Meet Oryan Peterson-Jones Arcata City Council Candidate

Oryan Peterson-Jones

Arcata City Council


Do you support the growth of cannabis industries in your city? Please explain specific policies that you support or oppose.


In a community already suffering from small business and retail store closures, the economic loss of timber and fishing industries, and the HSU money pit, the evolution of cannabis in Humboldt has great potential to prop up the local economy. As a provider of jobs and locally produced products, cannabis is generating new employment opportunities, especially entry level retail positions for younger folks. Manufacturing and processing bring in specialized and skilled labor (and pay higher wages). This new market that should be a fun and creative experience to develop. I would like the City of Arcata to continue being an integral part of the process.


Are there segments of the cannabis supply chain—cultivation, manufacturing, testing, distribution, retail—that you want to see more of, or less of, in your city? Explain.


I would like to see further development of the cannabis zone in West End, where testing and manufacturing facilities make the most sense.


More retail shops would be ideal, especially if businesses diversify. Instead of 20 dispensaries in downtown, I'd rather see shops that include locally made cannabis products in their inventory.


With Arcata in the midst of an affordable housing crisis, black market indoor operations that take housing/resources away from Arcata's citizens, should be strongly discouraged.


What positions did you take on cannabis, if any, during the war on drugs…think 1970 into the 21st Century? Have those views evolved over time, how and when?


The war on drugs has always been, and always will be, a war on the poor. I have witnessed its destructive nature, locally and globally.


What do you know about the dozens of cannabis businesses that have located in your city since 2016? How many businesses are there? How many jobs? How much paid in permits and fees?


According to an article in The Mercury News, there were over 30 cannabis related businesses operating within Arcata in 2019, with hundreds of jobs having been created.


Do you support a city-based excise tax on cannabis? If so, under what circumstances, on which activities, how much and on what basis (sales, square footage, etc)?


I would support a modest excise tax, when, and only when, cannabis is granted the same protections as other legitimately operating businesses in the State of California.


If cannabis related businesses are not entreated with the same privileges as other legal business ventures, then No, I do not think they should be paying taxes, whether state, federal or city (especially given that they've been granted essential business status).


How would you make resources more available to cannabis businesses since they are often precluded from relief and other opportunities provided to other small businesses, such as federally-funded assistance?


I would petition the State of California and the Small Business Administration to treat cannabis related businesses the same as any other legitimate business. Cannabis businesses should absolutely be eligible for SBA financial relief funds and forgivable loans (inclusion in the Paycheck Protection Program or provided emergency loans through the Economic Injury Disaster program).


How do you envision the future of cannabis in your city, and in Humboldt County more broadly?


I would like to see more Humboldt branding, cannabis tourism, integration and partnering with other local businesses. I support the establishment of cannabis cafes and lounges. I want to end the stigma surrounding cannabis and normalize its use in the mainstream.


Do you currently, or have you enjoyed/consumed cannabis?


Yes.

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