Blog posts by Peter Nell

Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, events, policy

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) will hold five public licensing workshops in the first quarter of 2018. The workshops are free and open to the public and will provide resources and information regarding state commercial cannabis licensing.    Each workshop will include a brief overview and thorough information from BCC and other state and local agencies regarding cannabis licensing. The workshops will be scheduled to run from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.   January 22, 2018 – Monterey   Monterey Conference Center 1 Portola Plaza Monterey, CA 93940   January 25, 2018 – Santa Ana  ...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

CalCannabis is now accepting applications for annual licenses of commercial cannabis cultivators, nurseries, and processors. Applications are accepted and completed online through CalCannabis’ online portal.    The online portal will accept applications for annual and temporary licenses. A temporary license is valid for 120 days and allows for operations to operate while their annual license applications are being processed.   CalCannabis and the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) host regular licensing workshops to assist members of the public with the application process. Applicants can also...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity

California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel will meet on January 18. The panel reviews and documents agriculture’s positive impacts to the environment and other agriculture issues.    The meeting will occur from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at:   California Farm Bureau Federation 2300 River Plaza Drive, Harvest Room Sacramento, CA 95833   The meeting will also be webcast online for those unable to attend the meeting in person.   The panel’s agenda includes updates on CDFA’s Healthy Soil Program and the State Water Efficiency and...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, events

California’s new Cannabis Advisory Committee will meet on January 18 in Sacramento for the first time in 2018. The committee was formed by the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) to advise the licensing authorities on the development of standards and regulations regarding the best practices and guidelines to protect public health and safety. BCC announced its members last fall.    The meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will be held at:   Sacramento Convention Center, Rooms 307 - 310 1400  J Street Sacramento, CA 95814   Those who cannot attend the meeting in person will be able to tune in...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 8, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, regulatory

In December, the USDA quietly announced its intention to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule (OLPP). OLPP is the product of a 14-year democratic rulemaking effort by the National Organic Standards Board to advise the National Organic Program (NOP). However, since NOP released the final rule in early 2017, USDA continuously impeded its implementation and now is shelving the standards.   Comment now to protect organic standards! Comments are due January 17, 2018.   The rule clarifies animal welfare practices in organic production, including living conditions,...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 18, 2017 on advocacy, cost share, financial assistance, general organic, policy

The National Organic Coalition (NOC) issued an action alert calling on organic advocates to urge their elected officials to support the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (Cost Share) and the Agricultural Management Assistance Act (AMA).    CCOF highly encourages the organic community to rally in support of Cost Share and to follow the steps outlined in NOC’s action alert.    Cost Share is one of the few federal assistance programs that offers specific support to organic producers. The program provides organic producers with a reimbursement of up to $750 of their annual...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 11, 2017 on events, policy, water

The California State Water Board will host workshops across the state to assist cannabis cultivators with the enrollment process of the Cannabis General Order (General Waste Discharge Requirements and Waiver for Waste Discharge Requirements for Discharges of Waste Associated with Cannabis Cultivation Activities) and to obtain water rights under the Cannabis Small Irrigation Use Registration (SIUR) program.   Each workshop is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m. with the following agenda:  Policy Overview 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Break for Lunch (on your own) 12:00 – 1:00 p.m...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 27, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

California’s three cannabis licensing authorities and regulators released their emergency regulations for medicinal and adult-use cannabis ahead of the January 1, 2018 legalization of cannabis.   The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) is the lead agency in developing regulations. Their regulations cover the licensing of retailers, distributors, testing labs, and microbusinesses. BCC’s fact sheet includes licensing information, requirements by license type, testing lab requirements, enforcement information, and more.    CDFA’s CalCannabis is responsible for the licensing of cultivation...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 20, 2017 on events, policy


Last week, CCOF hosted a farm tour for the California State Legislature to highlight the challenges and opportunities for organic agriculture. Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-CA-04) and legislative staff joined Paul Underhill at Terra Firma Farm and Thaddeus Barsotti at Capay Organic Farm. While the tour highlighted the multiple environmental and economic benefits of organic agriculture, it also clearly demonstrated the immense regulatory pressures organic farmers are struggling with today.    Underhill began the tour of Terra Firma Farm by broadly introducing organic and showing real-...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 13, 2017 on advocacy, policy

On November 9, the USDA announced it would once again delay implementation the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule (OLPP).    This was a disappointing announcement for the organic community, which has asked for a long time that the USDA implement the OLPP which would clarify and strengthen organic standards for animal welfare. It was developed with over 14 years of public input and is supported by the vast majority of organic stakeholders as demonstrated by the over 40,000 public comments in support of the OLPP. Despite overwhelming support for the rule, the USDA did not implement...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 23, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, grower, handler, materials, NOSB, standards

CCOF submitted 11 written comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) ahead of the fall 2017 NOSB meeting.   NOSB is the federal advisory committee to the National Organic Program and meets twice per year to discuss organic standards. This fall, the meeting will be held in Jacksonville, Florida from October 31 through November 2, 2017.   At the meeting in Jacksonville, the board will complete the 2019 Sunset Reviews on 43 substances listed on the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List). NOSB will vote to relist the substances on the National List or...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 23, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, research

The California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) released their 2017 agricultural labor availability survey results in a report titled Searching for Solutions: California Farmer Continue to Struggle with Employee Shortages. The report includes data from 762 farmers and ranchers throughout California and its findings are consistent with a 2012 CFBF labor survey.   The report shows that 55 percent of responding farmers experienced employee shortages during the summer of 2017. A majority of farmers reported that they were unable to recruit up to 50 percent of their seasonal workforce needs, with 15...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 23, 2017 on advocacy, general organic

The Organic Center will host a webinar titled How Does Organic Mitigate Climate Change? on October 26, 2017 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. and also on November 29, 2017 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.    Registration for the webinar is now open.   Dr. Tracy Misiewicz, the associate director of science programs for the Organic Center, will present information relating to the Organic Center and the National Soil Project’s study on organic soil. The study shows that soil from organic farm soil is better at sequestering carbon than conventional farm soil. The webinar will provide scientific evidence that...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 2, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, regulatory, standards

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their fall meeting in Jacksonville are approaching! It is critical that members of the organic community submit public comments on the substances up for re-listing or removal from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances and the other NOSB agenda items. The votes and discussions in Jacksonville will impact future organic standards and substances allowed in organic production.   In total, 43 substances will be discussed at the fall meeting:   Crop scope...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 2, 2017 on general organic, standards

USDA’s Natural Resources Conversation Service (NRCS) updated their resources for organic farmers and farmers interested in transitioning to organic. Their organic resources have various resources such as guides, videos, fact sheets, webinars, booklets, and more.    NRCS’s newest booklet, Growing Organic: NRCS Assistance for Organic Farmers, provides a wealth of information for farmers who are interested in implementing practices that support soil health, weed management, habitat and biodiversity, irrigation and water management, pasture management, and high tunnels.   An updated guide for...

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