Important notes on tomorrow's meeting

Hello everyone,


We wanted to take the opportunity this evening to reach out in preparation for tomorrow. As you know, the Tuolumne County Marijuana Working Group and the Board of Supervisors will hold a joint meeting tomorrow 4pm - 7pm at the Sonora Opera Hall. As this promises to be a significant turning point, we want to make our efforts really count, and that takes collaboration and integrity. We will stress the importance of this by being very, very frank on this topic. It's likely to ruffle some feathers with hard lines drawn and proposed compromises, but hey, that's politics. We hope you trust our insights; not all private meetings can be fully disclosed, but we have it on good authority to tell all of you that If we can get through this personal cultivation issue, we can move on to commercial issues. Tomorrow is a big day! Let it pass!

There are a four things we want to make clear, share our analysis on, and hopefully inspire a united front of our membership. PLEASE read on...

1.) Do not speak off topic. 
This meeting is in regards to personal cultivation ONLY. Even mentioning commercial licensing for cannabis businesses is considered to be OFF TOPIC and will NOT be addressed by the BOS or the MWG. Use your time at the podium wisely. Do not throw away an opportunity to be heard by speaking off topic. Every second counts, especially if speaking time is limited to 2 minutes, maybe only 1 minute given the projected turn out and the larger venue. 

2.) Nothing turns off any board faster than threats and emotional outbursts. 
The Cannabis Community has been and will continue to be under the greatest scrutiny. As supposed second class citizens, we are held to a higher level of standards than most people in our county. This can be viewed as an unfortunate circumstance of exiting prohibition of any sort. Or, we can see it as an opportunity to prove the naysayers wrong. Please review the TCA Code of Conduct and stick to it at this meeting. We are fortunate to have the supervisors that we do, who are willing to listen if we are honest, respectful, and bring solutions to the problems that come with cannabis. Requests for recalls and aggressive initiatives will not be entertained. TCA does not stand for efforts that derail the process of working WITH the local government. There are very real consequences for members who obstruct TCA's mission and methods, including membership revocation. If you would like a copy of the TCA bylaws, please send an email to admin@tuolumnecannabis.com 

3.) Act with integrity. 
How much cannabis is truly enough for you to consume every year? We have heard it all. Be honest. And if you do need to grow more than you are able, there are plenty of kind folks in the community who can teach you how to be a better gardener, share their bounty, or perhaps host plants for you. TCA board of directors are willing to work on ways to help our community help itself with community education and networking solutions. 

4.) Don't talk about commercial permits or regulations. Period. 
If you have been growing commercially under the veil of personal cultivation, we understand why (no permits!), but the jig is up. The Board of Supervisors and county staff are better educated about plant yield and patient consumption than they were when they passed the current ordinance two years ago. Know that the argument does not bode well for our cause unless it is medically legitimate. The status quo ordinance veil will not be a state compliant shield for business owners in 2018. The cost of licensing, insurance, compliant operations, environmental mitigations, etc...much of fiscal impact alone will be tapering the cannabis industry throughout the state of California. Requesting to maintain the 24 plant status quo or uphold the collective model WILL NOT result in commercial licensing happening anytime soon, in fact quite the opposite. Local commercial permits are the gateway to running a regulated state-compliant business. Help us get down the road to regulation and stick to the topic at hand. If we can put the personal cultivation issue to bed, we will be taking a huge leap towards dealing with commercial cannabis licensing. Things could roll out very quickly this winter if we can clear this road block.

4.) Support the county staff recommendation for a revised personal cultivation ordinance. 
Try to take a long-view and think about sustainability, not cutting and running. The original personal cultivation ordinance was meant to be a temporary on-boarding middle ground for patients and commercial cultivators alike to have growing rights, and to be easy to enforce, particularly along county borders with Mariposa County. It was not meant to stand the test of time. Two years in and we are having the very real consequences as an industry under great scrutiny for taking advantage of a very lenient ordinance as was predicted in 2016. If we let this new ordinance pass, we can move on to commercial cultivation--the very thing many of you have been after for the last two years. Hobbling the progress of repairing the personal cultivation ordinance with bogus claims about your personal use only does harm to the efforts of the movement towards a regulated cannabis industry in Tuolumne County.

If you aren't for this ordinance and the pathway to commercial regulations...well, TCA can not advocate for the black market; it's just not part of Our Mission

The proposed ordinance grow limits are still some of the most lenient in the state, and are tailored to land size and use. This is unheard of in the state of California and elsewhere, and you can thank TCA later for all of the emails, phone calls, site tours, and problem solving that brought us this far. Yes, there are concerns about registering personal gardens and associated costs. These things can be fleshed out in regulations, but the bare bones of the ordinance does serve the needs of most cannabis users. 

If you still need a look at the proposed regulations, you can review the agenda packet here: 
https://www.tuolumnecounty.ca.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_11142017-1041

This could have ended in the ban proposed in September. But it hasn't. The pendulum has swung both ways in the board room, and this ordinance promises to be the middle way, the sustainable settling point to rest this issue. Thanks to our supervisors, county staff, and TCA maintaining a collaborative, problem-solving spirit, we may yet lay this issue finally to rest without expensive and stressful voter initiatives and supervisor recalls. In politics as well as business, the most sustainable and best solutions have both parties walking away feeling like they got screwed. It is said that is the nature of a good deal. Please join up with us tomorrow evening for this turning point in further ending prohibition of cannabis in Tuolumne County! 

ALSO! If you still haven't taken our anonymous cultivation survey, head on over and donate 1 minute of your time: 
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/G7R9TJT

Our very best,

Josh, Jesse, Lauren, & Kira
TCA Directors
 

BOS + MWG Meeting on Personal Cultivation

This Tuesday, join us at the historic Sonora Opera Hall for a very special meeting about personal cultivation between the Board of Supervisors and Marijuana Working Group.

County staff has compiled a very flexible rule-set recommendation for personal cultivation. It seems our cannabis community has been heard and they are willing to tailor to our varied uses of the plant and our land through regulations that are scalable and permits relatively affordable. Some sacrifices may likely be made, but we will not be seeing our foothill gardens to be forced inside if the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission votes this into place.

The meeting announcement can be viewed here:

https://www.tuolumnecannabis.com/calendar/2017/11/14/bos-mwg-county-meeting

The agenda packet can be viewed here: 

https://www.tuolumnecounty.ca.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_11142017-1041

 

 

Cannabis Survey & The Road to Regulation

Happy Harvest!

It's been a beautiful and bountiful season in the Sierra Foothills this year. The warm and dry days have kept the sinsemilla blooming long, and the cool evenings have brought that favored fall foliage color out in our gardens.

While we recover from the beloved labor of harvest, we turn now to the road ahead in Tuolumne County. Can we possibly be ready to be regulated at the turn of the year? Skeptics abound and rightfully so. Despite this, we at TCA have strived to continue working together with county staff and supervisors to develop regulations that work.

What is the next step? We need to know where we stand before we take a step in any direction. And that is why TCA has created a survey to collect totally anonymous but very specific data from all of the cannabis community. This data will paint a more clear picture to TCA and to the county board of supervisors about how people currently grow, and how people want to commercially operate.

I need you all to know how important a role this data could play in the development of an ordinance. Surveys like this can aid in the process of regulatory considerations. It could make or break zoning designations, the line that divides who can commercially operate and who can not. It is imperative that ALL of you participate. And please share this survey with friends who may not be on our mailing list!

The survey is only ten questions long. It should take the average person less than 2 minutes to answer. We at TCA know how important growers' safety and security is because we are growers too. Therefore, all answers are SSL encrypted and recorded anonymously--we even limited the survey programming to not collect IP addresses. Even we won't know who you are. 

Please take the survey NOW so we have information to present at the upcoming BOS + MWG meeting

Also, check the bottom of this email for the next TCA Open Meeting coming up next week.


Best,
Kira Tucker
Executive Director

TCA Emergency Meeting - BOS to reconsider ban

Join us for our emergency meeting next Monday! This meeting is open to both members and non-members alike. We have a lot to catch up on and want to include everyone in the cannabis community as recent events impact us all.

It's been a hell of a week for everyone in the Tuolumne Cannabis Community. The Board of Supervisors meeting last Tuesday rocked our world and brought a paranoia and stress back in the gardens peppering our foothills that we haven't seen since 1996. The sheriffs office Instagram echoed this by posting a photo from CAMP as a throwbackthursday. This was not cool timing at all, and yes, I hear you. Each and every one of you.

I wanted to reach out to all of you personally in a way that would inspire hope, but to do so without a solid strategy would be false leadership. These sorts of things take time and coordination with the TCA board, and patience on part of those in the community looking at us for direction. And I thank you for that. To have your trust to do diligence in times like these is heartening.

It is with a happy heart that I assure all of you that we are still moving forward despite this blunder that feels more like a threat. In an era of pendulum politics, the only thing we can do to find a third way is to ride the pendulum and search for common ground. There we can meet any opposition and better understand one another.

I encourage all of you to keep in the collaborative spirit of TCA's style of advocacy despite what seems to be politically adversarial. No compliant grow will be raided this harvest season; the current ordinance is still active. THERE IS NO BAN ON OUTDOOR CULTIVATION. 

We never said it would be easy or comfortable; nothing worth the effort in life rarely falls in our lap. But this community is courageous and tenacious, so it should come as no surprise when I ask all of you to hold fast as we get through this transitional period from prohibition to regulation. We are still on our way!

If you are still upset and concerned about going to the podium red-faced and fuming, give the Code of Conduct a review. You may find the support you need there if you can not attend the TCA meeting.

We will send another newsletter before next Tuesday's BOS meeting. This will include a summary of the TCA meeting, recommendation of ordinance repair, the BOS agenda, and an action item list for those of you who want to participate in the BOS meeting but can not attend in person.

We will also have our fresh and fancy t-shirts fit for wearing to town for sale. Bottled water will be provided courtesy of our kind hosts, Motherlode Hydroponics.

If you are not a member but feel compelled to support the efforts of TCA, there will be a sign up table and a friendly volunteer who will help you get started.

Best,
Kira Tucker
Executive Director
Tuolumne Cannabis Alliance

Changes to personal cultivation ordinance in the works

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors requested the advice and expertise of the Marijuana Working Group to assist them with education and decision making for personal and commercial cannabis issues. This morning, the Board of Supervisors chose to ignore entirely the recommendations made by the MWG and to force personal cultivation not only to reduce in number to six plants per residence, but also to be forced INDOORS ONLY. This is a huge mistake and TCA does not support this kind of draconian policy switch. 

PLEASE NOTE: the vote carried and staff are directed to draft an ordinance reflecting this, but it is not currently active. There will be board meetings to make this recommendation final, and we intend to make a large demonstration at any and all meetings. 

We would like to offer an emergency meeting open to members and non-members within the next week. Announcement of such meeting will be coming soon.

Members-only Meeting next Monday

Monday August 14th
6:00pm - 8:00pm

Motherlode Hydroponics Annex
805 CA 49 Sonora, CA 95370

Join us for our very first members meeting next Monday!

Long anticipated--and we appreciate your patience--we have finally found the right space for regular meetings in partnership with Motherlode Hydroponics. The Annex is a gallery-like space at the end of the building opposite the store on Stockton Road.

TCA board of directors and executive director Kira Tucker will be leading the members only meeting. Agenda topics will be available upon entry of the meeting; some are listed below.

If you are not a member but wish to support the efforts of TCA and join us at the meeting, there will be a sign up table and a friendly volunteer who will help you. We will also have our fresh and fancy t-shirts fit for wearing to town for sale.

This meeting is strategically scheduled the day before the county MWG meets with the Board of Supervisors. It could very well be a turning point in discussions on commercial licensing. It is imperative that we unite in a strong show of support for progressive policy making. Here is the info for that important meeting:

Special appointment meeting with MWG at BOS meeting
Tuesday August 15th, 1:30pm
4th floor, BOS chambers
2 S. Green St. Sonora, CA 95370

Agenda for the meeting can be viewed here.

 

Join us in support of strong, progressive policy.

This members only meeting will be addressing the following points:

  • Summer update on county and city Marijuana Working Groups.
  • Preview of special BOS + MWG meeting to be held on Tuesday.
  • Current strategies being evaluated by TCA board of directors.
  • Membership benefits update.
  • Members Q&A session.
  • Location: 805 CA 49 Sonora, CA 95370.
  • Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm

If you need a green shirtUTLTRN is now vending them on behalf of TCA in their shop downtown. As we have a new design, the remaining shirts in limited sizes are half off and collector's items from our first era as Ban Killers.

New shirts are now available there for $20. Check UTLTRN out, buy a shirt, a local band's album, some business cards, and give Zac and Mindy a high five for being rad and supporting the cause.

Thanks for reading, and we will see you there!
-Tuolumne Cannabis Alliance

Out of The Woods: A membership drive and FUNdraiser

We finally got our act together. Found a friendly lawyer, some helpful local government staff, and made some smart moves. We are ready to make our public debut as an industry mutual benefit non-profit corporation!

Please join us Saturday June 3rd from 1pm-9pm at the historic Sonora Opera Hall for informational talks, panel Q&As, policy updates, demos, networking mixer, and a whole lot of Tuolumne County style fun. Like any other local event, you can bring the whole family.

As we support compliance under regulations, there will be no cannabis or cannabis infused products for sale. No smoking of anything will be permitted inside our outside on Opera Hall premises. Stay tuned for a festival FAQ to be posted over the weekend.

If you would like to volunteer for the event or book a booth space, we will be posting a form on the website next week.

TCA-OutoftheWoods webversion.jpg

County Cannabis Working Committee

After a year--and we commend your tremendous patience--the cannabis ad hoc committee has finally been appointed! Kira Tucker is honored to have been chosen as an industry representative advocating for regulatory policies in Tuolumne County. In the interim between now and the first committee meeting, she is crafting strategy, power networking, and developing a policy stance to best serve the needs of the local industry for a sustainable future in cannabis. Group meetings and surveys will facilitate the inclusion of your regulatory input. She asks for your continued patience during this time of development, and for your contribution to the process when the time comes. Announcements will be made in future newsletters as well as the website.

The first meeting for the county ad hoc committee will be on April 12th at 1:30pm. These meetings are similar to a regular board meeting where there will be public comment on the issues brought to the table, and as such, we highly encourage your attendance and participation. If you want a refresher for positively engaging in these meetings, please review our newly revised (and highly simplified!) Code of Conduct.

If you can not attend the meetings and want to voice your concerns about cannabis regulations in Tuolumne County to Kira, please use the form on the contact page to send her an email.
 

Planning Commission Meeting Tonight 6pm

REMINDER:

Tonight at 6pm Planning Commission meeting in Board Chambers, 4th floor of 2 S. Green St. Sonora, CA 95370

The cannabis agenda is to review the re-drafted ordinance to include language prohibiting commercial cannabis activity in the county.  Please note that the language regarding our current growing permissions for personal medical cultivation HAVE NOT CHANGED.

The proposed express ban can be read here:

http://www.tuolumnecounty.ca.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/12212016-854

The TCA think tank (soon to be board) has conceded the need for an express ban on commercial activity because AUMA does not included permissive use legalese like MCRSA; if it is not banned, it is loosely allowed and we do not have any regulatory structures in place to license, monitor, or tax commercial cannabis businesses.  There is an ad hoc committee yet to meet for the purpose of deciding what those regulatory structures will be for Tuolumne County.  This is essential for any cannabis business owner to get in the running for the state licensing slated to start in 2018.  We need local laws and permitting to be state compliant.

HOWEVER!  There is NO sunset date listed for commercial cultivation.  The ad hoc committee has been put off for almost six months now, and there is concern in the community that the board is merely trying to run out the clock with inaction. We need a deadline to force the board of supervisors to act and get an ordinance voted in ASAP.  We also need to insist that the commercial cannabis ad hoc committee meet in January right after our new Community Resources Agency director is sworn in to his office. We have a lot of work to do to get it right, and we need to start now.

Bring your story of how your business can not move forward until we have our commercial ordinance.  Share the nature of your investment potential and how cannabis can impact Tuolumne in a positive way.  Tell the commission your concerns of ensuring that the local government to step up to the plate and perform its sworn duties.  

Please come to the meeting in your green TCA shirt, or if you can’t attend in person, email your position and ideas to the CRA here:  communityresources@tuolumnecounty.ca.gov