Last night, Governor Newsom delivered his State of the State annual address from Dodgers Baseball Stadium and although he addressed many relevant and critical issues, a couple of statements stand out to us as a declared essential industry and economic growth contributor that touches every facet mentioned below.

Our agricultural industry feeds the nation….California has the most innovation, venture capital, and small-business investment in this country. We will keep investing and fostering every small entrepreneur – the drivers of our GDP.Gov. Gavin Newsom

We couldn’t agree more. Our cannabis farmers and entrepreneurs have literally led the state in stabilizing the workforce and providing economic security for tens of thousands of workers – 40,000 statewide and more than 2,500 here close to home.

At the national level more than 240,000 cannabis full time jobs have been created and it is currently the fastest growing industry in the United States, showing double-digit growth since 2017.

States such as Arizona, Florida, Oregon and Oklahoma are aggressively attracting more and more investments and government assistance to grow their cannabis economy. According to the recent Leafly 2020 Jobs Report, Arizona, Oregon and Oklahoma cannabis economy grew by more than 19% from 2019 – 2020, creating more than 42,000 full time jobs and having a combined market value of approximately $1.9 billion.

More good news was presented this week by the County of Santa Barbara – general tax revenues exceeded expectations with cannabis taxes leading the way at $3.4 million, followed by property transfer taxes at $2.5 million and sales taxes at $1.7 million. Only county property taxes surpassed cannabis with more than $3.5 million collected. Read more on the Lompoc Record

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams reflected on the good news: “Cannabis has saved public services…I do think there’s a pressing need to use marijuana tax revenue as an ongoing source.” – Santa Maria Times, 3/5/21

According to the California League of Cities, more municipalities that onced banned all cannabis operations will start to open up in 2021, having seen the jobs, tax revenue and public health benefits of a highly regulated industry.

The future economic picture for the state is looking brighter, but we must also stay united and remain diligent against anti-cannabis forces who continue to spread falsehoods and misinformation in an effort to try to undermine the County’s “cannabis ordinance” and state laws.

We are hopeful that better days are ahead and encouraged by the local community leadership to invigorate collaborations between “wine and cannabis” to promote and develop regional tourism initiatives, benefiting our local hotel and lodging industry.

Stay in touch, send us your ideas and join our efforts.

With gratitude,

Sara and John

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