WILLITS, 7/3/18 — Good news for cannabis businesses on the North Coast, California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control has opened a “one stop shop” office in Eureka, potentially cutting down drive time for people involved in legal cannabis, by several hours, to submit and pay various regulatory fees and paperwork. Previously, many licensing and other associated regulatory tasks had to be taken care of in person, in Sacramento — now several agencies and services are available at a single office in Eureka.
The current office, located in the Humboldt County Courthouse, is a temporary one, and the office will relocate to another permanent location later this year. The office was approved last year as a nod to the concentration of cannabis farms and businesses owners on the North Coast, many of whom have had to drive hundreds of miles with cash — due to federal banking restrictions — to reach regulatory agencies in person. North Coast cannabis farmers have also periodically been left out of the various public meetings held by California’s cannabis regulatory agencies, in part due to vast geography of the state and the disparate population centers in this multi-generational growing region. However, whether an increase in the proximity to statewide regulatory agencies will improve the regulatory climate for local cannabis businesses, many of whom have struggled with coming into compliance on a local level, remains to be seen.
The North Coast’s Assemblyman Jim Wood and State Senator Mike McGuire have both facilitated the organization of the new office. “The cannabis industry is a big part of the North Coast’s economy and sending licensed farmers on a five hour drive to pay their taxes is simply not acceptable and not a good way to do business,” Senator Mike McGuire said in a press release. “This office will provide Northern California residents with the cannabis tax and licensing services they need all in one place, close to home. I’ve been grateful to work with Assemblymember Wood to get this office open and serving the public.”
The center will house various cannabis regulatory agencies representatives including those from the Bureau of Cannabis Control, CalCannabis, a division of the California Department of Food and Agriculture which permits cannabis farms, and the Department of Public Health.
Here are more details in a press release from the Bureau of Cannabis Control:
The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) today announced the upcoming opening of its North Coast Regional Office in Eureka. The office is officially scheduled to open on Monday, July 2 at 8 a.m.
The office, located within the Humboldt County Courthouse, will serve as a temporary location until the Bureau’s permanent office opens later this year.
“The opening of this office allows us to provide greater service to our applicants and licensees in the North Coast Region,” BCC Chief Lori Ajax said. “And while work remains to be done on our permanent location in Eureka, this is a significant first step.”
Individuals wishing to apply for licenses, pay their fees or ask questions of staff in person can do so at this location. Fees for Department of Food and Agriculture and Department of Public Health licensees will also be accepted by appointment at this location. An appointment is required to pay fees. Appointments can be made by contacting 833-287-8171 or emailing [email protected].
WHERE: Humboldt County Courthouse, 825 Fifth Street, Room 130, Eureka, CA
HOURS OF OPERATION:
Monday: Noon to 5 p.m. (July 2 is the only Monday the office opens at 8 a.m.)
Tuesday through Thursday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fridays: 8 a.m. to Noon
To subscribe to email alerts, please visit the Bureau’s website at http://www.bcc.ca.gov/. For information on all three state licensing authorities, please visit the state’s California Cannabis Portal at https://cannabis.ca.gov/. Follow the Bureau on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for daily news and updates. To contact the Bureau of Cannabis Control, call our Call Center at (833) 768-5880, or send an email to [email protected].
Setting up Eureka as a “one stop shop” will not “improve the regulatory climate” for the majority of growers who may wish to apply for permits. The article comments that “North Coast cannabis farmers have periodically been left out of the various public meetings held by Cannabis Control regulatory agencies…in the multi-generational growing region. Whether this improves the regulatory climate remains to be seen.” The only thing the “one stop shop” will improve is collecting revenue from growers, not the regulatory climate.” Only opening up policy-making meetings to farmers who are being regulated will do that. There is close to zero confidence of growers in current cannabis regulations given Mendocino’s notoriously closed unfair policy process. BOS is essentially clueless about how to engage the majority of growers in helping craft regulations that take their views into account. With two Agriculture Commissioners driven out within one week, followed by the imposition of the Mendocino CEO though presumably she has no experience in growing cannabis, who can have confidence in such a state of affairs? As a result, growers are choosing to remain distant from a process they do not trust. That is why very little of the expected revenue is forthcoming. This is a sad situation given that cannabis growers have kept the economy alive for two generations and are not valued except to be milked and excluded from the paradigm shift now underway.