Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Cannabis Committee Recommends "Provisional" Licensing for Small Home Grows

More Recommendations to Be Sent to Board of Supervisors
By Jim Coffis

In another marathon meeting, the Santa Cruz County Cannabis Cultivation Choices Committee (C4) added to the list of recommendations they are forwarding to the Board of Supervisors.

On Tuesday morning the The Board of Supervisors accepted a number of recommendations from their 13 member citizens group and directed County staff to consider how they could be incorporated into a new ordinance.  Later in the day the C4 met to consider a long list of additional recommendations including the creation of a “Provisional” license meant to provide existing cultivators with some time to become fully compliant with the the new ordinance while the County creates a local licensing system.  

While deferring on the specific details of the "provisional license", the group voted 8-2 to recommend small home growers be included in the program. In their previous meeting they had split 6-7 on recommending a license tier for home based occupations, effectively banning the smallest growers.

How the recommendation will be received by the Board of Supervisors remains to be seen but it does provide hope for thousands of current cultivators who felt they were being ignored in favor of larger scale operations.

In other significant recommendations the group voted in favor of allowing sales outside of the County, against a numerical cap on licenses, and to give priority to growers who could show proof that they had been operating in the County prior to Jan 1, 2016.

They also urged the BOS to pass a resolution calling on the Federal Government to declassify Marijuana from the schedule of dangerous drugs.

The full Board is expected to consider all the offered recommendations and others in the coming weeks. County staff is hoping to present language for the ordinance as well as an implementation schedule before summer.

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