On Wednesday, June 28 and Thursday, June 29, HCGA had the honor of co-organizing the quarterly Regional Meeting for the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) at the behest of Supervisors Estelle Fennell and Virginia Bass. The most attended Regional Meeting in CSAC history, more than 45 county staff and supervisors from 17 different counties made the trip to Humboldt County. For many of the Supervisors, this was the first time they had stepped foot onto a cannabis farm. County officials are looking to Humboldt County as one of the leaders in cannabis cultivation, innovation, and regulation that works for the industry.
The first stop was Sayrina Farms in Fieldbrook. Visitors spent time asking questions ranging from ‘what is mixed-light’ to how ‘the smell’ could be controlled. The tour continued at the Humboldt Health and Wellness Center, a non-volatile manufacturing facility, where a robust discussion about the importance of pesticide-free products and the trouble the industry is having finding trim that passes strict testing regulations. The last stop was Emerald Family Farms’ packaging and processing center. Visitors discovered the importance of localized and centralized processing centers and what the benefits of such facilities mean for the industry, the environment and the safety of workers.
On Thursday, CSAC held a panel discussion to talk about developing a local program, working with the cannabis industry, and environmental considerations at the famous Carson Mansion. History was made in the historic Victorian, which was built for a timber baron’s family, represents Humboldt’s timber past, and was a notorious social club. Never before has this traditionally conservative space, held a conference to discuss cannabis.
The panels highlighted the experience Humboldt County has had to develop a regulatory framework for cannabis and lessons we have learned in the process. One of the strongest themes of the day was the importance of local government working closely with the industry and developing a healthy relationship between the two.
It is events like this that help shape the policy for the future of cannabis in California, continue to promote Humboldt County as a premier cannabis region, and establishes HCGA and our partners, California Growers Association, as industry leaders.
We, the cannabis industry, have long fought to have a seat at the table. Applying for permits, paying taxes and complying with regulations affords us a voice when there is a discussion that has the potential to directly affect us. It is important that we do not lose sight of this as we continue down this very challenging road called “transition.” Staying vigilant and engaged in the process is the key to success. HCGA remains committed to representing Humboldt County’s cannabis industry on behalf of its membership.
Many thanks to CSAC, Humboldt County local government, and those in the industry that participated in this event. It was historic for so many reasons.