Santa Barbara Independent, June 19, 2019
What set Monday night’s testimonials apart was the strong showing by growers and members of the industry, many of whom have kept low profiles for fear of being discharged by their federally regulated banks. Numerous members of the Van Wingerden and Brand families showed and testified on behalf of a crop they embraced only after international trade decimated their cut-flower business. In contrast to what they used to grow, they argued, cannabis used no pesticides, less energy, and less water. They needed fewer trucks and could pay their workers better. And when it came to area nonprofits, no other donors, they pointed out, were as consistent or as generous.