Sunday, June 7, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 14

Santa Maria Sun / Letter To The Editor

The following article was posted on May 20th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 12 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 12

Cannabis is a promising industry for the county

By Veronica Benton, Lompoc

I’m writing in response to the article your paper recently published about the so-called “Coalition for Responsible Cannabis” filing a lawsuit against the county of Santa Barbara claiming the county has not provided adequate oversight of the local cannabis farms and businesses that are prospering in our area (“Battle in the valley,” April 30). My family and I moved from Los Angeles in 2009. We moved here because the recession had hit us hard. I was a new mom, my company had downsized, and my husband’s position had been eliminated at the company he worked for at the time.

When I lived and worked in Los Angeles, I held important positions in the finance industry (Lehman Brothers and U.S. Trust Bank, N.A.). Unfortunately, moving to North County meant that I would have to commute a long distance to find a job that paid me somewhat close to what my last position in Los Angeles paid. This was difficult for me because my commute and job got in the way of my availability as a parent.

I have been employed by the cannabis industry since 2018. I now do not have to commute a long distance to get paid what someone with my skills and experience should get paid. This industry has provided me with benefits, a good salary, and the ability to provide for my family when my self-employed husband has been in between job assignments. We can live comfortably, and I am able to be there for my daughter when she needs me.

With everything that is going on in the world at the moment, I have not been concerned about my company being downsized or my position eliminated. The cannabis industry has helped the economy in our county and will continue to do so as long as there are good people who are willing to set their negative perceptions aside and get educated in our industry and farming practices.

We are all hard-working individuals, trying to provide for our families in a new and exciting industry. We have continued to abide by all the laws and requirements that the county has asked of us. We are farmers who share the same commitments that other farmers share. I can only hope that people like Mr. Pence and his coalition can realize that we are stronger together, and we can make our communities a better place to live in.

Veronica Benton

Weekly Poll
What do you think about Aera Energy canceling its project in Cat Canyon?

It's a victory for the environment!
It's a loss of a lot of potential jobs that are needed in North County.
I'm all for renewable energy, but we still need oil and gas.
The county should never approve another oil and gas project.

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