Welcome back to all MCCIA supporters - as we find ourselves ending the first quarter of 2021, we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel as times are becoming more normalized after the past year and surviving the pandemic. The Country was off to a rough start in early January, but the tides have turned, and the momentum has shifted. The vaccine has become more available, schools are reopening, and restaurants will soon be serving meals indoors. As an industry we have accomplished a great deal in the past three months and MCCIA continues to be a leader and voice on behalf of those in the cannabis industry.
This past month MCCIA published a survey that was sent to over 145 cannabis operations within the County. The goal was to obtain constructive feedback and potential criticisms as to how operators viewed working with the County, the licensing process and the permitting and compliance regulations. The initiation of the survey lead to the beginning of quarterly industry meetings led by the Monterey County Cannabis Program. There was already a meeting in March, and another is scheduled for April 5th. This is an opportunity for operators to speak directly to the County about their concerns and/or issues and present positive suggestions for resolutions and or modifications. Your participation and attendance are greatly welcomed!
MCCIA was also highly active in securing COVID vaccines for the agricultural industry and the boots on the ground employees. At least two vaccine clinics have taken place already and have successfully immunized hundreds of people. If you have not been able to secure a vaccine keep an eye out for more clinic dates to come.
This month marks the beginning of the MCCIA speaker’s series, and our first guest speaking is Deputy District Attorney Gregory Peterson. DDA Peterson heads the cannabis enforcement unit within the civil department of the Monterey County Office of the District Attorney. He replaced the previous DDA handling the department within the last year and has taken a welcomed new approach to enforcement of illegal cannabis activity. This is an event you do not want to miss.
Most importantly last week the County released its cannabis revenue allocation report, and it shows that more than $38 million dollars (cannabis tax revenue) went to County programs between 2018 and 2021. The cannabis industry has single handedly saved this County through subsidy programing during the pandemic. The cannabis tax dollars are being spent and allocated left and right. July 1, 2021 marks a new fiscal year and cannabis tax is scheduled to increase. This is a hot topic for the industry, and I invite you to contact me to express your concerns and/or ideas about freezing the current tax structure or other tax related items you would like to discuss.
Until next time – stay safe.
Jennifer Rosenthal is a local cannabis and criminal defense attorney. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and does not reflect an official position of the Association.