The Wall Street Journal, February 4, 2020

The past decade has been difficult for American cities and states, where tax revenues and public-worker pension funds took massive hits as a result of the 2008 economic crisis. Even when the stock market recovered after the financial crisis, superlow interest rates have also weighed on the pension plans. With recreational cannabis now legal in 11 states, public officials are looking to marijuana tax revenue to help shore up government finances and address funding shortfalls. California local governments collected a total of $1.86 billion in revenue from cannabis sales during calendar year 2018 and nearly as much in the first three quarters of 2019, according to Brea, Calif.,-based HdL Cos., a consultant to local governments and public agencies.

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On Thursday, February 6th join Santa Barbara County farmers to discuss the future of agriculture in Santa Barbara County. Good Farmers Great Neighbors Co-Chair John De Friel, will be a featured panelist in an important discussion on land use, water, housing, and labor.

Learn more and join the conversation.

Santa Maria Times, January 23, 2020

Lisa Plowman, director of the Planning and Development Department, said the staff would put all the issues cited by commissioners and their suggested solutions into a matrix they can discuss and prioritize at their meeting Wednesday, Jan. 29.

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KSBY News, January 22, 2020

“This really comes down to what your practices are. So we freeze everything off the field instead of drying anything on the property, which mitigates any terpene removal. We also grow and breed fruity varieties versus the skunky variety,” said John De Friel with Central Coast Agriculture.

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Cannabis Business Times, January 21, 2020

On Jan. 22, Planning Commissioners have set a special hearing in Santa Maria to review a report from the Ag/Cannabis Stakeholder Working Group and discuss proposed Cannabis Zoning Ordinance Amendments prompted by last year’s planning commission meetings.

Prominent within the proposed amendments are a variety of methods to mitigate odor concerns. Since becoming cannabis farmers, John de Friel and Sara Rotman, co-chairs of Good Farmers Great Neighbors, have worked to dispel common misperceptions around the cannabis plant and have advocated best practices amongst their peers.

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Santa Barbara Independent, January 21, 2020

Our fundamental mission is to develop the highest standards in cannabis cultivation. We also share our passion for sustainable farming, environmental stewardship, and healthy communities. — John De Friel and Sara Rotman co-Chairs of the North County Farmers Guild and Good Farmers Great Neighbors

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Amy Steinfeld and Jack Uciferi

Cannabis—whether you support or oppose it, you certainly can’t avoid this topic. But due to the patchwork of local regulations and its status as a Schedule I drug, there’s still confusion over how cannabis is regulated. This article aims to clarify the regulatory regime governing cannabis farms in Santa Barbara County (“County”). Our hope is that with greater understanding of the cannabis industry’s regulatory burden, there will be greater support for policies that allow legal cannabis cultivators to remain viable vis-à-vis extremely sophisticated black market operators who ignore their regulatory and tax responsibilities. Two years after legalization, it’s increasingly clear that a properly regulated market benefits the public, the environment and consumers. In fact, the County, aided by millions in cannabis taxes, has shut down over 40 black market operations and is using the balance of funds to support local public services.

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Cannabis Wire, January 10, 2020

With Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2020-21 budget, big changes are coming for the state’s nascent, legal cannabis market — also the nation’s largest. 

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During the most recent Santa Barbara County Planning Commission hearing where Blair Pence, CEO of the Santa Barbara Coalition for Responsible Cannabis, submitted documentation claiming that cannabis terpenes have an adverse effect on grapes for wine production. His statement was met with a strong rebuttal by opposing counsel presenting the results of an independent study showing no trace of cannabis terpenes in wine.

December 4, 2019, Santa Barbara County Planning Commission Meeting

Watch the presentation from the hearing (1:35 min) and read the lab results: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/
4q6l746ntkrhdgp/AABnkxPapwCxt3bjiAkuWLFQa?dl=0

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said in a Veterans Day message that “protecting care for our wounded warriors and giving vets recovering from PTSD and chronic pain safer alternatives to opioids through medical cannabis should be a top priority.”

Read Rep. Blumenauer’s White Paper Rethinking Marijuana Policy