The Cannabis Program will report back in September about how it’s going. If the revisions have still not led to eligibility for disbursement of the full available amount of Equity Grant funding additional revisions are possible.
Please check out www.ElevateImpactMendo.com to find out if you fit the Eligibility Requirements with the changes above and start getting your documents together!
This item will review research on cannabis water use by the Berkeley Cannabis Research Center which MCA has previously submitted to the Board for consideration. (CLICK HERE for their report on cannabis water usage in California)
We are submitting two memos for this item. One dated 07-20-2021 which is new, and one dated 10-13-2020 which we submitted on this exact topic, with recommendations that still apply today. We are sharing both memos to further solidify the Board’s understanding of MCA’s ability to foresee and develop solutions to avoidable issues that continue to arise in the Mendocino County cannabis program.
In advance of the Board of Supervisors June 13, 2021 Fee Hearing MCA has prepared a memo regarding proposed fees for the Cannabis Program being discussed.
We have provided several items for consideration, identified some discrepancies between costs listed in some of the documents, and put together a long list of items for similar services where fees for cannabis are higher than fees for non-cannabis activity. Given the stated goal of the Board of Supervisors to treat cannabis more like agriculture, creating fee structures that provide parity to cannabis operators is an important component of that treatment.
There are currently two referendums circulating around Mendocino County to address concerns with the new Commercial Cannabis Activities Ordinance, Chapter 22.18. MCA is strongly opposed to both referendums.
While we appreciate and share concerns around large-scale expansion up to 10% on AG and qualifying Rangeland parcels, we believe that both referendums endanger the existing licensed businesses in Phase 1 and 2 by threatening to revoke or suspend the recently adopted discretionary land-use permit program.
Due to these risks, we are asking our Members and the public to support our position while continuing to urge the BOS to conduct a full EIR prior to any expansion beyond the 2 acre cap unanimously recommended by the Planning Commission.
On 06-22-2021 the BoS directed Staff to come back with an ordinance to cap expansion in the new ordinance to the following:
Expansion of up to 2 acres, plants in the ground no earlier than 2023. Then there will be two public hearings to determine the success of the program, based on as yet undefined benchmarks, but potentially including some sort of watershed impact.
If it is determined that expansion can occur based on the meetings and conditions being met, expansion of up to 5 acres could begin by Jan 2026.
The next level of expanded cultivation would max out at 10 Acres no earlier than 2029 after two more public meetings, only if benchmarks are met. The Board indicated that 10 acres would be the maximum allowable cultivation. They did not determine if that is exclusively for Outdoor cultivation, or total aggregated cultivation of all license types.
There was also an indication that permits will be able to be applied for during the drought, even if they will not be able to cultivate until the drought has ended. Kristin Nevedal commented that the Mendocino Cannabis Program is not expecting to accept any NEW cultivation applications until early 2022.
No direction was given to conduct an EIR.
The Board also passed an ordinance to enable restrictions on any new discretionary permit water use activity during the drought.
‼️ CALL TO ACTION ‼️ The California Budget Act of 2021: Department of Cannabis Control Trailer Bill passed by a vote of the Legislature on July 1st, 2021. However, the measure has not yet been signed into law by the Governor, and the Legislature is working on a clean up trailer bill expected to be before the Legislature on:
Thursday July 15th for a vote.
There are several critical amendments related to the provisional licensing program that are URGENTLY NEEDED to protect small independently owned and operated cannabis businesses in California.
‼️ HELP US GET LANGUAGE ADDED TO THE BILL TO PROTECT PROVISIONAL LICENSES IN THE EVENT THAT CEQA or LSA PROGRESS IS STALLED DUE TO NO FAULT OF AN OPERATOR ‼️
Below is a link to MCA’s recommendations that were submitted to the BoS for their consideration prior to the 6/22 meeting at which they will vote on the adoption of the new Commercial Cannabis Activities Ordinance.
In line with our past advocacy, we recommend the adoption of the unanimous recommendations of the Planning Commission for limited expansion, and to conduct an EIR for any expansion beyond that. Our memo explains why we believe this is the best approach to moving forward in a way that addresses all stakeholder concerns to the benefit of existing operators, the environment, future applicants and Mendocino County as a whole.
MCA is working with the Mendocino County Department of Agriculture to gather useful cannabis crop data to include as an addition to the 2020 Mendocino County Crop Report.
This is an historic step toward recognition of cannabis as agriculture in Mendocino County. Crop Reports track the production and sales of agricultural commodities such as livestock, fruits & vegetables, timber etc. You can view reports from as far back as 1985 on the County website at https://www.mendocinocounty.org/government/agriculture
The State of California lets Counties include a cannabis addendum to their crop reports, and MCA has advocated that Mendocino take this opportunity to illustrate the important role that licensed cannabis cultivation plays locally. There have not been many cannabis addenda created statewide, so we sincerely appreciate that the County has chosen to adopt this suggestion, and as such we are working with them to collect the data requested by the Ag Department. Once collected, we will submit the aggregated data WITHOUT ANY CONTACT INFORMATION for inclusion as part of the 2020 Crop Report. Individual contact, cannabis crop and sales information will remain strictly confidential.
We would appreciate you completing this survey and returning it to us no later than June 25,2021. Your response is desired even if you may have harvested only a small amount or no cannabis this past season. It is understood that often times cannabis that was harvested in one year is sold in the following year. When filling out the survey PLEASE TOTAL ALL ACTIVITIES BETWEEN JAN 1 – DEC 31 2020 ONLY for all categories!
This survey is ONLY for County authorized and State Licensed cannabis cultivators.