“Yesterday the Department of Food and Agriculture kicked off a statewide tour of scoping meetings for the Medical Cannabis Cultivation Program. Several participants at the meeting in Sacramento expressed surprise at the format, so I thought I would take a minute to walk folks through the process.
Basically, there is no presentation or panel. Staff from the program have prepared several large posters that detail the CEQA process and the rule-making process. These posters walk participants through the process of the Programmatic Environmental Impact Report that the department must complete as well as the rulemaking process that will conclude with the issuance of state licenses in January .
The format is open, with participants free to walk around and learn more about different stages of the public process. Several staff members are present who can answer questions and help participants get a better understanding of some of the challenges that we must all work through together to get to workable regulations.
Program staff are also available to take your comment. You can submit written comment or recorders are available to receive your spoken comments.
While this program was surprising to some who attended, it is typical for these type of scoping meetings. It also provides an open and flexible opportunity for everyone to learn at their own pace and to ask questions. The format really enables in depth conversation so participants can get to know not just the regulatory process—but also the staff behind that process.
I strongly recommend that everyone make the time to participate in one of the upcoming CDFA workshops if you are a cultivator or nursery owner or to participate in one of the BMCR/DPH meetings if you are a manufacturer, a lab, a distributor or a retailer. You can get more information about dates and times here.
Good public policy is built on good information and robust public process—these meetings are an opportunity for both!”
Thanks to Hezekiah Allen – Executive Director of California Growers Association CGA for this insight!