The goal of the symposium is to explore existing and potential policy options for incentivizing
regenerative cannabis agriculture and best practices for licensed cannabis production beyond
the structure of existing rules and regulations. We aim to bring together policymakers,
nonprofits, cultivators and academics to map out the landscape of bottom-up approaches to
environmental stewardship and explore opportunities to support successful implementation of
Proposition 64 while also upholding the environmental provisions.

Location

Native Forum & BSS 166 at Cal Poly Humboldt, Arcata CA.

Date: April 5th, 2024

Time: 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM

Event Information

Symposium Speakers and Guests

Breakfast at Native Forum – 8:15 am (Free Food!!!)

Opening Remarks – 9:00 am

Regulating Environmental Stewardship: Challenges and Opportunities – 9:15 am

Panelists:

  • Nicole Elliot, Department of Cannabis Control
  • Francis Bean, California Department of Food and Agriculture
  • Cheri Sanville, Senior Environmental Scientist Cannabis Restoration Grant Program, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Mona Dougherty, California Water Board

Moderator:

Stewardship as Legacy: Growing the Licensed Soil – 10:30 am

Panelists: 

Moderator:

Lunch at Native Forum – 11:45 am (Free food!!)

Keynote: 12:00 pm

Cannabis and the Restoration Sector: Reconnecting Rural Industries – 1:00 pm

Panelists:

Moderator:

Academic Synthesis – 2:15 pm 

Moderator:

Cannabis and Environmental Stewardship Symposium Speakers

Regulating Environmental Stewardship: Challenges and Opportunities – 9:15 am

Nicole Elliot

department-of-cannabis-control-director-nicole-elliot-cal-poly-humbold-cannabis-and-environmental-stewardship-symposium-guest

Nicole Elliott is the Director of the California Department of Cannabis Control. Prior to becoming Director of the California Department of Cannabis Control upon its creation in 2021, Elliott was Governor Gavin Newsom’s Senior Advisor on Cannabis at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. Previously, she was Director of the Office of Cannabis for the City and County of San Francisco from 2017 to 2019. Before that, Elliott held multiple positions in the Office of San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee from 2011 to 2017, including Director of Legislative and Government Affairs, Board Liaison, Director of Appointments, and Commission Liaison. She held multiple positions in the Office of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom from 2009 to 2010, including Budget Office Policy Assistant, Director of Scheduling, and Deputy Board Liaison.


Francis Bean

Francis Bean

Fran is a Senior Environmental Scientist in the Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation in California’s Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). He has been part of the CDFA team working on the Cannabis Appellations Program since its inception. Fran is a Professional Geologist with many years of experience in environmental and geotechnical consulting.


Cheri Sanville

Cheri Sanville

Cheri Sanville has served the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) as a
scientist since 2014. She began working for the Department as an Environmental
Scientist in the Timberland Conservation Program (2014 – 2017) and as a Supervisor
for the Coastal Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreement Program (2017 – 2023),
during which time regulators began requiring cultivators obtain a permit or a waiver from
CDFW as part of the state licensing requirements. Currently, Cheri is a Senior
Environmental Scientist in the Cannabis Restoration Grant Program (CRGP) where she
serves a lead role managing grant projects in northern California, coordinating complex
environmental projects, collaborating with branch and regional staff, participating in
technical advisory committees, leading CRGP outreach efforts, and engaging with a
variety of stakeholders on cannabis funding opportunities. Cheri has a diversity of
professional experience conducting botanical, wildlife, and ecological research and
monitoring. Prior to serving CDFW, Cheri managed the botanical program at a private
timber company for 10 years. Cheri is a Switzer Environmental Fellow and past
recipient of a Switzer Environmental Leadership Grant, which she used to create a
watershed education program for youth. Cheri received a bachelor’s degree from the
University of California at Davis and a master’s degree in biology from Cal Poly
Humboldt, where she also completed a teacher preparation program. Cheri is an avid
coastal gardener and creates pollinator habitat.


Mona Dougherty

Mona Dougherty

Mona Dougherty (she/her) graduated from Humboldt State University in 2000 with a B.S in Environmental Resources Engineering, and obtained her Professional Engineer License in 2007.  She has worked for the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board for over 20 years in programs including wastewater, stormwater, wetland dredge and fill, and cannabis cultivation waste discharge regulation.  Currently, she works as a Senior Water Resources Control Engineer supervising the Northern Field Office in Eureka, and supervises the Northern Agriculture Unit at the North Coast Regional Water Board.  She lives in McKinleyville.


Ross Gordon

Ross Gordon

Ross Gordon is Policy Chair with Origins Council, a statewide research and advocacy organization representing 800 small cannabis businesses in Humboldt, Mendocino, Trinity, Nevada County, and Big Sur. He also serves as Policy Director with Humboldt County Growers Alliance, the trade association representing licensed cannabis operators in Humboldt County, and is a co-founder of the National Craft Cannabis Coalition. Ross’ work with HCGA and Origins Council focuses on policy advocacy on behalf of small cannabis producers, including enabling direct-to-consumer sales for small producers, implementing an appellations program for cannabis cultivation, and establishing regulations that favor environmentally sustainable and small-scale cannabis production.


Stewardship as Legacy: Growing the Licensed Soil – 10:30 am

Drew Barber

Drew Barber

Drew is co-founder of Mattole Uplift Co-op. California’s first Agricultural cooperative
for Cannabis. He owns and operates East Mill Creek Farms, a ten thousand square
foot permitted farm in his home of Petrolia on the north end of the Lost Coast. Drew
is a biological consultant, an applied ecologist, a fisheries restorationist, a
Permaculturalist, Fire fighter, Aikidoist, and Dad of two kids. He brings skills,
experience and philosophy from these practices to his work in farming and
organizing small farms for viability in the cannabis market. Drew believes that when
people work together we have the greatest potential for advancement. His hope is
to leave future generations a world that is healthy, abundant, and fun.


Jacques and Amy Neukom

Jacques Neukom

Jacques Neukom co-operates Neukom Family Farm, a certified organic farm of 17 acres located in Humboldt County, California, with his wife Amy and children Hazel and Elsa. Neukom Family Farm is 28 years old and includes a 10-acre, dry-farmed orchard of peaches, pluots, pears, apples, figs, and pomegranates. Another seven acres are dedicated to a wide variety of annual and perennial fruits and vegetables including one acre of wine grapes. They practice sustainable agriculture, dry farming, seed saving, and food preservation. Their food distribution is kept local – 100% of the produce is sold within 45 miles of the farm. Jacques’ and Amy’s primary goal in farming is to lovingly feed and grow their community.


Tina Gordon

Tina Gordon is the founder and owner of Moon Made Farms, a Sun + Earth and DEM Pure certified regenerative sungrown homestead farm in Southern Humboldt County. Moon Made Farms offers a small batch premium flower reserve line that comes directly from the farm. Tina is an advocate for increased access to healthy medicine produced in alignment with nature. After relocating from her hometown of San Francisco to Southern Humboldt in 2007, she was awakened to the healing properties of clean air, fresh water and homegrown food, and this transformation informed her farming philosophy. Before becoming a cannabis farmer, Tina worked as a documentary filmmaker, event promoter and musician, with an emphasis on underground and alternative subcultures. In all of her creative projects, Tina has endeavored to empower the self-expression of those who are underrepresented or marginalized.


Jill VanderLinden

jill van der linden cannabis and environmental stewardship symposium speaker 2024

Jill VanderLinden dry farms in Humboldt County’s Eel River Valley in Shively, CA. She has been dry farming cannabis alongside a biodiversity of fruits and produce on her award-winning CCOF certified organic commercial farm for 17+ years. Preserving and building upon the fertile alluvial soils, the farm uses regionally sustainable standards and practices to grow all on-farm crops without the use of applied water.


Genine Coleman

Genine Coleman

Genine Coleman is the Founder and Executive Director of Origins Council, a 501(c)4 nonprofit education, research and advocacy organization founded in 2019 to serve the historic rural cannabis farming regions of California. Genine is a commercial and fine artist based in the Emerald Triangle. After spending over two decades cultivating medical cannabis in the rural communities of Northern California, Genine pursued the study of cannabis as an herbal medicine with local practitioners. In 2015, Genine became involved in local and state policy advocacy and community organizing as a part of California’s movement to legalize, tax and regulate California’s commercial cannabis industry. She is the Co-founder of the Mendocino Appellations Project and specializes in cannabis appellations policy, research and development.


Keynote – 12:00 pm

Dan Mar

Dan Mar

Dan Mar began his academic journey studying ecology at U.C. San Diego, received his undergraduate degree from Humboldt State University and a teaching credential from CSU Monterey Bay. He is a principal at High Tide Permaculture, a regenerative land-use consultation and project management company.  He was the co-director of the Regenerative Cannabis Farm Award and served as a cannabis compliance consultant specializing in environmental regulations. Presently, he is a lecturer at Cal Poly Humboldt in the Cannabis Studies Department and is a member of the Humboldt Interdisciplinary Institute for Marijuana Research.


Cannabis and the Restoration Sector: Reconnecting Rural Industries – 1:00 pm

Jackee Riccio

Jackee Riccio

Jackee’s career as a wildlife biologist and conservationist has brought her the honor of working with a variety of species and cultures. Living in Humboldt County, she recognized the need for a non-regulatory environmental organization to engage with the local industry, and co-founded Cannabis for Conservation (CFC) in 2018. She continues to develop CFC’s conservation programs, and expand our environmental work to new frontiers and communities. Jackee is an avid horseback rider and backcountry packer, backpacker, skiier, and traveler.


Andrew Black

Andrew Black

Andrew Black is the Executive Director of Sun+Earth Certified which aims to create a world where cannabis is grown regeneratively and organically for the well-being of all people, farmers, and the planet. Sun+Earth Certified is the nation’s only nonprofit regenerative organic cannabis certification program that inspects each certified farm every year, and also helps farmers access grant funding for farm improvements and environmental restoration. Before helping to create Sun+Earth Certified, Andrew worked for 12 years for a non-profit USDA Organic certification agency inspecting hundreds of certified organic farms, dairies, and food processors.


Galen Doherty

Galen Doherty

Galen is a 5th generation Whitethorn Valley resident. He lives with his wife and two young children on their farmstead in the Whitethorn valley, Mattole River headwaters, southern Humboldt County, where they operate a small diversified farm; growing cannabis, veggies, fruits, and cut flowers using regenerative organic practices. Galen is the co-chair of the Humboldt County Growers Alliance Marketing Committee, a previous policy committee member, founding member of the Farm Cut cooperative cannabis brand, and a founding member of the Lost Coast Farmers Guild where he works towards establishment of a cannabis appellation of origin designation in the Mattole watershed region. Prior to (almost) full time farming, Galen was the Lands Program Director for Sanctuary Forest and spearheaded the 1350 acre Van Auken Community Forest Project as well as managing numerous forest health and instream habitat restoration and groundwater recharge projects. He has also received grant funding for fire hazard reduction and water storage for his farm.


Matt Clifford

matt clifford

Matt Clifford recently took the helm of Trout Unlimited’s California Program as State Director. For the past decade he has worked on water rights and instream flow projects throughout coastal California, and has been at the forefront of efforts to improve the effectiveness of the state’s various habitat restoration grant programs, including the CDFW Cannabis Grant Program. Matt also leads TU’s policy work in the California Legislature and before state and federal fisheries and water management agencies. Matt is a 1995 graduate of the University of Montana School of Law, and a 1988 graduate of Northern Arizona University.


Doreen Hansen

Doreen Hansen

Doreen Hansen is the Watershed Program Manager and has been with the Humboldt County Resource Conservation District (HCRCD), since 2011. She has worked to build relationships between landowners, community members, funding and regulatory agencies and organizations in the Lower Eel River and Humboldt Bay watershed. Ms. Hansen provides support to local partners and producers,  oversees HCRCD’s monitoring programs, coordinates with regulatory agencies, and prepares permit applications. Ms. Hansen has assisted in raising over $30 million in funds to support the HCRCD and is the primary grant writer. Ms. Hansen has a strong background in marine and freshwater fisheries and, prior to joining the HCRCD, lead field survey crews for the USDA Forest Service for over 3 years and was a fisheries economics researcher for over 10 years. In addition to watershed restoration work, Ms. Hansen has been involved in HCRCD’s agricultural program providing support for the development of farm conservation plans and assisting producers with agricultural funding opportunities.

Selena Rowan

Selena Rowan

Selena Rowan is the Restoration Director at Sun+Earth Certified, where she is supporting the development and implementation of wildlife habitat enhancement projects on 22 small cannabis farms throughout Northern California. She is working towards her masters in Energy Technology and Policy from Cal Poly Humboldt. Selena has served as a community herbalist and educator since 2008. She and her husband operate Midnight Gardens, a medicinal herb farm specializing in regenerative cannabis in Southern Humboldt. Learn more at www.midnightgardens.com.  


Academic Synthesis – 2:15 pm 

Michael Polson, PhD

Dr. Michael Polson

Michael Polson, PhD, is the director of UC Berkeley’s Cannabis Research Center, a researcher in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy & Management, and a member of the State of California’s Cannabis Advisory Committee. Trained as an anthropologist, Dr. Polson has been conducting ethnographic study around cannabis since 2010. His research focuses on the political ecology of capitalism, as it forms across legal and illegal lines. He is currently leading several projects on topics such as cultivation bans, industrial consolidation, and the transformation of unlicensed markets since legalization.


Chevon Holmes

Chevon Holmes is a former Mendocino County cannabis administrator and land use planner, and Ph.D. student in the Geography Graduate Group at the University of California, Davis. Her current research draws upon her experience as a young Black person during the “War on Drugs” in Saginaw and Detroit, Michigan where she lost several family and friends to death and incarceration. Having studied, consumed, cultivated, regulated, and distributed cannabis as an agricultural product for multiple decades, this intimate familiarity with cannabis as a system informs a novel framework to interrogate how the nexus of ownership, practice, and governance directly shape (de)criminalization regimes and production landscapes as legalization becomes more widespread. The approach is multi-evidence-based to study social ecological systems (SES) with particular interest in how their geographic location plays a role in place making and ecosystem service production where they are located. A classically French trained chef, Chevon received an Artium Baccalaureus magna cum laude in Geography and Honors in History from Mount Holyoke College as a Frances Perkins scholar. An avid competitive Olympic weightlifter, when not working or training, she is likely eating, foraging, or cooking something delicious.


Matt Johnson, PhD

Matt is a professor of Wildlife Habitat Ecology at Cal Poly Humboldt, where he has taught since 1999. He earned a BS in Wildlife at UC Davis and a PhD in Ecology at Tulane University. His interests are in wildlife habitat ecology, with a particular focus on wildlife in agricultural areas and other working landscapes. His goal as an educator is to help students not only learn the skills necessary to become accomplished biologists, but also to foster an appreciation for how good land management practices can benefit both people and nature. As a researcher, his goal is to answer ecological questions that offer practical information for farmers to simultaneously advance their own goals while also helping wildlife.


Dominic Corva, PhD

Dominic Corva

Dominic Corva received his PhD in Geography from the University of Washington, Seattle in 2010. He is the Director of Cannabis Studies at Cal Poly Humboldt, co-Director of the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research, Cannabis Policy Specialist for the California Center for Rural Policy at Cal Poly Humboldt, and Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy, a 501c3 research and education nonprofit he co-founded in 2013. He is also on the Board of Directors for the Humboldt Area People’s Archive (HAPA) and a member of the regional Countercultural History Coalition (CHC). He is the co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Post-Prohibition Cannabis Studies (2021).


Robin Goldstein, PhD

Robin Goldstein is Director of the UC Davis Cannabis Economics Group. His most recent book is Can Legal Weed Win? The Blunt Realities of Cannabis Economics, published in 2022 by the University of California Press. His other books include The Wine Trials, The Beer Trials, and the Fearless Critic restaurant guide series. His research in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Davis focuses on prices, consumer preferences, and impacts of regulations in the cannabis, food, and beverage markets.