By Donna Westfall – June 30, 2017 –
The discussion this morning was hot and heavy into the Cannabis issue since 5th District Supervisor, Bob Berkowitz, and 1st District Supervisor, Roger Gitlin, attended a California State Association of Counties (CSAC) meeting yesterday in Eureka from 9am to 2pm. While they were sharing their take on yesterday’s meeting with grower, Jesse Davis and other attendees at the table, in walks our very own Senator Mike McGuire.
Bob and Roger were relating that all the Cannabis experts were at yesterday’s meeting EXCEPT the Federal government which was the elephant in the room that everyone was trying to get around. Gitlin expressed, “The massive over reach of government in this industry.” The conclusion was that the people running this thing were inept. Questions about how much money would be brought in on permits? How much money would be spent on all the mounting government agencies involved in it’s regulation.
Jesse Davis said that this is already a multi million dollar industry in Del Norte County, but the critical thing they are overlooking is the one thing that would put Del Norte County on the map. That is focusing on CDB medicine.
While comments were fast and furious around the table, McGuire took extensive notes and when it came time for him to speak, he rattled off point after point after point. What impresses me about this guy is that he assimilates information and seems to process, collate and respond so quickly…. almost like a computer.
While I was snapping pictures, McGuire was talking about the importance of raising cannabis organically since that’s the choice and trend of so many Californians. But he didn’t talk only about Cannabis, he addressed the gas tax and the necessity of the gas tax since our roads are in awful shape. More and more people are going to hybrid cars and gas consumption is going down, so the income from the gas tax is going down. Del Norters would be wise to remember that we are only 3% of the population that Sen. McGuire serves. Another thing he brought up is that there has not been a new gas tax increase in 30 years. Berkowitz countered that with the $15 million that was robbed from the gas tax fund and never repaid. Sen. McGuire lobbed back that there’s a proposition coming on the November ballot that would plug that loophole, called the LOCKBOX. Excuse me, but I have a problem with that kind of thinking. First have Sacramento pay back the $15 million they robbed from Peter to pay Paul.
Berkowitz brought up that most of us drive into Oregon and gas up saving from 50 cents to a dollar per gallon and recommends a tax free zone be established in our County to keep more business here.
All in all, not just a good, but an exceptional meeting. Remember the public is invited Monday through Friday. All you have to do is make it there at 6 am.
6 thoughts on “SEN. McGUIRE SURPRISES BERKOWITZ AT TOWN HALL MEETING”
This is response to WTF. You asked why don’t you have the town halls at convenient hours? Unfortunately everyones definition of convenient is different. To the working folks, the evening works best. To those who are shift workers at the prison, no time is best. I could ask one hundred people what is the best time for them and I would get 100 different answers, so the time that works best for most people is 6am weekdays. True, it may interfere with sleep, but if you have an issue that you really want to discuss, you will make an early morning meeting.
By the way, it’s not Berkowitz’s town hall meeting. It’s yours town hall meeting. So whenever you have a gripe, suggestion, or comment, you can guarantee that there is a county supervisor who is willing to listen to you and have a dialogue with you that’s more than 3 minutes.
Bob, I did not mean to push your buttons. I do commend you for doing some outreach. But come on, get real, Bob. At one time, there were Del Norte County Tea Party meetings that had pretty good attendance. Supervisor Gitlin has had town hall meetings in the past, I heard the last one (held at the fairgrounds) had pretty good attendance. Supervisor Gitlin would probably confirm that. Are you getting more than 10 people at your 6AM breakfast?
So, our responsive Supervisors you talk about- other than campaigning, how many town halls or outreach meetings have they had? You say they respond to e-mails? Now, that’s a good one.
No matter the outreach, at some point you and your brethren need to get something done. To date, you are not.
Let me help you and your associates out:
How about directing our law enforcement to enforce illegal camping laws? How about loitering laws?
How about beefing up code enforcement in this county so we can clean it up?
How about helping our small businesses thrive by making the downtown area more attractive, and have some honest to goodness outreach to attract more businesses?
How about making use of jail labor, or folks that can’t be jailed, for clean up work details?
If I see some discussion or type of action on these topics, maybe I will come visit you at 6AM!
Gas is $2.09 in AZ right now. I wonder if they are planning a fast train through the Grand Canyon.
Roger is right about state cannabis regulators not having enough experience to be effective. That’s their problem, not ours. All we need to do is create a simple, small scale ordinance and issue zoning clearances to applicants. The state, with it’s cannabis bureaus, will be responsible for dealing with it’s vast array of rules. If the county can’t afford the initial outlay, then there will be no problem raising it from various charitable groups who want to see Del Norte take advantage of this opportunity to alleviate our chronic poverty. Cannabis is the fastest growing employment sector in the country.
Bob wants to know if there will be enough canna-business applicants to be worth all the new government involved. Humboldt has over 2000 applicants. They have only approved 250, and most of the rest won’t make it through the process. If we had 25 new businesses here bringing capital investment and jobs, I think it would be worth doing. These businesses would include cultivation, laboratories, processing stations, warehousing, distribution, manufacturing, nurseries and retail. These in turn would support other business like construction, engineering, legal services, compliance, environmental, security, tech support, agricultural supplies, and other professional services.
CBD medicine for serious illness needs a hero. I see Del Norte taking the lead where no county has yet to focus. There is still too much money driving the market toward high power pot. We can incentivize production of life saving medicinal varieties, while encouraging the state to join us, and focus on the QUALITY of our business applicants, NOT THE QUANTITY.
Jesse, thank you for the information discussed at Suoervisor Berkowitz’ “town hall meeting”. I commend Supervisor Berkowitz for at least providing an outreach forum, but it is unfortunate that our local leaders do not have town hall meetings at convenient hours to inform constituents. Our State and Federal representatives have more town hall meetings than our local leaders do. Pathetic, don’t you think?
Do you have time to read publications in other counties? If you do, you will see that counties, such as Calaveras, are rolling back cultivation permits because outside investors are swooping in, grabbing farmland, and in essence, trashing out roads and lands. Residents are up in arms. You can look it up. The quest for profits always trumps common sense.
You are right about Calaveras county, Humboldt and others who are going too big and made the mistake of failing to include a residency requirement like Trinity where things are more in control. I communicate directly with the leadership of the Calaveras Growers Alliance so I know all the details and the efforts to correct the mistakes of the Board. They are pushing a moratorium on all new grows. This is precisely why we are recommending an ultra small scale ordinance with protections to prevent speculative investment by the wrong demographics. These protections will support locals and the environment and we will create a system that serves the interests of the community as defined by the community. Making a living in business requires profit, but this must not be the only focus or we will be in worse shape than we are now. I have publicly voiced this at the BOS meeting and in writing to the supervisors. Thank you for joining the discussion!