CLICK HERE for memos MCA has prepared for the following agenda items being discussed tomorrow 10-05-2021 at the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors meeting:
Public Expression – Portal Process Extension Request
Item 3a – State Grant Funds for Transitioning Provisionals to Annuals
Item 3b – Equity Program Reform
In our first memo, we share results from our Portal Process Survey and urge the Board to extend the Portal window until at least December 31, 2021. ** If you have had a rough time with the Portal, we strongly suggest writing the BoS at email@example.com and The Clerk of the Board at firstname.lastname@example.org with the Email Subject: “Public Expression 10-05-2021” to request that they extend the Portal window!
On Item 3a we provide recommendations for both incorporating stakeholder input to the Grant application process and specific fund allocation suggestions.
Regarding the Equity Program Item 3b, we are grateful that the MCP has heard the community’s feedback and is recommending revisions to the program that will create essential efficiencies and streamlining to ensure that applicants can get their funds faster.
The messages that have the most impact will include a few sentences about how these issues impact YOU directly. Feel free to share your story!
If you would like to sign up to provide a verbal comment during the meeting, CLICK HERE.
Or, you can pre-record a spoken comment that will be played during the Board item by calling (707) 234-6333. When leaving a voicemail please include your first and last name and the Board item you are commenting on (Public Expression, Item 3a or Item 3b). Voicemail comments are limited to 3 minutes.
We encourage you to add your voice to public comment!
We are seeking community input on the County’s roll out of the Portal Resubmission process.
On August 2, 2021 the Mendocino Cannabis Program opened a digital Portal for the resubmission of County Cultivation Permit applications from the vast majority of Embossed Receipt holders. If you are a Phase One and Two applicant, pursuant to Chapter 10A.17, and have NOT been notified that you are in Good Standing, or your application number appears on the Portal List with a “Portal” recommendation status, you need to submit a completed Cannabis Cultivation Application through this portal.
MCA has consistently advocated for an extension of the portal deadline, and clarification that those who submit to the Portal prior to the end of the 90 day deadline be guaranteed that they will have the same ability as all other applicants to work with the MCP to ensure their submission is complete.
Along these lines we are working to catalogue your experience with the Portal. Please answer as many questions below as you can, and skip those that you feel do not apply to you. We will utilize this information as part of our advocacy work with the County. All contact info will remain confidential.
This survey is ONLY for folks in the Mendocino Cannabis Program who are required to use the Portal, or Consultants representing clients who are required to use the Portal.
To confirm if you are being required to use the Portal CLICK HERE and search for your Ag Number.
Origins Council Member Meeting – Wednesday September 29, 3 – 4:30PM
You must be a member of MCA, or one of Origin Council’s Regional Council Members to attend. Not already a Member? CLICK HERE to join MCA!
Members all across our regions are facing historic challenges: licensing insecurity; mounting costs and bureaucracy; statewide glut and dropping wholesale prices for cannabis; ongoing local impacts from COVID, wildfires and the drought; industry consolidation and cultural endangerment.
It is crucial to Origins Council that we make our best effort to meet this moment with the effort, determination and seriousness it deserves. We know many of you are weighing the viability of being a licensed cannabis business in the state of California, and we want to provide you with as much information and meaningful resources as we can during this critical period of time.
Leading into fall harvest, you all will take inventory of 2021 and begin to plan for 2022. In parallel the OC Regional Council, our advisors and our Collaborating Partners are entering our strategic planning to identify what our policy priorities must be heading into the eye of this storm. We know the coming 6 months of advocacy will be critical given the conditions on the ground.
Our September member meeting will focus on the state’s proposed solutions to the industry’s systemic challenges – agency consolidation and assistance programs. We will discuss the revised emergency regulations and hear from our membership about their experiences thus far with the new Department of Cannabis Control. There are multiple state funded assistance programs in development that are applicable to our regions and membership base. There are however, challenges with timing – will this funding come too late to meet the urgent industry needs of this critical moment? Most of these opportunities also require local jurisdictions to design and implement local level programs in order to get these funds into the hands of recipients. Are our modestly resourced rural local governments – already stretched thin due to the enduring crises of COVID, wildfires and the historic drought – in a position to launch and administer these assistance programs in time to make enough of an impact? With these considerations in mind the OC Regional Council is discussing additional near term urgency relief measures to advocate for to the state.
We are excited to be joined by Caitlin Slay, the Certification Services Manager for California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). CCOF is preparing to roll out certification services to licensed cannabis businesses this month, in parallel to the launch of CDFA’s OCal organic equivalence certification program. OCal’s standards, certification process and regulations mirror almost exactly those of the USDA’s National Organics Program. This creates an important opportunity for California cannabis producers who are intending to put their product into a National organics market to prepare for that opportunity through OCal certification. Hemp currently enjoys NOP certification, and is paving the way for the national organic cannabis market.
U.S. organic sales soared to new highs in 2020, jumping by a record 12.4 percent to $61.9 billion. It marked the first time that total sales of organic food and non-food products have surpassed the $60 billion mark, and reflected a growth rate more than twice the 2019 pace of 5 percent, according to the 2021 Organic Industry Survey released by the Organic Trade Association.
Market differentiation tools (standards-based certifications and origins designations) and the correlative education of cannabis consumers are critical to small craft producers being able to penetrate the California cannabis glut being caused by overproduction, or an interstate market. OCal is one of the strongest such tools that will be most immediately available to our members.
CLICK HERE for September 20th, 2021 OC Regional Council Comments re DCC.
Russian River Drought Response – Water Curtailment
As you likely know, Governor Newsom declared a drought emergency in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties largely due to abnormally dry conditions in the Russian River watershed. The watershed is home to 360,000 people and provides water for municipal and private wells, agriculture, wineries and recreation. As the region’s drought situation worsens, local and state governments and community members are collaborating to address water shortages.
For those of you on the Russian River, we encourage you to review their website with Water Curtailment information to identify if any of the recently passed Emergency Regulations apply to you.
CLICK HERE for the CA Waterboard page on Russian River Drought Response.
MCA Policy Call – Thursday October 7 @ 7PM
Join us as we discuss the state of the County, and how we can work together to improve conditions for our local producers.
Topic: MCA Policy Call Time: Oct 7, 2021 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
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In advance of the Board of Supervisors meeting being held on September 14, MCA has shared multiple recommendations designed first and foremost to protect existing operators in the Mendocino Cannabis Program from being removed from the permitting process due to statutory issues over which they have no control.
Whether the Board chooses to rescind Chapter 22.18 or put it to a vote of the people, they will have to act quickly and decisively to avoid unintended consequences to our locally permitted cannabis businesses. We are encouraged by the Board’s recent decisive action to support the business community on the coast impacted by the drought emergency, and hope the same care and attention will be focused on our locally permitted cannabis operators trying to maintain compliance in an ever-changing system.
Access to the consumer market is one of the most important needs of our Members, and all small cannabis businesses throughout Mendocino County. Many of us have a desire to work together on this need, but the State cooperative model creates unnecessary limitations and complications, and time and financial resources are already stretched thin.
To address this problem, MCA believes that we must create a community owned platform designed to reach consumers directly in markets outside of Mendocino while maximizing financial returns to our local cannabis producers.
We invite all licensed Mendocino cannabis producers to join us in a conversation on September 16 at 7pm about how we can work together to harness the power of our collective stories, speak directly to customers, and promote both the value of our products and the values of our community.
There is a great deal of interest in finding out how many folks in Mendocino would be interested in participating in the licensed cannabis market if more pathways become available.
We are seeking this data in hopes that it will help inform County decisions on future cannabis ordinances as we continue to work on our existing program.
We are asking ALL community members who DO NOT currently have a local permit or embossed receipt to cultivate cannabis, but who want to get permitted, to fill out this short survey. All contact info will be kept confidential.
The Mendocino Cannabis Alliance serves and promotes Mendocino County’s world-renowned cannabis cultivators and businesses through sustainable economic development, education and public policy initiatives.
OC Regional Council Member Meeting – Wednesday August 18th, 3-4:30pm
We invite you to join this month’s OC Regional Council Monthly Member meeting coming up on Wednesday August 18th. Get updates and dialogue with the Origins Council Government Affairs team and the OC Regional Council.
The State of the State Discussion We are slightly more than half way through 2021, nearing the end of the legislative cycle for the year. As of last month, all commercial cannabis licensees are under the unified regulation of the new Department of Cannabis Control, Directed by Nicole Elliot, formerly Governor Newsom’s Senior Advisor on Cannabis.
COVID is surging and the drought and fires are increasingly impacting our membership base leading into this fall’s harvest. What immediate actions should we take to protect our farming communities and mitigate impacts as we move through this multi-layer crises?
The dysfunction of the state’s licensing framework is undermining licensing opportunities and threatening licensing security for the vast majority of the OC Regional Council members. We will discuss the state of state provisional licensing including new compliance requirements for farmers, and what opportunities and challenges lay ahead.
Initiatives to open up interstate, national and international markets are in motion, and Origins Council is working in collaboration with a number of organizations to track Federal policy developments and ensure our heritage producing communities are at the table working to steward these policies to our benefit.
Join us to discuss OC’s advocacy activity over this past half year in the context of this historic and dynamic climate, and where we will go from here.
The County of Mendocino Cannabis Program in partnership with Elevate Impact Mendocino will be hosting two Equity Grant Workshops. Registration is required and must be submitted prior to the start of the webinar. If you are interested in participating in one or both of the webinars please click the date in bold below to register:
The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will be meeting On Tuesday August 3 starting at 9AM. MCA Has prepared two memos for this meeting.
The first will be offered for Public Expression and lays out our thoughts on how to proceed with local cannabis permitting given the likelihood of a successful referendum that calls for the repeal of Chapter 22.18.
The other is related to item 4f on the Consent Calendar, which disbands the current Cannabis Ad Hoc Committee consisting of Supervisors Haschak and Williams. It outlines our recommendation for a Cannabis Standing Committee, meeting bi-weekly with staff, stakeholders and experts to address the need for ongoing oversight of the Mendocino County Cannabis Program and improved pathways to licensure for more local operators.
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!