Status Quo Grow

The California state legislature stirred things up recently when they passed four cannabis bills, consequently signed into law by our governor. This sent local jurisdictions (county and city) planning commissions on a fast track to complete local cannabis laws by the March 1, 2016 deadline for permits, inspections, zoning for indoor and outdoor grows, allowed plant count, water use plans, TINs (tax identification numbers), dispensaries sales, otherwise “the state would be the sole licensing authority for medical marijuana cultivation applicants in that city, county, or city and county” (there’s that “medical” word again).

In other words, if each city and county did not write their own cannabis rules and regulations the State of California would be the only source of cannabis law (other than the feds, of course). Keep in mind that without the stick, there is no carrot. Does anyone really think the State of California was going to pay for thousands of law enforcement officers and inspectors throughout the Emerald Triangle to regulate and enforce the cannabis industry?

The state has come out and said, whoops, what deadline? The March 1, 2016 was “an inadvertent drafting error.” What this means to the cannabis industry is the usual no enforcement nor guidelines from the state. The only thing that would cause local law enforcement to do their job is still complaint driven, such as your ex-girlfriend, neighbor, Google Earth, prop plane flyovers, drones, etc. making a complaint against a grower.

Instead of getting statewide, fully integrated rules and regulations for our cannabis industry, we’ve had a few Sacramento egos step forward, each trying to take credit with their bill, none of which had any teeth. Considering cannabis is a multi-billion dollar industry, the largest unregulated industry in California, one might think our elected leaders would want to tame the Wild Wild West and most important, get a piece of the tax dollars.

For now, we have status quo again. Grow all the dope you want, wherever you want. Grow on federal lands. Grow on your neighbor’s land. Steal water from our rivers and streams. Use whatever pesticides you deem necessary. Poison any endangered species with your chemicals. If you need to shoot your neighbor or potential buyer of your product, just bury them deep in the hills. Clear cut any trees in the way of  your farm. Build any roads without worrying about soil diverted into streams. Forget about permits when you build your McMansion. Don’t worry about proper disposal of your butane canisters. Most important, never, ever pay any taxes from your business venture because the state just gave you a free pass for at least another year. Remember, it’s all about you and your profits. Forget about your community.

Emerald contributor since April 2019

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