California Cannabis Voice and Its Educational Foundation Raise $20,000 in Humboldt County

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Humboldt’s cannabis cultivators unify to form local PAC leadership. More local PACs planned for neighboring counties.

Sonya Yruel/Drug Policy Alliance

Cannabis flowers on display at a dispensary Sonya Yruel/Drug Policy Alliance

Keeping the funds local enables us to hire local lobbyists with experience, connections and professional backgrounds to address our concerns with the board of supervisors.

California Cannabis Voice’s organizing efforts in Humboldt County paid off on Tuesday, June 3, when approximately 40 members of the cultivating community raised $20,000 for local lobbying and educational activities at a fundraising event at the Harris General Store.

Community members uniformly acknowledged they need to have their voices heard in the county and that contributing to lobbying and education is the only way to do that. Meanwhile, local leadership briefed the crowd on the impending state medical cannabis licensing legislation coming down the pike in the form of Senator Lou Correa’s SB 1262 later this year and the expected state voter initiative legalizing adult use in 2016.

The audience was eager to learn how the Correa bill was developing and how it would impact their livelihoods. There was a sense of relief as everyone understood that they can make a difference by speaking up in a unified manner. And, the crowd was eager to learn how the PAC’s Sacramento lobbyist was working on removing prohibitionist language from the Correa bill.

Indeed, the sound of the wall of prohibition cracking can be heard throughout the country, and those most impacted by those changes are speaking up. Humboldt County residents and members of the cannabis community, who in many ways live at ground zero, want to influence how they will be regulated. Like any trade association and other PAC’s associated with trade groups, the CCV provides an effective avenue for the community. The group understood that and put their hard-earned dollars on the table as evidence of their commitment to their future.    

CCV’s local leadership in Humboldt emphasized that having full control of the funds raised in the county was an essential ingredient in the fundraising. As one speaker emphasized, “Keeping the funds local enables us to hire local lobbyists with experience, connections and professional backgrounds to address our concerns with the board of supervisors.”

Unlike prior attempts to raise money for political lobbying in the county, CCV’s promise to leave 100% of funds raised in the hands of the local PAC leadership dispels concerns about how the money is spent. Those spending decisions are made by the people who donated the money, working in conjunction and with the advice of the PAC’s professional staff and their local leadership group.

CCV is committed to empowering members of the cannabis community by offering leadership training, social media support, assistance with fundraising, and expertise. Local groups are able not only to work on identifying opportunities to influence impending regulations in their cities and counties, but can link up the CCV’s Sacramento lobbyist to coordinate their “asks.”

The success of the meeting was no accident. The local leadership group, about 10 members, each took responsibility for bringing 2-3 people to the meeting. By the end of the meeting, the participants agreed to not only contribute funds but to reach out to more members of the community throughout the county. This methodical and classic community organizing technique – building on networks and long-standing relationships – will continue to be an essential component of the movement to build up the local PAC’s influence in local matters.

This was evident even at the meeting as one of the members of the audience, invited by a member of the Humboldt County leadership team, was from Trinity County and arranged with PAC staff to set up that county’s first fundraiser there.

Those wishing to establish a local chapter of CCV are encouraged to contact the PAC’s staff. As the various groups throughout the region and state organize and hone their fundraising skills, the PAC will coordinate these activities. In unity comes strength and this message is being heard loud and clear throughout the grassroots.

About California Cannabis Voice:
The mission of California Cannabis Voice is to identify, educate and unite stakeholders whose lives are impacted by medical cannabis to support the passage of fair and reasonable regulations. By working with stakeholders, even those traditionally opposed to marijuana, a bill can be crafted that fills in the gaps of Proposition 215 and provides a solid foundation for future legislation. Doing so will empower communities and protect business owners and patients. Sign up for the CCV newsletter to keep up to date.

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Allison Edrington
since: 04/2014
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