Never in a million years did I consider the idea of a cannabis trade association, let alone be the one to create such an organization in SLO County. Yet that’s what happened in January 2017, just in time for our group to be included in the city and county cannabis regulatory discussions. The San Luis Obispo County Cannabis Business Association, Inc. (SLOCCBBA) was formed to aid in bringing the local, licensed, and legally operating cannabis businesses a strong voice of representation to the city and county governments as well as the community.
Throughout the strange and surreal journey I’ve been on for the past year, I’ve had to be a quick study of what is literally the largest unregulated, fully functioning industry operating in the state. I’m continually blown away by the intelligent, caring, innovative, and brave people working in this risky business. These folks, together with SLOCCBA, are determined to bring cannabis products to the legitimate marketplace and to have them accepted for their therapeutic qualities as well as for enjoyment, just as local wine, brewery, and ag products are accepted.
Our city and county policy makers are just now starting to get a real sense of the diversity of people making up our local cannabis industry. In the past several months as the industry participants are slowly coaxed into the light of legitimacy, it is increasingly difficult to deny the passion the people of this industry have for health and well being.
It’s a beautiful thing to watch traditional stereotypes start to unravel. New relationships are discovered as the people of this industry reach out to bridge gaps with policy makers and law enforcement. Professional services such as insurance, investment advisers, contractors, and hospitality are peeking into this space to see where they may be able to be of service to the industry. The spirit of innovation has been sparked in many of our younger, as well as, seasoned entrepreneurs. SLOCCBA is excited to provide the connections, information and support to help these dreams come true.
The San Luis Obispo County Cannabis Business Association Supports Local Cultivators
Many risks will continue to face these tried and true California cultivators and business operators. Tax greed, bad apples, big corp and pharma takeovers are circling out in the dark waters. But there are ways to protect our local interests. Small home-growing cultivators can avoid the danger of extinction by banning together to implement a cannabis appellation much like the wine industry. Cannabis and peripheral business alike can look for support of a local trade association such as SLOCCBA. There is strength in numbers.
The SLOCCBA exists to serve the businesses but we want to be here for the community as well. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of contributing members of society that use cannabis. Sadly, because of judgment and fear of stigma, they are unable to disclose such a precious secret.
Whether or not you agree with recreational or medicinal use, cannabis education opens minds and hearts to a holistic approach in all aspects of health and well-being. Our society has an opportunity to learn from each other through the passing of this law.
Visit: SLOCCBA.org to join. Sign up for our email newsletter for notifications of educational events and networking opportunities. Our events are for members as well as the public. We are also here to field questions and make referrals.
Marie Roth, is the founder of San Luis Obispo County Cannabis Business Association