Cannabis is in the Town


From left to right: Richard Valle, Alameda County Supervisor, District 2, Dr. Asif Maan, Chief of the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB) within California Department of Public Health, Lori Ajax, Chief of Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, Richard Parrott, Director of the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division, Alameda County District 4 Supervisor Nate Miley serve on a panel discussion at the Alameda County Winter Cannabis Summit 2017. Photo by Carla Thomas.

Cannabis is now in the town. Like it or not the sale and taxation of pot will be legal in California beginning January 1, 2018.

In preparation for the new industry, Alameda County has been actively involved in helping shape the landscape of cannabis cultivation, retail sale, manufacturing, and distribution in California. By hosting a Winter Cannabis Summit at the Alameda County Board of Supervisors Chambers in downtown Oakland, the County wanted to educate the public on a legal, taxed and tightly-regulated system for medical and adult use cannabis.

About 100 stakeholders attended three forums throughout the day. With Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley serving as moderator, attendees heard from Lori Ajax, Chief Bureau of Cannabis Control, Richard Parrott, Director, CalCannabis Cultivation Safety, California Department of Public Health, and Dr. Asif Mann Chief of Office of Manufactured Cannabis Safety, California Department of Public Health who provided an overview slide presentation.

“The cannabis industry is emerging as a major force,” said Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley. “We have a great opportunity for a new source of untapped tax revenue to strengthen our public infrastructure.”

“As we move forward issuing the first state licenses for commercial cannabis activity, the state’s three licensing authorities are grateful for the opportunity to interact with our key local government partners,“ said Ajax. “A tremendous amount of work has gone into this process and we wouldn’ be in the position we are today without the feedback received at events like this summit.”

An afternoon panel discussion featured Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, prevention specialists, and community partners focused on what legalization brings and cannabis education for youth.

The session also included information about how schools and community groups can prevent access to cannabis.

The changes society can expect from the legalization of marijuana was another panel that featured O’Malley along with Susan Fanelli, Assistant Director, California Department of Public Health and attorneys specializing in Cannabis law, Chris Halor and Robert Reich.

Judy Appel, Drug Policy Alliance, Dr. Dale Gieringer State Coordinator California NORMAL, Ralph Cantore, Educator, Jennifer Ellis, Prevention Specialist served in an afternoon session on (CEYAA), Cannabis Education Youth & Adult Awareness.
Elsa Casanova, a Prevention Specialist and Project Manager for Ashland Cherryland Together said that her organization is working closely with Supervisor Nate Miley to develop a campaign targeting youth.

“We focus on environmental strategies to prevent the use of cannabis by youth,” she said.

Casanova also shared that the campaign’s development will be patterned similar to the state campaign called “Let’s Talk About Cannabis.” Youth and educators will also be involved in the process.

Handouts were also provided detailing how to obtain a temporary license application, the breakdown of licensing authorities and frequently asked questions regarding medicinal and adult use cannabis cultivation licensing.

The handouts also explained that the rules and regulations for commercial cannabis activity include the cultivation, possession, manufacture, distribution, processing, storing, laboratory testing, packaging, labeling, transportation delivery, or sale of cannabis and cannabis products.

However, this does not include personal use cultivation that is done at a private residence in accordance with health and safety code sections 1136 2.1 and 1136 2.2, or by a patient or primary caregiver pursuant to health and safety code section 11362.77.

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