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Emerald Growers group formed to seek consensus on cannabis

Submitted to The Union

Judging by the record public turnout to the Nevada County Board of Supervisors meeting in May 2012 on Emergency Ordinance 2349, and the spirited public debate over Measure S last November, medical marijuana cultivation appears to be one of the most complicated and high-profile policy issues facing the county today.

The Nevada County Emerald Growers Association is a newly formed local chapter of the Emerald Growers Association, a statewide trade group representing cannabis cultivators, business owners, patients, and advocates. The Nevada County EGA, in the spirit of cooperation and consensus-building, will work alongside policymakers, law enforcement, local businesses and organizations, as well as other community stakeholders on all issues concerning cannabis cultivation in the county.

“We aim to contribute constructive input, guidance and support to the public dialogue regarding the cannabis industry and its implications for the local economy, community relations, land-use policy and the ever-evolving regulatory environment” Nevada County chair and attorney Heather Burke said.

With significant changes on the horizon for statewide marijuana regulatory policy, coming water board regulations and the probable passage of a legal adult-use recreational cannabis initiative in 2016, the Emerald Growers Association is working actively in the legislature and across the state to ensure that California’s cannabis future is healthy, sustainable, and honors the robust heritage of the small farmer.

“It is really an exciting time of opportunity for communities throughout California as this tremendously dynamic sector of economies, particularly rural economies, comes into regulation. There is tremendous opportunity to create thousands of green jobs, generate significant revenue for county governments, all while improving public safety and expanding safe access to the highest quality cannabis,” say Emerald Growers Association Executive Director Hezekiah Allen.

The dialogue that has developed between various community stakeholders in Nevada County over the last few years concerning cannabis cultivation has built bridges, fostered compassion and led to greater community understanding. The Nevada County EGA is looking forward to working in partnership with the Board of Supervisors, the Sheriff’s Office and other community stakeholders in a collaborative and respectful spirit to solve problems and craft sensible, farmer-friendly policy that enjoys broad consensus support.

Visit http://www.EmeraldGrowers.org for information.

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