The Board of Supervisors may soon get a recommendation from their citizens committee to create a clear path to legitimacy for cannabis businesses in the County. Twenty three years after 76% of voters approved local Measure A, providing that citizens should be allowed access to medical marijuana, the County may soon make legal the process which provides the ability for patients to gain that access without having to grow and process themselves.
At the 6th meeting of the Santa Cruz County Cannabis Cultivation Choices Committee (C4) all thirteen appointees expressed agreement that their focus should be on establishing an acceptable local licensing scheme to permit commercial cannabis cultivation. In the first vote they’ve taken to consider a specific policy recommendation the group unanimously decided to move toward a County administered licensing system that would likely include at least cultivators and processors. They will begin working on the details at their next meeting.
New Headquarters For 2016 California Legalization Efforts Opens Upon Closure Of The All American Cannabis Club (A2C2)
SAN JOSE, CA (Oct. 28, 2015) – The All American Cannabis Club (A2C2) lost its case against the city of San Jose, based on the proximity of a church, and was forced to close last week. In the past year San Jose has shut down more than 85% of the storefront cannabis clubs in the city. Dave Hodges, founder of A2C2, has decided to maintain the lease and convert the location to a Headquarters for the 2016 legalization efforts in California.
“It’s unfortunate the city has decided to give money to street drug dealers and limit access for medical marijuana patients,” said Hodges. “With the small number of locations, unlawful age restrictions, and constraints on available products, there is more ‘weed sold on the streets’ in San Jose than ever before. This needs to change, and full legalization is the only answer.”
The Santa Cruz County Cannabis Cultivation Choices Committee (C4) will consider local licensing as a way to bring county regulations into line with new state laws as they hold their 7th meeting on Tues, 9am at the Simpkins Center.
At their last meeting the committee voted to begin discussing licensing as specific policy they might recommend the Board of Supervisors consider. The committee agreed to push back or eliminate some additional planned presentations from outside experts and county staff in order to begin substantive discussions.
Currently all commercial cannabis cultivation is illegal in Santa Cruz County. Some protection from prosecution exists for growers who abide by a list of restrictions. In Sacramento new legislation has been signed that will provide growers as well as other commercial cannabis operations with state issued licenses. Local jurisdictions can still be the ultimate arbiters as they can ban or enforce more stringent regulations than the state has prescribed.
By Lanny Swerdlow
There has been a little noticed and for the most unheralded paradigm shift in the ongoing battle to free the weed.
Cops have come on board the License, Regulate and Tax Train. The genie is out of the bottle and they have apparently given up trying to put her back in.
California’s recently enacted medical marijuana regulation bill, AB 266, set up a system for the legal distribution of marijuana and the cops not only supported it, they helped write it. Granted AB 266 sets up a distribution system that is expensive, unwieldy and unfair, but it is workable.
By Bradley Allen (@BradleySA)
In the state of California, there are numerous cannabis related initiatives that are currently active measures hoping to land a spot on the November 8, 2016, ballot.
In an effort to help people keep track of it all, the following is a chronological list of the cannabis related initiatives. Some of the initiatives are more serious contenders than others. While the list is certainly long already, rumors are swirling that yet another initiative or two is in the works.
On July 20, 2015, Californians for Safer Communities published a comparison of five of the initiatives, including their own. We are sure to see ongoing efforts to compare and contrast the initiatives.
The Santa Cruz County Cannabis Cultivation Choices Committee (C4) could begin focusing on policy recommendations at their next meeting on Tuesday which will begin at 9 am at the Simpkins Center off of 17th St.
Since Governor Brown has now signed into law the trio of bills creating the statewide Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation the committee will review the legislation with an eye toward identifying the necessary steps that will need to be taken to bring local ordinances into line.
Also on the agenda for the fifth meeting of the 13 citizen appointees will be another “study session” this time featuring Kristen Kittleson, Resource Planner with the Fish and Wildlife Commission and Matt Johnson, County Environmental Coordinator.
County Cannabis Committee to Grapple over Governance
The Santa Cruz County Cannabis Cultivation Choices Committee will hold their fourth meeting Tuesday at the Simpkins Center beginning at 9:30am. Seven more meetings are on the calendar before their term ends December 23rd.
The agenda includes a presentation by County Planning Director Kathy Previsich on “Land Use Planning as part of a regulatory framework”. Before that, the committee is scheduled to discuss the ordinances and resolution which govern the 13 member committee.
Advocates Present “Cannabis 101”
The Santa Cruz County Cannabis Cultivation Choices Committee continued their fact finding at their third meeting Tuesday. This time though, it was committee members, specifically those representing various local cannabis advocacy groups, who led the discussion.
After Susan Pearlman from the CAO’s office called the meeting to order she distributed the agenda and summary notes from the first two meetings and asked the members for approval.
After a harmonious first meeting, the Santa Cruz County Cannabis Cultivation Choices Committee (C4) reconvened on Tuesday, September 22 at the Simpkins Center with a few hiccups mainly around how best to proceed through “fact finding” exercises as they strive to draft recommendations for a new County ordinance.
County CAO Analyst Susan Pearlman opened the meeting by distributing more printed reading material to add to the over 500 pages already given to each member. She referenced the the first of these – an article published in 2014 in Mother Jones titled The Landscape-Scarring, Energy-Sucking, Wildlife-Killing Reality of Pot Farming – before telling the public that they were welcome to submit documents or ideas, to her for distribution to the committee.
(South Lake Tahoe, CA) The American Medical Marijuana Association (AMMA) has announced that it is filing a lawsuit over the violation of Prop. 215 by the California Legislature and Governor Brown. The recent adoption of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act attempts to modify a voter initiative, Prop. 215, something specifically forbidden by the California constitution.
“Our medical cannabis rights, protected for nearly 20 years by Prop. 215, have been hijacked and Prop. 215 is under attack like never before. The new law is an unacceptable and illegal infringement on our rights under Prop. 215,” said Steve Kubby, Executive Director of AMMA.