Weed woes

Jul 27, 2017

California cannabis growers say California has the best weed in the world and a lot of it, but there's a down side: The state grows many times as much pot as it can consume, and it's illegal to export. So what to do?


From LAT's PATRICK MCGREEVY: "A leader of California’s marijuana industry warned Wednesday that the state’s cannabis growers produce eight times the pot that is consumed in the state so some will face “painful” pressure to reduce crops under new state regulations that will ban exports after Jan. 1."


"Some marijuana growers will stay in the black market and continue to illegally send cannabis to other states, which is also not allowed under federal law, said Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers’ Assn."


“We are producing too much,” Allen said, adding state-licensed growers “are going to have to scale back. We are on a painful downsizing curve.”


READ MORE related to cannabis: Should California start its own bank to serve marijuana companies? -- LAT's James Rufus Koren


There's a 'caucus' in the state Capitol for LGBT staffers and their allies, and the group may be the first of its kind at any Capitol in the county.


From Capitol Weekly's MICHAEL WARREN MOTT: "Bish Paul descended into Empress Tavern’s basement downtown and was greeted with a surprise."


"Over 50 capitol staffers mingled beneath the brick arches a block from the state Capitol. LGBT aides and allies drank and chatted, discussing Sacramento’s LGBT community and shared Capitol connections."


"Supporters showed up in droves to support the first mixer of the LGBT staff association in June, PRIDE month. Organizers believe the association, formed earlier this year, may be the first in the country."


READ MORE related to LGBT: Trump bars transgender people from serving in the military -- Chronicle's Sarah Ravani; Trump cites cost as rationale for new transgender order, but that doesn't hold up --  Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post; Poll: Most San Diegans support transgender troops in all roles -- Daniel Wheaton, Union-Tribune.


Meanwhile, down in the OC, officials are going to the birds -- falcons, that is -- to control the seagulls. Only in Orange County ....


JORDAN GRAHAM in the Register: "High above Orange County’s three landfills, government-hired peregrine falcons circle, under contract, looking for hungry seagulls to chase away or kill."


"The service isn’t cheap: the county has approved $1.8 million in contracts over the past five years for falconry services. The Board of Supervisors approved the last year of that contract on Tuesday, July 25."


"But the program has been extremely effective. In 2013, the first year the county deployed falcons to its landfills, the dumps collectively averaged 458 gull sightings per day, all searching for exposed trash to eat. Last year, that number dropped to two sightings per day."


Some pay days are worth waiting for, according to the numbers from the state controller's office.


From the Bee's JIM MILLER: "A special agent supervisor at the state Department of Justice received more than $695,000 in total wages last year, among the highest salaries reported in the latest batch of state department, California State University and superior court compensation data from the state controller’s office."


"Not bad for a position with a salary range that tops out at about $106,000."


"The reported total wages for the position actually reflect a Department of Justice lawsuit payment to the unidentified employee, a department spokesman said."


Many states are not happy about giving data to the Trump administration's "voter fraud" panel, including California, which for the second time has turned down a request for information.


The LATimes' JOHN MYERS: "For the second time in less than a month, California's chief elections officer has refused to hand over data to President Trump's voter fraud commission, arguing on Wednesday that the inquiry is still part of an "illegitimate" exercise."


"I still have the same concerns," Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. "I can't in good conscience risk the privacy of voters in California with this commission."


"The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which met for the first time last week, originally asked for the information from California and other states on June 29. A federal court refused last week to block the commission's request, though as many as 21 states have insisted they won't hand over details on voter names, addresses and political party affiliations."


Right now, rents are rising faster in Sacramento than any other part of the state, due partly to people trying to escape the crippling costs of the Bay Area.


The Bee's ANGELA HART: "Pricey rents in California’s hottest housing markets – San Francisco and Silicon Valley – are continuing to soar, and new data out this month suggests rising costs in major metropolitan areas are driving people out to search for cheaper living elsewhere."


"The real estate firm Yardi Matrix analyzed trends across California, and found rents are rising faster in Sacramento and the Central Valley than any other part of the state."


"San Francisco is ranked as the most expensive market, with average monthly rents at $2,941, and the Central Valley is the cheapest, with average rents at $985 per month. Some places rent for more, and some for less. But the average, calculated by assessing rental housing with 50 units or more, provides a snapshot on how the market has changed year by year. Here’s the full ranking of California’s most expensive markets, followed by the most affordable."


The eyes of the world are on, uh,  Hawthorne, where the first freeway tunnel for electric vehicles is about to begin construction.


SANDY MAZZA the LA Daily News: "The first electic-vehicle freeway tunnel designed and built by Elon Musk’s Boring Co. could begin construction as soon as October across from SpaceX in Hawthorne."


"The City Council late Tuesday unanimously approved an agreement among The Boring Co., global design firm WSP, and the city to uncover and offset any potential environmental and health effects from the project."


"That review will go on for up to three months but could finish as early as next month, officials believe. Then, the City Council will have to decide whether to seek more aggressive environmental reviews."



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