The members of the Cannabis Working Group met in front of a full room at the group’s special meeting Sept. 14 in the Board of Supervisors’ room in the courthouse in Quincy. The CWG and droves of community members flipped through a new draft ordinance and reviewed the changes.
Who is on the CWG?
The meeting began with introductions of each member in response to community speculation about who is on the committee and their affiliation with the cannabis industry. Each member introduced themselves and described their connection, or lack thereof, to the industry.
District 1 Representative Kim Scott helps manage Higher Living Farms, a cannabis farm near Portola.
District 2 Representative Mat Fogarty lives in Crescent Mills and owns the store and hotel in town. He said he intends on renovating the store and possibly opening a micro-dispensary on the other side of store. He also said he has a Master’s in Business Administration and a background in business, entrepreneurship and economics.
“There are a lot of growers here who want to get legal and we have got to provide a way that they can be regulated and taxed like other businesses,” Fogarty said in reference to why he wanted to work on the ordinance. “We want to get an ordinance that is inclusive enough, but controlling enough for what is going on.”
Chester local Michael James is the District 3 Representative and he is a cannabis consultant and a film maker.
Cindy Robinson is the District 4 Representative and is the owner of Riverside Rock and Landscape Materials in Quincy. She grows a few plants of her own, but she is not affiliated with any cannabis growing operation.
Debbie Thompson, District Five, has no affiliation with cannabis. “I am on this board because my supervisor asked me to be on this board,” Thompson said. “I have to say if we didn’t have some people on this board who know about this industry, if they were all like me, we would be in trouble.”
The two Supervisors on the CWG are Jeff Engel from District 5, representing portions of Quincy and eastern Plumas County and Kevin Goss from District 2, representing Indian Valley and the Feather River canyon.
“I think that by giving these introductions and putting a little bit more than just a face and a name to who we are on this Cannabis Commission helps for [the community] to get to know us better and help the public perception,” said Goss. “Yes there are some folks on the committee that are pro-grow and there are some that are not … We are here to do the best that we can for this county.”
Revisions to the Draft
Goss opened the agenda with proposed changes to the draft ordinance for the CWG to review.
“And when I say draft, I mean draft,” Goss emphasized, clarifying that nothing will be voted on by the CWG.
Scott said she worked closely with Harry Rogers, the president of the Plumas County Growers Association in navigating the existing state legislative regulations, particularly in the newly-passed SB 94, which integrates licensing rules for both medicinal cannabis and adult use cannabis in the state. Scott and Rogers presented their changes to the draft according to public feedback and the changes to state law.
Changes from one draft to the other include removal of Special Use Permits in areas zoned residential, which restricts commercial growth in residential areas.
Proposition 64 allows each household to grow six plants. The revised draft restricts parcels with less than a third of an acre to a maximum of three plants that can be grown outside, the rest must be indoors.
The revised draft includes a residency requirement that offers priority licensing to “prior cultivators,” or Plumas County residents who already grow medicinal cannabis legally. This would prevent any new growers from scrambling for permits and creating a gold-rush scenario.
After reviewing the changes in the revised draft, the CWG will offer its input at the next meeting Thursday, Sept. 21,at 1 p.m. in the Board of Supervisor’s room at the courthouse. Copies of the draft ordinance can be obtained at the Cannabis Working Group’s page at plumascounty.us.