Down to one referendum; income threshold raised for cannabis equity program

Jul 27, 2021

July 26, 2021 — Last week saw significant developments in local cannabis policy. The Board of Supervisors raised the income threshold for the cannabis equity program, which has not attracted as many applicants as originally expected. And the challenge to the new cannabis cultivation ordinance, Chapter 22.18, has narrowed to one referendum.

Assessor Clerk Recorder Katrina Bartolomie confirmed Friday that proponents of the Small is Beautiful campaign, which sought to repeal the 10% expansion provision, had not turned in their petitions by the deadline, which was 5pm Thursday.

Volunteer signature gatherers for The People’s Referendum to Save our Water, Wildlife and Way of Life, which seeks to repeal the entire ordinance, reported that they had collected more than 6,000 signatures, which they turned over to Bartolomie’s office on Wednesday. Bartolomie has thirty days to confirm that 3,397 of those signatures are valid, after which the Board of Supervisors will have to either repeal the ordinance or place the referendum on the ballot for a special election.

The Board agreed Tuesday, with Supervisor Ted Williams dissenting, to three changes to the cannabis equity grant program: to raise the qualifying income threshold for applicants  from low to moderate levels, to simplify the application process, and to increase the amount of funding to $50,000 for the direct grant program. Cannabis program manager Kristin Nevedal explained that the low income  threshold requirement had been one of the biggest hurdles for applicants.