The Clever Root

Spring 2018

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s p r i n g 2 0 1 8 | 7 7 diverting water or pumping groundwater. Not to mention, the water protections built in for cannabis irrigators represent a new, sustainable approach to irrigation, something California desperately needs. Establishing a cannabis appellation program was another big one. Cannaculture, like viticulture, is an important study, and the laws are taking the first steps in recognizing that. We are still looking forward to the further development of appellations and an Organic certification for cannabis. Those are both currently slated for 2021 but they have been in the works for several years. Did you feel that Proposition 64 undid a lot of the work that you did for two years in Sacramento? Prop 64 definitely undid a lot of the policies that were in place to ensure a level playing field. Proposition 64 created a playing field that openly preferred well-connected, well-financed businesses. This is especially concerning given the prominent role social justice played in the campaign historically. How is it just to provide unlimited growth opportunities to a few, while so many that sacrificed and struggled to get us to this point are shut out entirely? There is not much more to say about that other than we still have a lot of work to do. What are some of the issues you're currently working on, and do you see them getting resolved or into a comfortable position? We are working to drive a conversation about enforcement priorities. With so many California consumers unable to access regu- lated product, there is a lot of money left in the unregulated market. Couple that with the fact that commercial cannabis is banned in most of the state, and there are a lot of good, hardworking farmers left without a paddle. We want to see an explicit focus on violent crime, environmental crime, and public lands/ trespass grows, at least for the first few years while folks are working to make the transition. The state maintained the failed policies of prohibition for more than a century. Passing a law and expecting everything to change in the blink of the eye is unrealistic. What are some your goals for the next 18 months? Ensuring growers and manufacturers can engage in direct marketing, especially at events. Keeping the culture alive depends on our ability to gather together and celebrate— celebrate the struggle, celebrate the progress, and—maybe someday—celebrate victory. We are also especially focused over the next few years on tax reform. We need to do some serious work on reforming cannabis taxes. Specifically, I've long been supporting a tiered tax, where smaller producers pay a lower rate and the state gets more revenue overall. Tax policy can be a great leveler in the marketplace. How long do you think it'll take for the whole industry to come together and feel like it's secure and working? It won't happen until five years after Fed- eral prohibition ends. The California market won't stabilize as long as there are lucrative out-of-state markets. It'll be a decade at least. More than three quarters of the state still has a ban at the local level, and we have heard estimates as many as nine out of ten existing brands have been unable to get licensed. A few conglomerates have accu- mulated hundreds of licenses. These are the preconditions for a major storm—the prod- ucts consumers want aren't available in the regulated market. It doesn't take an economist to guess what will happen next. We have a lot of work to do, in California and in Washington DC. We need to root out the prejudice that prohibition is built upon, and we need to replace that prejudice with new policies and cultures that better reflect science and reality. In the meantime, we are making significant progress, but we should never get too caught up in all of it to sit back, relax and smoke a joint. Well there you have it, straight from the conductor. If the last 24 months are any indication the next decade should be real interesting. Stay tuned to your local CalGrowers info line. Transport Matters Now that cannabis distributors are legally transporting product across the state, security matters. Seth Doulton tells The Clever Root how he came up with his state-of-the-art transport vehicles, Quality Coachworks. During my time working with State Board of Equalization member Fiona Ma, I was tasked with learning all I could about the vibrant cannabis industry, and one of my first trips was to Denver, Colorado, to meet with state officials and stakeholders about their cannabis industry. On the trip, I saw cannabis being delivered in repurposed armored trucks, and on the flight home, I kept thinking there's got to be a better way. I've been involved in the automotive aftermarket business since 1973, and have built a lot of specialty vehicles, and I realized these large, trucks had a lot of issues: heavy bodies, expensive upkeep, and some built-in features that cannabis delivery does not require. They also didn't have the dozens of security features that the state cannabis regulators would require. Not to mention they're expensive and hard to finance. On that very plane ride, I designed and put together a list of what I thought was needed for secure transport of cannabis products, and today, the Quality Coachworks Canna-vans have hundreds of thousands of miles on them and are still running strong. These vans come with over 50 modifications, including insulation, temperature control, camera systems, full-time GPS tracking, LoJack, and security doors. All security delivery vehicles can be outfitted with armored windows and doors for driver protection, and each individual cabinet in the van is digitally controlled, and the driver never knows the combination until he shows up at the dispensary, ensuring no product loss in transit. For more information, visit ■cr

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