Commercial Cannabis Committee Update (July 2018)

In January of 2018, the Yuba County Board of Supervisors established an ad-hoc committee to investigate impacts, positive and negative, of allowing State/County licensed commercial cannabis business in Yuba County. The committee was also tasked to look at the negative impacts of the large illegal grows occurring in our community. The committee consists of Supervisor Leahy and I.

At our board meeting on 7/24, the committee provided an update on our activities. The information provided is listed below:

  • It’s been a while since we updated the board on the progress of this committee. I know we initially planned to bring our report before the board in the spring or early summer, but aren’t yet ready to do that. We’ve accomplished a lot, which I will give you a brief summary of in a moment. However, there is still more research to be done on this important topic before we present our report and a recommendation.
  • We’ve received information from Yuba County Code enforcement regarding resources we are spending combating illegal cultivation sites and the environmental damage caused by many of the large growers.
  • We’ve seen the environmental damage of a large illegal grow first hand at a recent raid by Yuba County in partnership with The Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Water Boards.
  • We requested input from local industry experts on the potential impacts of commercial cannabis businesses on local education, health care, homelessness, real estate, and other businesses.
  • We met with County public safety officials to discuss the crime impacts of illegal cultivation as well as suspected impacts of licensed commercial cannabis businesses.
  • Licensed Facility Visits: We’ve visited multiple State licensed (which means they are also locally licensed) retail establishments in the City of Sacramento as well as two indoor grow sites and one laboratory. We’ve also visited a licensed outdoor cultivation site in Yolo County and witnessed the activities of a licensed transportation company. We plan to visit a licensed manufacturing site as well.
  • We’ve interviewed licensed commercial cannabis business owners in other juristictions and spoken to several growers here in Yuba County. We plan to speak to even more as well as city staff Sacramento and county staff in Yolo and Nevada counties.
  • We met with Supervisor Garamendi from Calaveras County to learn about the history of cannabis cultivation in that County both legal and illegal, what went right, and what they would do differently if they had a clean slate.
  • We’ve met with Yuba County rice farmers to discuss the potential impacts of commercial cannabis cultivation on their business as well as potential interest in cultivation. We plan to have more of these meetings.
  • We’ve been keeping notes on all of these meetings and once we are ready, will present a report and a recommendation to the board.
  • You can listen to the audio of the update by clicking here and selecting “Board and Staff Members’ Reports”