Over the past 48 hours, shelter-in-place orders have been adopted in counties across the state, beginning with six Bay Area counties and spreading as far north as Sonoma County by Tuesday night. Last night, Mendocino County also announced plans to implement a shelter-in-place ordinance by Wednesday night.
HCGA has been tracking the impact of these shelter-in-place orders and their impact on the community and cannabis businesses. Despite initial ambiguity, over the past 24 hours, a large number of Bay Area cities and counties - including San Francisco, Alameda County, Santa Cruz County, and Monterey County - have clarified that cannabis businesses will be considered essential and will be allowed to stay open for the time being, so long as social distancing measures are followed to ensure the health of workers and the community. Last night, Sonoma County became the first county to specifically reference cannabis businesses in their shelter-in-place order, designating cannabis businesses as a type of essential healthcare operation.
In anticipation of Humboldt County issuing a Shelter-in-place order HCGA submitted the following letter to the County this morning.
Cannabis is medicine and cannabis businesses are healthcare businesses. With urban areas choosing to keep cannabis retail open during shelter-in-place orders, we believe Humboldt farmers, manufacturers, testing labs and distributors will be necessary to supply products to the rest of the state. HCGA is working with industry leadership across the state to ensure that the cannabis supply chain remains intact to bring safe and quality products to millions of Californians while implementing the highest standards necessary to protect workers and public health.
In addition HCGA is deploying various programs to ensure that we are bringing you the most updated and verified information as it pertains to our industry. We will also be calling on you to provide us with as much feedback as possible from your end of things so we can keep an accurate pulse on the situation as it develops.
WAYS HCGA IS COLLECTING INFORMATION TO BRING BACK TO YOU:
Constant contact with local and state policymakers and regulators.
We will be participating in regional leadership meetings with associations throughout the state via Origins Council to efficiently share information.
We have been invited and joined an ad-hoc Humboldt County COVID Economic Resilience Committee that will be holding a regular daily check-in to coordinate resources, communications, and programming to help local businesses cope with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
HCGA is engaged with the Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development (GoBiz) and we are participating in regular briefings for the business community in California to understand the raise issues impacting manufacturing, distribution and sale of consumer products in California in the wake of this pandemic.
We are in constant contact with Industry leadership in LA, SF, Oakland, and Sacramento stay updated on the retail and delivery supply chain partners and consumer trends.
WAYS TO PARTICIPATE:
Weekly Industry Affairs Calls: For the past year, we have been holding weekly "Industry Affairs Calls," inviting our membership to Zoom to discuss the ongoings of the industry and policy. Today it was made very apparent that this platform is a resource that is going to be very valuable during this crisis with nearly 70 people signing on, our largest call to date. We were able to trade notes on supply chain developments, develop a list of questions for regulators, hear updates from Sacramento and much more. But, maybe most importantly, we were also able to feel a sense of community, at a time when we all need it the most.
Slack: Engage our online community for real-time information exchange so we can all work together to keep this supply chain flowing while doing everything possible to stop the spread of the virus. Information sharing from everything from SOPs for businesses to reduce infection rates, to updates from our AIB members on what is in stock at their stores as auxiliary supplies needed for business operations are impacted. Also, please continue to use the #source_cannabis channel to post your available inventory and/or if you are a licensed manufacturer or distributor, looking for product this channel is where to connect with farmers.
Online Educational Webinars: Social distancing does not mean you have to be alone, or isolated. It is becoming abundantly clear that our community needs to come together to share resources, tips, expertise, and experiences. Fortunately, we can use HCGA’s existing online infrastructure, like Zoom webinar, to continue to bring industry educational programming forward. We are here to serve the needs of our members, if there are things you want to know, reach out to Natalynne@hcga.co on the Slack #education channel, and staff will work to secure experts to provide the curriculum you want and need. Our goal is to have one free educational webinar a week.
Already in the works: On April 1, 2020 there is a free 90-minute marketing and branding workshop being taught by Nicole Riggs of Manifesto Synergies (brought to you through HCBDC’s Workforce Training grant from the Headwaters Foundation).
Spring Genetics & Bioethics Conference. Originally scheduled for in person on April 10, now we are looking at hosting this conference in a digital format-- please stay tuned.
Allied Industry Businesses (AIB): HCGA's Allied Industry Businesses are essential to the ability of the cannabis industry to maintain its supply chain and fulfill necessary functions. From soil to nutrients, to packaging to lawyers and more, we still need access to supplies and services that allow cannabis to fulfill its necessary and essential functions for the greater good during this unprecedented time.
It's more important now than ever to be linked in with an established organization like HCGA. Utilize our online platforms to keep both cannabis and regular businesses informed. What does the current supply chain look like for your business? What do you have in stock? What don’t you have in stock? When are you expecting more inventory? What are you doing to make sure your business, employees, customers, and general public are kept safe and healthy?
Current Allied Industry Businesses, don’t be shy and make sure you are utilizing our platforms to stay informed and keep others informed. If you have a post you’d like shared more widely across our social media platforms, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or comments on how we can better serve you during this very difficult time. We are committed to bringing you as much valuable information as possible while providing real-time platforms for you to bring us feedback on the current state of affairs.
Stay healthy and safe out there folks, we are all in this together!