Trevor Wittke has been named the executive director of the Calaveras Cannabis Alliance.
Wittke was officially named the organization’s leader on May 25, but it was not announced publicly until June 3. He takes over an organization that was most recently headed by Caslin Tomaszewski until April.
The new executive director is the owner of Sun Grown Medicinals in Mokelumne Hill. He’s an organic viticulturist who said he grows some of his food in the same beds as he does his cannabis plants.
Wittke, a member of the CCA Board of Directors since December, takes over an organization that represents cannabis farmers throughout Calaveras County at a time of great influence. A proposed cannabis ban is currently working its way through the governmental channels.
A public comment period for an environmental impact report for cannabis cultivation and its impact on Calaveras County is scheduled to end June 14. From there, the county will have to reply to each comment before pushing the proposal to the Calaveras County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors for approval. If a ban is approved, it would go into effect within 30 days. Cultivators would then have up to 90 days to comply with the adopted stipulations.
Wittke said the focus does not change much now that he has been named the executive director of the CCA. Being a member of the board since December, he said he has agreed with everything the organization has done to this point.
The primary goal is to seek a permanent regulatory system in Calaveras County. He said compromises between both sides will likely have to be made.
“The only way we can actually do what’s best is to make sure those two constituencies (the banners and regulators) are upset, so to speak,” Wittle said of the concept of compromise. “The alternative is it’s really, really bad on either side.”
In terms of compromise for cultivators, he said the adoption of some sort of minimum property size in order to farm marijuana could be a solution. He did not identify properties zoned for rural residential farming as an issue.
“We need to set a minimum acreage that’ll work out for the entire community,” he said. “So it’s not a small 2-acre parcel where people have 22,000-square-foot gardens in 2 acres. That’s really the collective problem.”
Wittke identified a “night sky ordinance” as another answer. He said farmers should shine their lights away from neighboring households once the sun sets.
“That’s even affecting us. We have a neighbor on the adjacent hillside and his lights shine,” Wittke said. “We’ve talked to them. We said, ‘Pull your tarps at night.’ It’s basic courtesy.”
Other areas of concern such as noise, water runoff and exposure to dangerous animals already have regulations in place. Wittke said they just need to be enforced under a system that permits marijuana cultivation permanently.