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I have worked in cannabis for twenty years, not as a commercial cultivator, but as a social sciences PhD with the goal of understanding how localities can address cannabis to reduce community harm and increase its public health, environmental, and economic benefits.
That work led to appointments as the first Chairwoman of the Berkeley Medical Cannabis Commission, and a Commissioner for the Oakland Cannabis Regulatory Commission. Although these communities are very different from Mendocino, there are aspects of good cannabis policy that should be universal:
- Give residents a clear voice on any new proposed cultivation site, through public notice and through public hearings.
- Create opportunities for good actors. The legal market is still new and good actors need our support to compete with a strong unregulated market.
- Protect the environment. Unlike the old ordnance, this ordinance addresses impacts of any new farm before a shovel ever touches the soil.
- Place reasonable limits on specific activities that an individual community deems important. In this case, no new projects during the drought, restrictions on hoop houses, and an end to water hauling,
Despite what you may have heard from proponents of the refereda, the new ordinance does each of these things. Representing months of hard work by our elected leaders, and mountains of community input, this ordinance is a recipe for success.
Amanda Reiman PhD MSW
Chairwoman, Medical Cannabis Commission City of Berkeley (Fmr.)
Commissioner, Cannabis Regulatory Commission City of Oakland (Fmr.)