The county’s Cannabis Division staffing shortages, and how to alleviate them, continued to be the main point of cannabis talks over the two most recent county Board of Supervisors meetings.

At the most recent board meeting Jan. 4, David Colbeck, temporary manager of the Cannabis Division, gave the monthly county cannabis update.

“Much of what we’re doing in the (Cannabis) Division is trying to set up the new director for success,” Colbeck said, and to make sure they “have all the tools they need to move forward as quickly as possible.”

At the previous Board of Supervisors meeting, Dec. 21, the board voted to change the position of Program Manager of the Cannabis Division to a Division Director classification in order to increase the position’s pay grade. Sup. Keith Groves, however, thought the pay increase still wasn’t enough to attract the right applicants, or for such a tough job in the county.

“That’s not enough money for a cannabis manager,” Groves said.

County Administrative Officer Richard Kuhns said that the salary could go as high as $93,000 at the current pay grade for Division Director, and to go any higher would require going up another pay level for the position.

“I don’t have a problem with raising this (salary) and I do agree this is going to be a position in which we need the right person, and the right person may cost a little more money, but we’re trying to put everything within the salary schedule,” Kuhns said at the Dec. 21 meeting.

He explained further that to increase the salary range for the Division Director of the Cannabis Department would necessitate doing the same to all other county department and division directors. One possible alternative, he said, would be to further increase the position’s pay grade by making it a Deputy Director position later.

“So if we find the right person and we need to pay the right person, then we can find a way to pay them more?” asked Sup. Dan Frasier.

County legal Counsel, Margaret Long, explained that it could be done, but would require a new application process.

“I think that’s probably our only alternative, given the circumstances that we’re in now. I think not having this higher level will keep a lot of people from applying … I mean quite frankly, this is the worst job in the county,” said Sup. Groves.

As of the Jan. 4 meeting, it was shared that there had only been one application received for Division Director of the Cannabis Division so far.

Colbeck also shared that as of Jan. 4, approximately 80 appendix C checklists from county cultivators were being reviewed by county-hired consultants, with those licenses that had received prior extensions taking priority. Most applications received so far, Colbeck said, have needed better project descriptions, more location specific information and to make sure all required documents are submitted with the appendix checklist.

Thursday night's Planning Commission meeting has been canceled.

Likewise, the Trinity County Fair Association and annual meeting and dinner has been postponed to Thursday, Jan. 27.

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