UKIAH, Calif. – In California’s legacy cannabis growing regions, legal growers and cannabis companies are affected by the pandemic and the global economic downturn like everyone else, but also have been devastated by four years of historic wildfires having scorched the legendary soil in areas that hadn’t burned in generations.
Unfortunately, in these turbulent times, the plight of California’s agricultural areas (also home to wineries, orchards, farms, and rural communities) has been overshadowed by a laundry list of unprecedented issues.
In an effort to highlight the economic challenges facing the states’ growers, California cannabis advocacy organization Origins Council (OC) and its partner alliances launched the Matching Funds Campaign, with the goal of raising $100,000.
Funds raised through the month of February will be used to power the 2021 OC Regional Council Government Affairs Program, to benefit cannabis policy reform.
“Our matching funds campaign follows a cooperative, all-ships-rise model,” Origins Council Executive Director Genine Coleman told mg.
“Funding our government affairs program exclusively through sponsorship preserves membership revenue for our regional partner’s operations and development, directly benefiting their membership. Sponsors gain direct access to our 500 members statewide, strengthening the business ecology within our network.
“This campaign celebrates those that have tangibly invested in supporting the legacy producing communities of California, and the value and values we bring to the world,” Coleman added.
California was already suffering from a historic drought for several years prior to recent wildfires. Many environmentalists fault climate change for the monstrous fires, as well as blazes that consumed millions of acres in Australia, Siberia, and the Arctic, in 2020.
“Humanity is facing an urgent call to action—reform our systems to achieve true sustainability and justice now. The legacy cannabis producing community of California has been driving tenants of this reform for over half a century,” Coleman said.
“The California cannabis industry of today exists because of decades of sacrifice and dedication on the part of medical cannabis patients, providers, medicine makers, farmers, and advocates to end the war on drugs.
“Our work is not done, in many respects the reforms we seek have only just begun. Today the legacy producers of California are organized and committed to working for socio-economic and environmental sustainability—for our communities and for the world. It is an honor to be a part of this historic lineage and movement,” she said.
While conventional agricultural businesses affected by wildfires can access insurance and banking assistance, emergency assistance from federal agencies, and other crisis resources, legal cannabis business are unable to take advantage of most forms of financial assistance, due to continued federal prohibition.
The announcement also noted the rollout of legal cannabis in California has been a decades-long process, “fraught with implementation challenges.”
“To address these issues, the Newsom administration and state legislature is engaged in a massive proposed overhaul of the state’s cannabis regulation and licensing framework through the consolidation of the three cannabis licensing agencies developed in 2017, pursuant to the passage of Proposition 64,” the statement read.
Origins Council provides lobbying on behalf of the industry at both state and federal levels, as well as providing other business resources for its members.
The organization also introduced a regional sponsorship program and is inviting businesses interested in supporting this work and the legacy producing community of California to sponsor its 2021 OC Regional Council Government Affairs Program.
For information about the Matching Funds Campaign or the 2021 OC Regional Council Government Affairs Program, please email: [email protected].