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Cannabis Issue

In February of 2016, I voted that Calaveras County should regulate commercial cannabis cultivation. However, when the Board found the need for an Urgency Ordinance, I was the only dissenting vote for its acceptance.  My vote was predicated on the fact that there were some protections missing in it that I wanted implemented.
The County Planning Department never expected 700 applicants. Due to this underestimation, the UO was poorly implemented due to the lack of a Program Manager that Supervisor Garamendi and I fought for.  Due to the overwhelming burden on staff’s time, other issues developed or were overlooked like accurate reporting, timely inspections and re-inspections, etc.  This burden affected overall work performance but this could have been mitigated with a thorough evaluation of the program needs. Sadly, three Supervisors canceled the program before accurate learnings could be collected and implemented.
Currently we are all living with the ramifications of a cannabis ban. It is obvious in this “ban era” that the County doesn’t have the resources to implement a ban. The County’s budget does not allow for the successful eradication of enough illegal sites to make an impact.
Regardless of my personal feelings regarding recreational use of cannabis, I have made multiple attempts to convince my fellow Supervisors that the only way to decide the cannabis issue is by a vote of the people. Until that time comes I suspect the cannabis issue will create a ‘revolving door’ in each election cycle replacing Supervisors based on their cannabis position. It is time that we find a successful way to regulate the cannabis industry that is here. Until such time that we regulate,  we will be forced to live with those farms that choose not to protect our environment or contribute to our communities.

Committee to Elect Michael Oliveira FPPC#1400869
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