES

 

County measures affect only unincorporated areas, not cities within the county.

 

ALAMEDA COUNTY

Emeryville

Measure S

asks, “To protect essential municipal services, including repairing public facilities, reducing traffic congestion, and improving pedestrian and bicycle safety; and to support regulation of the cannabis industry, and preserve the City of Emeryville’s long-term financial stability, shall the ordinance to impose a business tax of up to 6% of gross receipts on all cannabis businesses within Emeryville?”

Oakland

City Business Tax

Measure V would amend the marijuana business tax law to: allow marijuana business to deduct the cost of raw materials from their gross receipts and to pay taxes on a quarterly basis; and allow the city council to amend the law in any manner that does not increase the tax rate (including lowering taxes). Endorsed by Cal NORML.

Union City

Measure DD

reads, “To maintain/enhance essential city services including 911 dispatch/neighborhood police patrols/emergency response times; after-school programs for children/teens; keeping fire stations open full time; and other essential services shall a measure be adopted establishing a Union City cannabis business tax at a maximum rate of $12.00 per square foot for cultivation and 6% of gross receipts for others, until ended by voters, providing $1,400,000 annually, requiring oversight and no money for Sacramento?”

 

BUTTE COUNTY

Oroville

Measure T

asks, “To fund general municipal expenses such as police, fire, roads and recreation, shall the City of Oroville adopt an ordinance authorizing an annual Cannabis Business Tax on cannabis businesses upon their gross receipts at a rate not to exceed 10%, with initial rates of 5% on retailers, manufacturers, and cultivators; 3% on distributors and nurseries; 0% on testing laboratories; and 8% on microbusiness estimated to generate $300,000 to $600,000 annually until repealed by the voters?”

 

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY

Measure R asks: “Shall the County tax cannabis (marijuana) businesses in the unincorporated area at annual rates up to $7.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation (adjustable for inflation) and up to 4% of gross receipts for all other cannabis businesses including retailers, to generate an estimated $1.7 to $4.4 million annually to fund general County expenses such as public safety, health services, and environmental protection, and levied until repealed by the voters or Board of Supervisors?” Endorsed by Contra Costa NORML.

 

DEL NORTE COUNTY

“Shall Del Norte County establish taxes upon commercial cannabis activity in the following amounts: 2-6 percent of the gross receipts of a non-medicinal cannabis retailer, 1-3 percent of the gross receipts of a cannabis manufacturer, $1 per square foot of outdoor cultivation area and $3 per square foot of indoor cultivation area?”

 

EL DORADO COUNTY

El Dorado County has five different measures on the ballot; in addition, the city of Placerville has its own measure.

  • Measure N would regulate and impose a general tax on commercial cannabis activity at rates up to: $30 per square foot or 15% for cultivation; 10% for distribution, manufacturing, and retail; and 5% for testing laboratories
  • Measure P would allow for outdoor and mixed-light (greenhouse) commercial cannabis cultivation for medicinal use on parcels of at least 10 acres that are restricted in canopy size, required to pay a County commercial cannabis tax
  • Measure Q would allow for outdoor and mixed-light (greenhouse) commercial cannabis cultivation for recreational adult use on parcels of at least 10 acres that are restricted in canopy size, required to pay a County commercial cannabis tax
  • Measure R would allow for the retail sale, delivery, distribution, and indoor cultivation of commercial cannabis for medicinal use on parcels that are restricted in number and concentration, required to pay a County commercial cannabis tax
  • Measure S would allow for the retail sale, delivery, distribution, and indoor cultivation of commercial cannabis for recreational adult use on parcels that are restricted in number and concentration, required to pay a County commercial cannabis tax

Placerville

Measure M says, “Shall the measure establishing a cannabis (marijuana) businesses tax at annual rates not to exceed $10.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation (adjustable for inflation), 8% of gross receipts for retail cannabis businesses, and 4% for all other cannabis businesses; which is expected to generate an estimated $50,000 to $70,000 annually and will be levied until repealed by the voters or the City Council in order to fund general municipal expenses, be adopted?”

 

FRESNO COUNTY

Fresno (city)

Measure A Marijuana business tax would allow the county to tax marijuana businesses at rates of up to $12 per canopy square foot and up to 10 percent of gross receipts for medical dispensaries and other marijuana businesses, with revenue dedicated to the city’s general fund and a community benefit fund. Endorsed by NORML advocates in Fresno.

 

IMPERIAL COUNTY

Calexico

Measure K seeks to place a 15 percent gross tax on sales of Cannabis cultivated locally and sold outside the area. It would also collect a 25-dollar-per-square-foot tax on facilities used for cultivation.

City of Imperial

Measure I

would impose a cannabis tax not to exceed $10 per canopy square foot for cultivation, 6% of gross receipts for retail businesses, and 4% for all other cannabis businesses.

 

KERN COUNTY

Two measures are on the ballot in Kern; in addition, the cities of Arvin and Bakersfield have their own measures.

  • The first county measure, sponsored by Jeff Jarvis and Heather Epps, would replace the county’s current ban on unincorporated area dispensaries with state regulations and guidelines on the industry. Commercial adult-use recreational sales and cultivation would still be banned, but medicinal sales and cultivation, testing, distribution and other activities would be allowed. Regulation would be done through ministerial land-use permits and levy a 7.5 percent business tax on operations.
  • The second was brought forth by attorney Ben Eilenberg on behalf of the Committee for Safer Neighborhoods and Schools, with the goal to regulate both commercial adult use and medical. Commercial businesses (except retail and testing), such as manufacturing, cultivation and distribution would be required to operate in one of two zones adjacent to the I-5 corridor in western Kern County. It would also cap the number of retail dispensaries to 35, require regulation via ministerial approval of land-use permits, with exception of retail outlets, which would need a conditional-use permit, and provides a mechanism for fees and taxes on cannabis activities, including a 5 percent tax on gross retail receipts.

Arvin

Cannabis Tax Measure would establish a tax of up to 6% of gross revenues on commercial cannabis business operations, excepting cultivation, and a tax of up to $6 per square foot of space used for commercial cannabis cultivation, as adjusted annually by CPI.

Bakersfield

After 32,790 signatures were submitted to the city by Kern Citizens for Patient Rights, the November ballot will read, “Shall the measure amending the Bakersfield Municipal Code to allow medical marijuana storefront dispensaries, cultivation sites, manufacturers, distributors, and delivery operations with a valid permit, and which will impose a 7.5 percent excise tax that will last until terminated by voters, be adopted?”

 

LAKE COUNTY

Measure K

reads, “Shall Article VII be added to Chapter 18 of the Lake County Code imposing a Cannabis Business Tax in the unincorporated areas of the county, which, as of January 2021, shall impose an annual tax of $1.00 per square foot for nursery cultivation, 4% of gross receipts on a cannabis dispensary, micro-business, or delivery business, and 2.5% of gross receipts on a cannabis manufacturing, processing, transportation, distribution, or other type of cannabis business?”

 

LASSEN COUNTY

Measure M

asks, “Shall an ordinance be adopted imposing a Cannabis Business Tax of up to $3.00 per square foot of canopy space, per year for cultivators, and up to 8% on gross receipts of all other cannabis businesses operating in the unincorporated areas of Lassen County, with funds staying in the County general fund for unrestricted general revenue purposes?”

 

LOS ANGELES COUNTY

Los Angeles (city)

Measure B, to establish a charter bank in the city, is said to be aimed at allowing banking for cannabis businesses.

Malibu

Measure G asks, “Shall the ordinance be adopted to (1) allow and regulate cannabis (marijuana) businesses; (2) permit existing medical marijuana dispensaries to sell and deliver recreational (adult use) cannabis; and (3) impose a new general tax of 2.5% of gross receipts from sales of non-medical cannabis, the revenues from which may be used for general city purposes, until repealed by voters, which tax is estimated to raise approximately $75,000-$ 150,000 annually?”

Maywood

Measure CT: Commercial Cannabis Activity Tax. To fund general municipal expenses such as police, fire, roads, and recreation, shall the City tax cannabis (marijuana) businesses at an annual rate not to exceed 10% of gross receipts for all commercial cannabis activities conducted in the City which is expected to generate an estimated $1.2 million to $1.6 million annually and will be levied until repealed by the voters or the City Council?

Pomona

Measure PC, The Cannabis Business Tax Measure asks: Shall the City tax cannabis (marijuana) businesses at annual rates up to $10.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation, and up to 6% of gross receipts for all other cannabis businesses?

 

MENDOCINO COUNTY

Willits

Measure I – Would set initial tax rates of: $7 per square foot of canopy space in a facility that uses exclusively artificial lighting, $4 for mixed light, and $1 for nurseries. In addition, it would set taxes of (1%) on cannabis labs, 4% on retailers, 2% on distributors, and 2.5% on processing.

 

MONTEREY COUNTY

Marina

Measure V asks, “Shall the ordinance permitting operation in the City of Marina of certain cannabis businesses and establishing a business license tax for such businesses at rates not to exceed 5% of gross receipts, to continue until repealed by the voters and, according to proponents, potentially generating $40,000 to $200,000 annually be adopted?

 

PLACER COUNTY

Colfax

Would tax cannabis businesses at annual rates not to exceed $10.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation (adjustable for inflation), 6% of gross receipts for retail cannabis businesses, and 4% for all other cannabis businesses.

 

PLUMAS COUNTY

Measure B would impose a 2% tax on net profits from cannabis businesses, which can be raised at a rate of 1% per year by the city council for not more than four years. Keep Plumas Green site.

 

RIVERSIDE COUNTY

Banning

Measure O would impose a 10% tax on the gross receipts of cannabis retail businesses in city (with the tax continuing until repealed, and the rate potentially increasing to 15%).

Hemet (2 measures)

  •  Measure Y:  Shall the privately proposed measure be adopted allowing an unlimited number of non-retail cannabis businesses in manufacturing zones without a city-issued discretionary approval, subject to limited separation requirements, giving certain cannabis business operators priority over others in establishing their businesses in the City, and taxing cannabis businesses at the rate of $10 / square foot of space used in connection with commercial cannabis activity, estimated to yield $1,000,000 in revenues annually and in perpetuity.
  • Measure Z:  Shall the City-sponsored measure be adopted establishing a tax on cannabis businesses at the maximum rates of 25% of gross revenues or $30 / square foot of cultivation space, which will apply to illegally operating businesses and, if action is taken after December 31, 2020 to permit cannabis businesses, will apply to legally-established cannabis businesses, estimated to generate at least $3,500,000 annually in perpetuity if cannabis businesses are permitted; and prohibiting cannabis businesses through December 31, 2020?

Jurupa Valley

Measure L asks, “Shall the ordinance which legalizes retail cannabis sales and commercial cannabis activity in certain zones, imposes operational requirements, and imposes an annual general tax of up to $25 per square foot of space used for retail cannabis sales and up to $3 per square foot for space used for other commercial cannabis activity (potentially generating $196,875 annually from retail sales and an unknown amount from other commercial activity and continuing until repealed) be adopted?”

Moreno Valley

Shall an ordinance be adopted maintaining safe, clean public areas/improving local services including neighborhood police patrols, fire, 911 response; gang, youth violence prevention, after-school programs; combat robberies/burglaries; repair potholes; unrestricted general revenue purposes; by establishing a tax not exceeding 8% of gross receipts /$15 per square foot for cultivation, generating approximately $2,200,000 annually until ended by voters, with independent audits, public review, all funds used locally?

Perris

Shall the measure known as the COMMERCIAL MARIJUANA DISTRIBUTION AND MANUFACTURING OPERATIONS TAX MEASURE, estimated to annually collect $2.3 million from commercial marijuana distribution and manufacturing operations (through a maximum tax rate of ten cents for each $1 of proceeds), to be administered and implemented pursuant to Chapter 3.40 of Title 3 of the Perris Municipal Code, with no sunset clause, be adopted?

 

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY

Adelanto

Measure S

would impose a tax of up to $5 / sq. ft. utilized in connection with cannabis cultivation or nursery, subject to adjustment by the city council; and up to a maximum of 5% of gross receipts on cannabis processing, testing, distribution, retail, sale or delivery, etc.

Colton

Measure U

would tax cannabis businesses up to 10% of gross receipts and up to $25 pet sq. ft. of cannabis cultivation.

Hesperia

Measure T

would impose a cultivation tax on commercial cannabis cultivation of up to $15 per square foot; other cannabis businesses would pay a tax of 1%–6% of the proceeds.

San Bernardino (city) (2 measures)

would impose a cannabis cultivation tax of $7 per sq. ft. of canopy for artificial lighting; $4 for mixed-light; $2 for no artificial light; and $1 for nurseries. It would further tax 1% for cannabis testing labs, 2% for distributors, 2.5% for manufacturers, and 4% for retailers or delivery services.

would impose regulations on cannabis businesses, including allowing for fees to be imposed by the city, and establishing penalties for violating the ordinance. The measure was drafted by the city council in response to lawsuits brought against its 2016 measures N and O.

 

SAN DIEGO COUNTY

Chula Vista

Measure Q would impose a business license tax of at least 5%—and up to 15%—of gross receipts on cannabis (marijuana) businesses; and at least $5—and up to $25—per square foot on space dedicated to cannabis cultivation, to “raise an estimated $6,000,000 per year, until voters change or repeal it, to fund general City services, including enforcement efforts against cannabis business that are operating illegally.”

La Mesa

Measure V would allow the city to tax cannabis businesses at annual rates not to exceed $10.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation and 6% of gross receipts for all other businesses, “generating an estimated $1,500,000 to $2,000,000 annually, to fund general municipal expenses including police and fire, roads, and recreation.”

Vista (3 measures)

  • Measure Z, the “citizen measure,” would authorize the commercial storefront retail sales of medicinal cannabis by up to 11 retailers in the city, to be located in any of Vista’s commercial, industrial, business park, and mixed-use zoning districts; and impose a 7% special use tax on gross receipts.
  • Measure AA, the “city council cannabis business tax,” would impose tax on marijuana cultivation at $14/square foot and gross receipts of marijuana businesses at rates not exceeding 8% on manufacturing and distribution; 10% on medicinal retail; 12% on adult-use retail; and 3.5% on testing.
  • Measure BB, the “city council medicinal cannabis business ordinance,” would authorize only the commercial delivery of medicinal cannabis in the City of Vista by up to three non-storefront (delivery only) retailers, plus up to two product safety testing laboratories, limiting these business to industrial-type zones and authorizing and directing the City Council to establish licensing and operating regulations protecting public safety, health, security, and community welfare.

 

SAN FRANCISCO (CITY AND COUNTY)

Proposition D Marijuana Business Tax Increase would tax marijuana businesses with gross receipts over $500,000 at a rate between 1 percent and 5 percent, exempting retail sales of medical marijuana, and expanding the marijuana business tax to businesses not physically located in San Francisco. Opposed by the SF Chronicle, Sen. Wiener, and the Brownie Mary Democratic Club of SF. Taxes cannabis at rates far higher than comparable businesses.

 

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY

Measure B reads: “To support early childhood education, drug prevention, literacy, and other programs for children and youth; public health; public safety and enforcement of cannabis laws; shall an ordinance imposing a special tax on commercial cannabis businesses in unincorporated San Joaquin County at a rate of 3.5% to 8% of gross receipts, with an additional cultivation Square Footage Payment of $2.00 per square foot of cultivation space annually adjusted by Consumer Price Index (CPI) thereafter, be adopted?”

Tracy

Measure D would allow the City of Tracy adopt an ordinance establishing a special tax on cannabis businesses at annual rates, not to exceed $12.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation (adjusted for inflation), 6% of gross receipts for retail cannabis businesses, and 4% for all other businesses; which is expected to generate an estimated $35,000 to $100,000 annually to fund police and code enforcement services and that shall be levied until repealed by voters.

 

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY

Measure B would impose a Cannabis Business Tax of up to 10% on gross receipts of cannabis businesses operating in unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County.

San Luis Obispo (city)

Measure F would establish a cannabis business tax up to 10% of gross receipts for retail and businesses and up to $10.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation.

Paso Robles

Measure I would enact tax on cannabis-related activities of up to $20 per square foot for cultivation/processing; up to 10% of gross receipts for transportation; up to 15% of gross receipts for manufacturing, testing, and distribution; and up to 10% of gross receipts for dispensaries.

 

SAN MATEO COUNTY

Daly City

Measure UU

would establish a tax of up to 10% for cannabis businesses that may be permitted in the future.

Half Moon Bay (2-5 measures?)

would impose taxes not to exceed $2-$10 per square foot for cultivation, and 6% of gross receipts for retail, 2.5% for testing, 3% for distribution, and 4% for manufacturing.

asks if existing commercial greenhouses in the city can be permitted for cannabis nurseries.

In addition, advisory measures Measure EE

, Measure SS

and/or Measure MM

ask voters about regulating and licensing cannabis businesses, limited to two retail facilities.

Redwood City

This measure will impose a maximum tax of 10% on all commercial cannabis activities in Redwood City, with initial rates set for various types of businesses.

San Carlos

Measure NN

asks: Shall an ordinance be adopted establishing an ongoing excise tax on any cannabis business that opens, up to 10% of gross receipts of each business?

South San Francisco

Measure LL

would permit taxation of up to 5% on gross receipts for cannabis businesses, with varying rates depending on the type.

 

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY

Goleta

Measure Z asks, “Shall an ordinance be adopted establishing a Cannabis Business Tax on gross receipts of cannabis businesses from the sale of cannabis and related products, whether at wholesale or retail, at a rate not to exceed 10%, with initial rates of 5% (retailers), 2% (manufacturers), 4% (cultivators), and 1% (distributors and nurseries) estimated to raise $334,000 to $1,423,000 to fund general municipal services such as street repair, parks and police, until ended by voters?”

Lompoc

Measure D reads, “Shall a measure imposing a CANNABIS TAX of six cents per $1.00 of non-medical retail sales proceeds, one cent per $1.00 of cultivation proceeds, flat $15,000 for net income less than $2 Million and $30,000 for net income of $2 Million and more of manufacturing/distribution proceeds, a total aggregate tax of six cents per $1.00 of microbusinesses proceeds, no tax on testing, with no sunset clause, estimated to collect $130,000 to $470,000, annually, be adopted?”

Solvang

Measure F asks, “Shall an ordinance be adopted establishing a cannabis business tax on gross receipts of cannabis businesses from the sale of cannabis and cannabis products, at a rate not to exceed 10%, with initial rate of 5% and a maximum annual increase of 1% up to the maximum rate, to fund general municipal services such as street repair, parks, and law enforcement, until ended by voters?

 

SANTA CLARA COUNTY

Morgan Hill

Measure I would authorize the city to tax marijuana businesses at annual rates up to $15.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation and up to 10 percent of gross receipts for all other marijuana businesses.

Mountain View

Measure Q would allow the taxation of marijuana businesses up to 9 percent of gross receipts to fund general city purposes.

Santa Clara (city)

Measure M would authorize the city to tax commercial marijuana businesses up to 10% of gross receipts and up to $25 per square foot for cultivation.

 

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY

Capitola

Measure I would authorize the city to tax marijuana businesses at a rate of up to 7 percent to fund general city purposes.

 

SHASTA COUNTY

Redding

Shall the City of Redding adopt a business tax on cannabis cultivation businesses up to $25 per square foot of cultivation area and on cannabis manufacturing, processing, laboratory testing, delivery, storage, distribution, and retail sale up to 10% of gross receipts, to enhance and maintain vital public safety services, reduce crime, and protect other general services with all funds to be spent for unrestricted general revenue purposes, generating approximately $750,000 annually?

 

SISKIYOU COUNTY

Dunsmuir

Would impose a cannabis industry tax at a rate not to exceed up to $3.50 per dry-weight ounce of cannabis flower, cannabis leaves, fresh cannabis plant, and up to 10% of gross receipts per quarter for other commercial cannabis businesses.

Mt. Shasta

Measure S

asks voters if an ordinance shall be adopted to “impose a Cannabis Industry Tax on the privilege of commercially cultivating, manufacturing, processing, storing, laboratory testing, labeling, packaging, distributing, or sale of cannabis and cannabis products?”

 

SOLANO COUNTY

Benecia

Measure E

would impose a cannabis business tax at annual rates not to exceed $10.00 per canopy square foot for commercial cannabis cultivation (adjustable for inflation) and 6% of gross receipts for all other cannabis businesses.

Suisin

Measure C would impose a local general tax on cannabis businesses at rates not exceeding 15% of gross receipts and $25 per square foot of space used for commercial cannabis activities (annually adjusted by CPI).

 

SONOMA COUNTY

Sonoma (city)

Shall the Initiative Measure amending the Municipal Code to permit personal cannabis cultivation on all residential properties and establishment and operation of cannabis businesses within the City, including commercial cultivation, manufacturing, retail, delivery, distribution, testing, and special events be adopted?

 

STANISLAUS COUNTY

Patterson

Shall the measure adopting an ordinance authorizing the City Council of the City of Patterson to impose a business license tax at a rate of up to fifteen percent (15%) of gross receipts on cannabis businesses and dispensaries, to help fund general municipal services, be adopted?

Riverbank

Measure B would impose a business license tax at a rate of up to ten percent (10%) of gross receipts on cannabis businesses and dispensaries.

 

TULARE COUNTY

Lindsay

“Shall an ordinance be adopted authorizing a commercial cannabis business tax in the City of Lindsay on commercial cannabis businesses up to $25 per square foot (annually adjusted by CPI) or up to 10% of gross receipts, as set by City Council, to maintain essential public safety and general City services including, but not limited to, police, drug addiction and gang prevention, park maintenance, street maintenance for Lindsay residents, generating undetermined revenue, potentially up to $500,000 to $3.5 million until repealed?

 

VENTURA COUNTY

Fillmore

Measure T would regulate and authorize medical cannabis cultivation through a permitting process; require security including cameras, inspections, odor control, record keeping, employee background checks; and limit locations to indoor and only in industrial or commercial zones and 600 feet from schools, day care centers and youth centers.

Oxnard

Measure G reads, “To fund general City services, including public safety, recreation, repairing and improving city streets, library services, and senior services, shall the City tax cannabis (marijuana) businesses at annual rates not to exceed $10.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation (adjustable for inflation), 6% of gross receipts for retail cannabis businesses, and 4% for all other cannabis businesses; which is expected to generate an estimated $1.2 to $2.5 million annually?”

Santa Paula

Measure N reads, “Shall the City of Santa Paula adopt an ordinance enacting a tax on cannabis businesses of up to $25.00 per square foot of space utilized for cannabis cultivation/processing, and up to 10% of gross receipts from the sale of cannabis and related products, potentially generating $500,000 annually for street repair, police enforcement and other unrestricted general revenue purposes, until ended by voters?”

Simi Valley (3 measures)

  • Measure Q reads, “Shall the measure to fund, for unrestricted general revenue purposes such as public safety, infrastructure, and streets, which taxes cannabis (marijuana) businesses at annual rates not to exceed $10.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation (adjustable for inflation), 6% of gross receipts for retail cannabis businesses, and 4% or less for all other cannabis businesses, generating an unknown amount of revenue and levied until repealed by the voters or the City Council be adopted?”
  • Measure R says, “Shall the City Council allow marijuana-related businesses, such as cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, testing facilities, and deliveries to operate in the City?
  • Putting the “seamy” in “Simi,” Measure S asks, “If the City allows marijuana-related businesses to operate in the future, should those businesses be limited to operate only in the City’s Sexually Oriented Business Overlay Zone?”

Thousand Oaks

Measure P says, “To fund general municipal expenses such as police, roads, and libraries, shall the City tax cannabis (marijuana) businesses at annual rates not to exceed $10.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation (adjustable for inflation), 6% of gross receipts for retail cannabis businesses, and 4% for all other cannabis businesses; which is expected to generate an estimated $130,000 to $150,000 annually and will be levied until repealed by the voters or the City Council?

 

SB 829 – The Compassion License

What Is SB 829?

SB 829 (as amended) Senator Scott Wiener’s Cannabis: compassion care license.

“(1) The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act of 2016 (AUMA), an initiative measure approved as Proposition 64 at the November 8, 2016, statewide general election, authorizes a person who obtains a state license under AUMA to engage in commercial adult-use cannabis activity pursuant to that license and applicable local ordinances. 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.

This bill would establish a compassion care license under the act issued to an M-licensee who, for no consideration, donates medicinal cannabis, or medicinal cannabis products, to qualified medicinal cannabis patients who possess a physician’s recommendation. The bill would require the Bureau of Cannabis Control to issue and regulate the compassion care licenses.

(2) Existing sales and use tax laws impose a tax on retailers measured by the gross receipts from the sale of tangible personal property sold at retail in this state, or on the storage, use, or other consumption in this state of tangible personal property purchased from a retailer for storage, use, or other consumption in this state. Those laws provide various exemptions from those taxes.

This bill, on and after January 1, 2019, would exempt from those taxes the gross receipts from the sale in this state of, and the storage, use, or other consumption in this state of, medicinal cannabis or medicinal cannabis products that will be donated, for no consideration, to a compassion care licensee.

(3) The Bradley-Burns Uniform Local Sales and Use Tax Law authorizes counties and cities to impose local sales and use taxes in conformity with the Sales and Use Tax Law, and existing laws authorize districts, as specified, to impose transactions and use taxes in accordance with the Transactions and Use Tax Law, which generally conforms to the Sales and Use Tax Law. Amendments to the Sales and Use Tax Law are automatically incorporated into the local tax laws.

Existing law requires the state to reimburse counties and cities for revenue losses caused by the enactment of sales and use tax exemptions.

This bill would provide that, notwithstanding Section 2230 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, no appropriation is made and the state shall not reimburse any local agencies for sales and use tax revenues lost by them pursuant to this bill.

(4) AUMA imposes an excise tax on the purchase of cannabis and cannabis products, as defined, at the rate of 15% of the average market price of any retail sale by a cannabis retailer.

The bill would require that these provisions not be construed to impose an excise tax upon medicinal cannabis, or medicinal cannabis products, donated for no consideration to a compassion care licensee, as defined.

(5) AUMA imposes a cultivation tax on all harvested cannabis that enters the commercial market upon all cultivators. Existing law defines entering the commercial market to mean cannabis or cannabis products, except for immature cannabis plants and seeds, that complete and comply with specified quality assurance review and testing.

This bill would redefine entering the commercial market to mean cannabis or cannabis products intended for sale, in any manner or by any means whatsoever, for consideration. The bill would require that the cultivation tax not be construed to be imposed upon medicinal cannabis, or medicinal cannabis products, donated for no consideration by a cultivator to a compassion care licensee or to a cannabis retailer for subsequent donation to a compassion care licensee.

(6) The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, an initiative measure, authorizes the Legislature to amend the act to further the purposes and intent of the act with a 2/3 vote of the membership of both houses of the Legislature, except as provided.

This bill would declare that its provisions further specified purposes and intent of the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act.”

This Bill is supported by, in part, by the California Compassion Coalition

Who Is The California Compassion Coalition?

The California Compassion Coalition is comprised of a number of known compassion organizations who have functioned by giving donated cannabis medicine to indigent cannabis patients across the State of California. The organizations, who make up the California Compassion Coalition are as follows:

Weed For Warriors Project

Caladrius Network

WAMM

East Bay Canna Compassion

Sweetleaf Collective

Operation EVAC

Magnolia Wellness

How YOU Can Help

 

One battle has been won but we have many more to go. SB 829 was voted out of the Committee on Business and Professions, on Monday. It passed with and 11-1 vote. Next, we move onto the Committee on Revenue and Taxation and WE NEED ALL HANDS ON DECK.

Revenue and Taxation Committee

Monday, June 25, 2018

1430 hours (2:30pm)

California State Capitol – RM 126

Debriefing Video

URGENT CALL TO ACTION

Below you will find a sample letter of support for the Compassion Bill, SB 829. We need this post to not only go viral, but we need that exposure to be converted into emails to Senator Wiener’s office by 5pm today. Cannabis and non-cannabis companies carry the most weight with legislators but we should also encourage letters to be sent from those the most affected by the current lack of compassion embodied in the current regulations.
It will take a village to get this bill passed. We really need to step away from the circular firing squad at least until 5pm today. In order to ensure we all focus our energy here for the next 5 hours, we will not be allowing any other posts through. I hope we can lick our wounds and rise up so that the sickest of the sick, the neediest of the needy, are not the recipients of all of our industry’s current resentments. Please let our industry put all of our hurt feelings aside and rise up to honor what this movement has always been about, compassion.
*****THIS CONTENT BELOW NEEDS TO BE SENT IN A PRINTABLE DOCUMENT.
This means that the support needs to come in the form of a Word Doc, or a PDF. The sender will need to date the letter, add in a business logo (if one is available), a digital signature, and the supporter’s contact information.
****INSERT BUSINESS LOGO
June 11, 2018
Dear Senator Wiener,
On behalf of _______ I write to express our support for Senate Bill 829 (Wiener), which would exempt certified compassion care programs from paying excise and cultivation taxes on cannabis that they give away to compassion use patients, thereby allowing them to restart this service without facing prohibitive costs. Exempting the cultivation and excise taxes from the passage on to qualified compassion care programs will allow these organizations to resume donations of medical cannabis that vulnerable patients rely on to manage their debilitating symptoms.
In 1996, California passed Proposition 215, which allowed individuals with certain chronic medical conditions to procure medical cannabis. Following the enactment of Proposition 215, donation-based compassion care programs emerged to meet the needs of individuals who had a physician’s recommendation but also needed help accessing medical cannabis.
The enactment of Proposition 64 in 2018 placed new taxes on all recreational and medical cannabis. While compassion care programs do not operate in the commercial market since no cannabis is bought or sold, ambiguous drafting, unfortunately, does not explicitly exclude them from these taxes. These donation-based programs cannot afford the new taxes attached to cannabis and most have been forced to close their doors. While Proposition 64 did not intend to cut off medical cannabis to these compassion use patients, current policy has forced too many vulnerable people into the unregulated black market.
To rectify this situation, SB 829 would exempt qualifying compassion care programs from the cultivation and excise tax enacted by Proposition 64. After a compassion care program is certified by the state, they would receive a new license exempting them from the cultivation and excise taxes. Doing so will allow them to resume the donations of medical cannabis that compassion use patients rely on to manage their debilitating symptoms.
These programs are essential to the well-being, mental health, and overall quality of life for chronically ill patients. For these reasons, ______ supports SB 829 and requests an “AYE” vote on this important legislation.
Thank you,
****DIGITAL SIGNATURE.  ______________
****SENDER’S CONTACT INFORMATION
cc: Senator Scott Wiener, (11th District)”
COPY & PASTE the above text along with your business or personal name, sign and send to……

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