If you haven't noticed, our industry and culture are changing faster than ever. From new minimum wage laws to ever-worsening drought conditions, we must all be willing and able to make major decisions with minimal, and often uncertain, information. One of the most significant issues currently facing our industry is the legalization and adoption of medical and recreational cannabis. For many, this once-clandestine crop generates feelings of unease and judgement, quickly becoming a moral issue rather than one of business. Those opinions are as valid as any. However, the tide is turning and full legalization seems not only inevitable, but imminent. This November, the state will vote on Proposition 64, the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative, also known as the "Adult Use of Marijuana Act." Current polls reveal a nearly 2 to 1 preference in favor of legalization. It's time to have a discussion.
For nearly three decades, the Central Coast Greenhouse Grower's Association has worked to align local growers of all types of crops with the values that we would expect and appreciate from our neighbors. Through road clean-up, community events, scholarship awards, and forums for public and professional communication, the CCGGA has created an environment of trust and transparency within our industry and community. This is the mission we intend to sustain for many years to come.
Recently, we have been approached by several cannabis growers interested in joining our association. These are not criminal cartel operations or the red-eyed, dreadlocked caricatures you see buying armfuls of Oreos at the grocery store. These are respectable, licensed, professional growers passionate about their crop and the success of their business, just like all of us. Chances are you already know some of them. They want the opportunity to demonstrate their legitimacy through participation in the respected and admirable association we have all worked together to create.
Our Board of Directors has been working to update our onboarding process for all new members, regardless of what crop they are growing. It is timely that these questions of what criteria a business must meet to become a grower-member of the CCGGA should be raised. The Board members have voiced their opinions in closed sessions, but our organization is here to serve YOU, our grower and associate members who pay their dues and continuously contribute to our success and image within the community. So we ask that you take some time to actively participate in this discussion. There are many ways you can do this:
First and foremost, contact us! What are your questions and concerns? How do you feel about the adoption of cannabis into the mainstream horticultural industry, particularly its effects on the CCGGA? Your voice will be heard.
Second, educate yourself! There are countless articles on the internet which answer many of the common questions surrounding cannabis cultivation from legal issues, technical topics, effects of legalization on crime rates, tax revenue potentials, etc. Some great resources will be listed below.
Finally, participate in the discussion! The California Department of Food and Agriculture in collaboration with the Medical Cannabis Cultivation Program will be hosting a public workshop in San Luis Obispo on Wednesday, September 21st at the Courtyard by Marriot, 1605 Calle Joaquin from 4-7pm. This workshop will focus mainly on the environmental and community impact of legal cannabis cultivation. The public comment period is a great opportunity to share your perspective and get your questions answered from the source.
Thank you for your continuing dedication to the CCGGA and your community. We are all excited to see what the future of our organization will be. We plan to announce a follow-up meeting after the CDFA workshop has taken place during which we can continue this discussion. In the meantime, take this opportunity to form an educated opinion on the subject by exploring the resources listed below.
Vice President of CCGGA
Details on Prop. 64: