California Growers Association Endorses The Mendocino County Heritage Initiative
The states leading organization representing cannabis farms and businesses, the California Growers Association, announced support for the Mendocino County Heritage Initiative on Saturday July 16, 2016. The endorsement comes just a few weeks after the initiative qualified for the ballot by submitting the required signatures.
The Mendocino Heritage Initiative (MHI) repeals sections of the county code that currently govern medical cannabis and introduces a comprehensive regulatory framework for cultivation, processing, testing, distribution, transportation, delivery and dispensing.
Board Chair and Mendocino County Farmer Casey O’Neill explained the support: “There has been tremendous effort put into the Heritage Initiative to balance the different perspectives in Mendocino County. In this time of changing regulations, this Initiative creates a workable path forward for our local communities. It is a good choice for our shared future.”
The initiative will be considered by the Board of Supervisors at their August 2. Typically, the Board would be able to adopt the initiative by a simple majority vote if they chose to, however county counsel has advised that since the MHI includes a tax it must be passed by a vote of the people.
“It is pretty unusual for Cal Growers to take a support position on an initiative. Ballot measures are often divisive and costly,” said Executive Director Hezekiah Allen. “However, given the unique opportunity in Mendocino County, with so many local business owners seeking to participate, we have decided this is the right tool to use at the right time. This initiative will reward good actors while focusing enforcement resources on bad actors.”
Generally, ballot measures can only be amended by a subsequent vote of the people. However, the MHI allows for the Board of Supervisors to make changes to the policy with a simple majority vote. “We certainly expect changes over time. The initiative isn’t perfect and we are committed to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to identify problems and develop solutions,” promised Allen. “Still, we have concluded that the highest priority for Mendocino County is to implement state law. The Heritage Initiative is consistent with last years historic legislation and provides an onramp to regulation for thousands of local farmers and businesses.”