I think you are missing a growing force in Monterey County Supervisor campaign financing: the cannabis industry — cultivators, manufacturers, retailers and especially the owners/lessors of cannabis-zoned real estate.
The ag industry is mostly benign when it comes to getting supervisors to override decisions of professionals in Resource Management Agency and the Planning Commission. The ag industry is established and need for re-zoning and licensing is rare.
That is not the case in the cannabis industry, with a mere 4 years of history. There is a high demand for zoning overrides, and even a higher demand for oversight of permitting by the Monterey County Cannabis Program.
While contributions by the cannabis industry is currently smaller than the Ag industry or developers and building trade unions, their “meddling” in government affairs is far greater.
Here is an example of what I mean. It is only the beginning.
In terms of the District 4 Supervisor race, the cannabis industry overwhelming is contributing to Steve McShane’s campaign.
Here are the names I have culled from Form 460 filing this and my sleuthing to identify their cannabis affiliations:
- Nader Agha — Owner of former Kaiser Refactories building complex at Moss Landing, now dubbed by the industry “Cannabis Row.”
- Mike Bitar, president of Grupo Flor — Largest owner/manager of cannabis properties in Monterey County, and for that matter all of California.
- Kasra Ajir, CFO of Grupo Flor — Misidentified affiliation as real estate agent, self employed on Form 460
- BAK Festival — Event corporation created by Grupo Flor
- JRG Attorneys — Cannabis attorney in Monterey County
- Paul Moncreif — Attorney who represents cannabis companies
- Hackett Properties — Cultivator
- Riverview Farms — Cultivator
- Sal Palma — Owner of retail dispensary in Salinas
North Monterey County