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The first BOS meeting of October included updates, public input, and a decision regarding a new Cannabis Equity Program.

Here are the notes I took during the meeting. Please understand that this is not meant to be a comprehensive documentation of discussions and decisions that took place.

Public Comments

  • Several people voiced concerns related to cannabis licensing, opt-outs, and related impacts on those trying to make a living in this industry.
  • Concerns were also raised about cannabis licensing fees being used for legal fees associated with cannabis lawsuits.

Department Head Updates

  • Cannabis Division
    • The Cannabis Equity Program proposal is today’s agenda;
    • Cannabis Retail Fees is scheduled for 10.18.22 agenda;
    • 33 cultivation licenses in place, 4 CUPs (conditional use permits)
    • 360 appendix c checklists submitted
    • 136 of these are in technical review
    • 81 compliance memos received from consultants
    • 8 cultivation licenses were noticed last week
    • 16 more to be signed, 8 of those anticipated this week.
    • Hoping 5 more licenses will be noticed this week
    • Here is a link to the Commercial Cannabis Division section of our county website.

CAO Update -nothing to report

BOS Updates

  • Jeremy Brown – nothing to report
  • Liam Gogan – the latest TMC meeting was rescheduled
  • Dan Frasier – nothing to report
  • Jill Cox – nothing to report
  • Keith Groves – nothing to report

Cannabis Ad Hoc Update

  • Continuing focus on the process for approval of licenses
  • Massive frustration amongst program participants
  • Focus on opportunities for greater efficiency in the review/approval process
  • Board discussion regarding opt-outs focused on using the general plan as the long-term (and best) solution

Consent Calendar

  •  The board approved all items

Cannabis Equity Program

  • This segment of the agenda was focused on establishing a Cannabis Equity Program for Trinity County.  This would provide access to grant funds that can support cannabis licensees. The potential uses of funds were outlined in the presentation.  The primary focus is to help cannabis licensees be successful in this industry.
  • Here is something about equity programs that I pulled from the materials provided – “Local Equity Programs can provide significant assistance to communities impacted by cannabis criminalization and the war on drugs, especially those that are struggling to transition to the regulated market.”
  • CalPoly Humboldt representatives presented information regarding their work on the Trinity County Cannabis Equity Assessment and Summary of Recommendations.  Key components included:
    • Key Takeaways
    • Barriers to Entry
    • Recommendations for Local Equity Program
  • Public Comment
    • Concerns were raised about the accuracy of the data presented in the documents (specific errors were identified)
    • Support for an Equity Program was conveyed by multiple people
    • Some feedback offered encouragement to set up an entity outside of the Cannabis Division to lead this effort – due to concerns about the current workload/backlog
    • Some concern was voiced that the program might only provide support to certain areas of the county (where there were historically higher levels of illegal cannabis cultivation)
  • The board discussion covered several items:
    • the need to correct errors in the documents;
    • determining the best way to implement the program;
    • concern that the work on this initiative cannot negatively impact the processing of cannabis licenses,
    • the importance of public input as this program is designed and implemented
    • Concerns that the grant program is focused on creating equity in this manner (strong focus on providing funds to those who participated in illegal cannabis-related activities in the past)
  • The board approved both the assessment and the program recommendations – contingent upon the correction of errors identified (and to be identified through further discussions).

I hope these notes are helpful in your efforts to stay informed about county matters.  For a more comprehensive understanding of what took place…

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