California Proposes Reducing Cannabis Taxes to Fight Illicit Market 

Assembly Bill 286, dubbed the Temporary Cannabis Tax Reduction bill, would temporarily cut state excise taxes for legal marijuana retailers from 15 percent to 11 percent and also suspend cultivation taxes altogether through 2022.  The proposed legislation, which is sponsored by state Treasurer Fiona Ma.  “The whole aim of legalization is to compete with the illicit market and to get people to buy from the regulated establishments,” he said. “You can’t do that if the taxes are so high and onerous that people are driven out of that market.”

This is at odds with the taxing scheme in Humboldt were the black market is estimated to be 1,500% larger than the white market.  Yesterday, the Court refused to dismiss the Measure S lawsuit attorney Eugene Denson and I filed. The lawsuit seeks to return the tax to a crop tax as approved by the voters. The suit challenges the constitutionality of an amendment our county supervisors made to impose the tax whether or not plants are grown. 

Fred Fletcher

January 29, 2019

Human Rights Update

Judge, Haywood S. Gilliam Jr. of the US District Court in Oakland, on Sunday granted a request by more than a dozen states to temporarily block the Trump administration from putting into effect new rules that would make it easier for employers to deny women health insurance coverage for contraceptives. 

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

New Laws in California for 2019

Farm Employee Overtime

In 2016, California became the first state in the U.S. to require employers to pay overtime for farmworkers who work more than eight hours. The first phase of the new rules will begin in January, when agricultural employees will earn overtime after working 9 1/2 hours in a day or 55 hours in a week. Currently, California farmworkers can get overtime after working 60 hours in a week or 10 hours in a day.  The change only applies to businesses that employ at least 26 people. The rules do not apply to smaller agricultural employers until 2022. Discloser, our office consults with agricultural employers on compliance matters and we represent employees on wage and labor claims. Aside from wage and hour claims, sexual harassment and discrimination are constant concerns on the farm. 

Street Vendor Permits

A law going into effect in January will allow local governments to design permit programs for vendors and limits when they can be criminally prosecuted. It pertains to anyone selling food or other merchandise from a pushcart, stand or “non-motorized conveyance.” I anticipate the City of Eureka will embrace this new law and its economic benefits. I predict the County will ignore this law until the County is forced to follow it by a judge.  

Home Kitchen Businesses

A new law encourages Counties (like Humboldt) to permit home kitchens for the purpose of selling food products. California Assembly member Eduardo Garcia, who authored the bill, says that homemade food sales are a vital part of self-reliant communities. “Legitimizing these home businesses will offer a means of economic empowerment and pathways for many to achieve the ‘American dream,’” Garcia said when the bill was signed. Humboldt historically resists new opportunities which provide residents access to residual income. Perhaps after the County Supervisors election in 2020 progress will be made on this front.  

Fred Fletcher

January 17, 2019

The Measure S Lawsuit

Measure S is the cannabis cultivation tax the voters passed. We are challenging the County Supervisor's decision to amend Measure S as passed by the voters. The Supervisors amended the tax to apply to the property owner, not the farmer, and regardless of whether any crop is grown.  

Yesterday, we filed our response to the County's demurrer to the Measure S lawsuit. (Set to be heard January 28, 2019.) The County hired a large Sacramento Firm (founded the year I was born) to defend the lawsuit. They argue it's impossible to tax farmers for the actual crop grown because the County can't verify how much was grown. We informed the Court, governments since the beginning of governments have taxed farmers for crops actually grown, and we cited the Book of Genesis as our evidence.  

The amendments by the Supervisors have been misreported. The Supervisors amended Measure S to tax the permitted area regardless of the amount of crop grown.  As such, the supervisors have amended the tax to be assessed against fallow land, without regard to crop grown. We provided the Court authority that Measure S as amended is a property tax and is unconstitutional. We ask the Court to return Measure S to its original state which acted as an excise tax on legal crop actually grown. 

We will update this one. 

Fred Fletcher

January 15, 2019


County Supervisor's Can't Silence Critics, including Humboldt's Supervisors. 

In a 3-0 decision, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Phyllis Randall, chair of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, violated the First Amendment free speech rights of Brian Davison by banning him for 12 hours from her “Chair Phyllis J. Randall” facebook page.

Last election my office received a few complaints from citizens who were censored for making comments critical of politicians, on the left and right (somehow our local politics are becoming politically polarized). Now these citizens may have recourse. This First Amendment decision could impact local elections nationwide by allowing the public to be heard.    

Fred Fletcher

January 8, 2019

Update on Nation v Trump filed in the 9th Circuit

This lawsuit challenges HUD's rule which forces subsidized apartments to evict medical cannabis users. Plaintiff was evicted from her HUD apartment on July 10, 2018 when a maintenance man discovered some medical cannabis in her bedroom. She remains homeless and is not alone.

The lawsuit not only challenges HUD's rule but relies upon Murphy v NCAA (decided May 2018) to challenge the constitutionality of the Controlled Substance Act itself relative to medical marijuana in the State of California. The Supreme Court in Murphy v NCAA resurrected from near death the anti-commandeering doctrine, which in laymen's terms means the Congress cannot make orders directly to the States. 

We are optimistic this lawsuit will prevail. If the District Court issues an order in our favor appealing the decision would pose a political pitfall for the Trump administration. 

I will update this one.

January 3, 2019

Fred Fletcher 

Update on Volkswagen Diesel Fraud Case

We filed an action in Butte County on May 17, 2018 with the intent of having a jury decide punitive damages. We would be the first party to bring the defeat device case to jury trial.  Peer reviewed studies proved thousands of people with lung diseases died from the fraud.  

 

Showing Tag: " california" (Show all posts)

California Growers Association Sues the State

Posted by Fred Fletcher on Thursday, February 8, 2018, In : California Growers Association 
The California Growers Association has sued the State of California claiming the State has violated proposition 64 by not capping license numbers yet.  I find this suit humorous. First, the allegations are a mere 7 pages without much substance. Maybe an intern was paid a gram or two to draft this complaint in a Sacramento dorm room?  



The lawsuit seeks an order limiting licenses based on language in 64, the recreational proposition. If a judge agrees and only imposes a limit on recreational li...
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Licensing Authorities Announce Withdrawal of Proposed Medical Cannabis Regulations

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Friday, September 29, 2017, In : Cannabis Regulation 

Agencies Also Post Summary of Public Comments to Cannabis Web Portal

SACRAMENTO – California’s three cannabis licensing authorities announced today the official withdrawal of the medical cannabis regulations that were proposed in late spring by the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Cannabis Control, Department of Public Health’s Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch and Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing. The official withdrawal will occur Oc...


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Boss tells state workers: Kick ICE out of California labor office

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Friday, August 4, 2017, In : ICE 
California’s top labor law enforcer wants federal immigration agents to stay away from offices where state investigators weigh claims about underpaid employees and workplace retaliation.

Labor Commissioner Julie Su last month directed her staff to turn away Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents unless the federal officers have warrants.

Her directive followed three instances over the past 10 months in which immigration agents sought information about California workers who had filed clai...

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BUREAU OF MARIJUANA CONTROL PROPOSED TEXT OF REGULATIONS

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Saturday, April 29, 2017, In : Cannabis Regulation 
BUREAU OF MARIJUANA CONTROL
PROPOSED TEXT OF REGULATIONS
CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS
TITLE 16
DIVISION 42. BUREAU OF MARIJUANA CONTROL
CHAPTER 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO
ALL BUREAU OF MARIJUANA CONTROL
APPLICANTS AND LICENSEES
Article 1. General Provisions
§ 5000. Definitions
For the purposes of this division, the definitions in this section shall govern the construction of this division unless otherwise indicated.
(a)
“Act” means the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act.
(b)
“Addr...

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PROPOSED REGULATIONS FOR MEDICAL CANNABIS CULTIVATION PROGRAM

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Saturday, April 29, 2017, In : Cannabis Regulation 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PROPOSED REGULATIONS FOR MEDICAL CANNABIS CULTIVATION PROGRAM
Article 1. Definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................... 1
§ 8000. Definitions. ................................................................................................................................................................... 1
Article 2. Applications .....................

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California opens access to public business conducted on private devices

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Thursday, March 9, 2017, In : Business 
Communications by government officials in California who use personal devices or email accounts to conduct official business may be subject to disclosure under the California Public Record Acts.

In a unanimous decision welcomed by transparency advocates, the California Supreme Court overturned an appellate court ruling. “If public officials could evade the law simply by clicking into a different email account, or communicating through a personal device, sensitive information could routinely ...

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The Business of Bubbles

Posted by Fred Fletcher on Friday, February 3, 2017, In : Business 
The first recorded financial bubble was the tulip bulb mania of 1637.  A crave over Europe drove the price of tulip bulbs to ridiculous heights. Some single bulbs sold for the modern day equivalent of millions of dollars. A traders' market resulted with speculators. Many people became wealthy overnight. But one day a single bulb failed to sale at the market, and the market collapsed in hours. Many lost everything. 



The same dynamics which created the Tulip bubble were responsible for the tech ...
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New Bill aims to Protect Branding in Humboldt

Posted by DeLacy Fletcher on Thursday, January 26, 2017, In : Marijuana Regulation 

No. 175
Introduced by Senator McGuire

January 23, 2017


An act to amend Sections 19332.5 and 26063 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to marijuana.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 175, as introduced, McGuire. Marijuana: county of origin: marketing.
The Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) provides for the licensure and regulation of medical marijuana, which responsibility is generally divided between the Bureau of Marijuana Control within the Department of Consumer Affairs,...

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Wine Industry Concerns by Fortune

Posted by DeLacy Fletcher on Tuesday, January 24, 2017, In : Business 
The U.S. wine industry is poised for another banner year in 2017. Sales are projected to rise by as much as 6% and the total harvest in California—by far the largest wine-producing state—should climb 7% to nearly 4 million tons crushed. The coveted millennial generation is increasingly paying more attention to wines.

Those trends all imply that the wine industry is crushing it. Higher sales, mostly fueled by "premium" priced wines at $9 or higher, bode well for big producers like E&J Gallo...

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California Water Bill Passes: Big Implications

Posted by Fred Fletcher on Sunday, December 11, 2016, In : Water Bill 

The California water bill now ready for the president's signature dramatically shifts 25 years of federal policy and culminates a long and fractious campaign born in the drought-stricken San Joaquin Valley.

A rough five years in the making, the $558 million bill approved by the Senate early Saturday morning steers more water to farmers, eases dam construction, and funds desalination and recycling projects. Its rocky road to the White House also proved a costly master class in politi...


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Is forming a Non-profit Marijuana Business Stupid?

Posted by Fred Fletcher on Friday, November 25, 2016, In : Marijuana Non-profit 
Humboldt criminal lawyers are preparing for a career change with cannabis becoming legal in California. As a civil and business attorney for 12 years, it is alarming to see all the rookie mistakes being made. 



Some cultivators with sizable operations are being advised to form non-profits. This could be disastrous. The State of California is no longer playing dumb. The State realizes most marijuana businesses are for-profit. AB 266 and proposition 64 both recognize cannabis businesses are for-p...
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Project to Expand Green Business in California

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Friday, November 4, 2016, In : Green Business 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $173,479 to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to help small and medium-size businesses across the state reduce their environmental impacts. Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, announced the grant at Mandela Foods Cooperative, in West Oakland, one of several local businesses to “go green” with CARB’s assistance.

“Pollution prevention efforts can save money by increasing efficiency a...


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Non-Compete Agreement Ruled Unenforceable by California court

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Wednesday, October 26, 2016, In : Contracts 

Readers will know that California marches to its own drummer when it comes to the enforceability of covenants not to compete. California Business & Professions Code Section 16600 declares these covenants void unless they fall within a statutory exception. Nonetheless, some companies continue to insist on including non-compete clauses in their agreements.  Sometimes, they even try to enforce these clauses with lamentable results.  Such was the case of Robinson v. U-Haul Co. of Cal., Cal. Super...


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Humboldt’s Experiment with ‘Track and Trace’ Marijuana

Posted by Fred Fletcher on Tuesday, October 25, 2016, In : Track and Trace 
As legal states for medical and recreational marijuana continue to expand across the United States, the regulatory regimes overseeing the production and sale of pot are getting more sophisticated. In California’s Humboldt County (reputed as part of the Emerald Triangle, the largest cannabis-producing region in the country), the county government is currently operating a pilot program to “track and trace” legal medical marijuana from grower to dispensary to patient.

While “seed to sale...

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Convictions now required to seize cash or property from criminal suspects

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Monday, October 3, 2016, In : Civil Forfeiture 

Law enforcement officials across California will no longer be able to share in the proceeds of most cash and property seizures unless there is a criminal conviction resulting from the case, under a bill signed Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The legislation, authored by Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, represents a significant win for civil-right advocates, who have complained for years that the law gives police and sheriff agencies a financial incentive to seize cash and other assets.

“Wh...


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Proposition 64 the Adult Use of Marijuana Act

Posted by Fred Fletcher on Wednesday, September 14, 2016, In : Proposition 64 
The Adult Use of Marijuana Act is poised to pass this November in California. Prop 64 provides a comprehensive regulatory scheme for the cultivation, manufacturing and retail sale of cannabis. It also imposes taxes of $9.25 per ounce for flowers and $2.75 per ounce for leave. 

With the recent gun ban for 215 card holders recreational marijuana has a huge advantage. Consumers not cultivators will shape this new industry. Consumers shape every industry and the marijuana industry will be the same...
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California farmworker overtime bill signed by Jerry Brown

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Tuesday, September 13, 2016, In : Agriculture 

Gov. Jerry Brown, a onetime champion of farmworker causes whose relationship with farm labor appeared to fray in recent years, signed legislation Monday granting agricultural workers the same right to overtime pay as other Californians.

The bill’s enactment marked a major victory for the United Farm Workers union – and a setback for industry interests – six years after Brown’s predecessor, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, vetoed a similar bill.

Brown, a fourth-term Democrat, signed Assem...


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California nearing 5-year low in rate of small business job growth

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Friday, September 2, 2016, In : Business 
The rate of California's small business job growth has dropped even further from last month and is now nearing a five-year low for the state, according to a report from payroll processing company Paychex and market research firm IHS.

The report's small business jobs index takes into account data from more than 350,000 small businesses across the country to track employment trends. An increase in the index number corresponds to an acceleration in job growth, while a decrease means that growth i...

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California Bill allows Landlords to Ban Smoking Medical Cannabis

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Thursday, April 28, 2016, In : Medical Marijuana 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) — With California voters preparing to decide on whether to legalize recreational marijuana this November, a state lawmaker pushed a bill to allow landlords to ban medical marijuana use in their rental units.


Assembly Bill 2300 (AB 2300) would expand a current state law that gives landlords the authority to prohibit cigarette smoking on their properties to include medicinal marijuana as well. The measure authored by Jim Wood passed its first Assembly committee unanim...


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California cabernet sauvignon new releases

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Wednesday, April 27, 2016,

This list was published in the Wine Guy section of Gazette Colorado Springs

 
Top values

With these wines, expect quality at an attractive price:

- 2013 Rodney Strong Alexander Valley ($28). This is a perennial value with admirable complexity and refined tannins, enabling it to entice drinkers into early consumption but also tempt them to wait a few years and see how it develops.

- 2012 Murphy Goode Alexander Valley ($26). This 100 percent cab wine shows lush, soft fruit and texture with a b...


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California targets Morgan Stanley For Fraud on Investors

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, In : Kamala Harris 

SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline)California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has filed a lawsuit against Morgan Stanley for allegedly misrepresenting complex investments like mortgage-backed securities that contributed to the global financial crisis and to major losses by investors that included California’s public pension funds, which provide retirement security to California peace officers, firefighters and teachers. 



Harris’ office alleges Morgan Stanley violated the False Claims A...


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Drug makers spend big to fight California price control referendum

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Monday, April 25, 2016, In : Consumer Watchdog 

Drug companies are expected to pour $100 million into an effort to squash the referendum in what will be a test of the industry’s strength at a time of growing consumer backlash against drug prices. The initiative would require the state to pay no more for prescription drugs than the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs — one of the few federal agencies allowed to negotiate drug prices.


From the industry’s perspective, California could set a dangerous precedent. Besides having an econom...


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Crab health advisory lifted south of Humboldt Bay

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Sunday, April 24, 2016, In : Humboldt Bay 

Recreational crabbers were given a little more territory to snare tasty Dungeness on Friday when the California Department of Public Health lifted its health advisory along the coast up to Humboldt Bay.


Restrictions on catching the crustaceans were quickly lifted after the decision by Karen Smith, the state health officer. It means crabs can be caught for sport along the California coast up to Humboldt County, including all the waters in the bay.

Commercial crab fishing is still not allowed...


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California legislative panel has approved seven gun-control bills

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Friday, April 22, 2016, In : Gun Control 

Democrats on the Senate Public Safety Committee voted Tuesday to require that people who make homemade guns get a background check and apply for a serial number. Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon says the bill would help police track guns used in crimes. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar measure in 2014.

SB-1407 Firearms: identifying information. Introduced by Sen. Kevin de Leon, this bill would require people who make homemade guns to get a background check and apply for a ser...


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California considering bill to support Gig Unions

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, In : Gig Economy 

Uber drivers may soon have the right to unionize in California. 

AB 1727, or the California 1099 Self-Organizing Act, would radically alter rules surrounding independent contractors and eliminate some of the very benefits of working for yourself. Under the bill, groups as small as 10 contractors could choose to negotiate together. In the case of Internet platforms, this could mean that some companies are required by law to meet and negotiate separately with as many as 10,000 different groups o...


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China Sunny on California

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Sunday, April 17, 2016, In : China 

More money flowed from China to California businesses from 2000-2015 — $8 billion — than to any other U.S. state, according to a study by the National Committee on US-China Relations. The study did not say how much red money was invested in Humboldt County. 




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Economically Depressed Cities Turning to Cannabis

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Friday, April 15, 2016, In : Commercial Cannabis 
Adelanto, California is a dusty desert town just west of Interstate 15. Since the 1992 closure of George Air Force Base (once the area’s main employer), the town has struggled mightily to find a steady source of income.

There was an expensive but failed attempt to build an international passenger airport on the shuttered base. A Chinese-backed venture called Da Zhong Hua Wholesale Town broke ground but faltered. Even the local minor league baseball team turned into a costly burden.

The only i...

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Judge says energy companies bilked California out of $1.1 billion

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Thursday, April 14, 2016, In : Energy 

A federal hearing officer has ruled that two energy companies defrauded the state of California out of $1.1 billion on a series of long-term electricity contracts that state officials signed at the height of the energy crisis.

The ruling, an initial decision by an administrative law judge at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, found that Shell Energy North America and Iberdrola Renewables LLC conned state officials during negotiations over long-term energy deals. The Shell contr...


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Arcata on List of Cities with Most Income Inequality

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Wednesday, April 13, 2016, In : Economy 
The Sacramento Bee has ranked the cities in California with the most income inequality and Arcata is on the list. According to the report 52.9% of all income in Arcata is controlled by the wealthiest 20%. 
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El Niño Has Helped Fill California’s Biggest Reservoir

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, In : Drought 
Californians, say hello to an old friend. After four years of drought, the state’s largest reservoir is again a reservoir instead of a mudpit.

Lake Shasta, located in the northern half of the state, was down to just 29 percent of normal storage capacity as recently as December. But one of the strongest El Niño’s on record has helped steer rain to the reservoir as well as much of the rest of northern California. The result is a sight not seen in quite some time: Lake Shasta is at 109 perce...

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California to expand paid family leave for new parents

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, In : Family Leave 

Reuters reports California will increase the amount of money new parents can receive through the state's paid family leave program under a bill to be signed on Monday by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, his office said Friday.
The measure, passed last month by the state legislature, would increase the amount paid to new parents or people caring for a sick family member to as much as 70 percent of their regular income for the poorest workers, up from 55 percent. Those earning more would still g...


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PPIC: Regulation Marijuana in California

Posted by Fred Fletcher on Friday, April 8, 2016, In : Marijuana Regulation 
Fresh off the press. Click here to download. 



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California considering 5% workers comp premium cut

Posted by Fred Fletcher on Friday, April 8, 2016, In : Economy 
California employers could see an average 5% cut to the premiums paid for workers compensation coverage starting in July under a proposal announced Thursday by the state Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau. Read more here

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California lawmakers propose 15 percent marijuana sales tax

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Monday, February 15, 2016, In : Marijuana Regulation 

SACRAMENTO — California would levy a new 15 percent tax on medical marijuana sales to enforce new regulations and pay for state programs, rehabilitation and parks under a bill introduced Wednesday.

The Marijuana Value Tax Act could bring the state more than $100 million in new revenue. The tax was anticipated after the state passed historic regulations last year that require state and local licenses for medical marijuana businesses under the new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulations.

“Now...


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Will "Last Chance Grade" and a lasting economic impact on Humboldt?

Posted by Fred Fletcher on Monday, February 23, 2015, In : Development 
Ten miles south of Crescent City lies a stretch of highway prone to landslides, over 200 since the road was constructed. Caltrans is contemplating constructing a bypass farther inland.  The costs of a bypass could be over $1.07 billion. One of our supervisors Rex Bohn stated over 50 businesses travel between Crescent City and Humboldt weekly. The real number is around 340 businesses if you include the marijuana industry. If nothing is done and this portion of road is closed the economic impac...
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