The Trinity County Planning Department announced last week it is no longer accepting new commercial cannabis cultivation license applications until further notice, citing insufficient staffing to process the requests.
License renewals and transfer applications are still being accepted and processed for the 2020 season by appointment only.
Planning Director Kim Hunter said the suspension on new applications, effective Monday, March 16, is a temporary measure necessary because of an extremely high workload and very short staff in the Planning Department and cannabis division. Of 8.5 job allocations in the department, only 2.5 are currently filled, and the county is currently in the process of hiring a new deputy Planning Director to replace Leslie Hubbard who resigned in February.
Hunter said the county cannabis program is also getting very close to reaching its cap of 530 cultivation licenses issued, so an assessment is needed to determine remaining availability. She added that because of the staffing issue, steps have been taken to streamline the application process online in an effort to limit traffic at the front counter.
On Friday, March 20, another announcement came through that the Planning Department office is now closed to the public until further notice to reduce any potential spread of the coronavirus. A Planning Commission meeting scheduled for next Thursday, March 26, has also been canceled for the same reason. Department business may still be conducted by phone, email or appointment.