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UDAF Announces New Utah Cannabis Production Establishment Licensing Advisory Board Members

Senate Bill 192 Medical Cannabis Act Amendments, signed into law March 2021, requires the commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food to appoint five members to the new Cannabis Production Establishment Licensing Advisory Board; this must include a member of the public, a member with knowledge and experience in the pharmaceutical or nutraceutical manufacturing industry, a law enforcement representative, a member of an organization representing medical cannabis patients, a chemist who has experience with cannabis and who is associated with a research university, and the commissioner or commissioner’s designee as a non-voting member (4-41a-201).

Board members were appointed by Utah Department of Agriculture and Food Commissioner Craig W Buttars and underwent Ethics, GRAMA, and Public Meetings Acts Training on June 7 , 2021. Newly appointed board members include:

● Miles Maynes – member of the public
● Edward Bellmar Walker – Chemist at Weber State
● Kevin Potter – Law Enforcement Representative
● Joshua Alden Daniels – Patient Representative

UDAF is still looking for one member with knowledge and experience in the pharmaceutical or nutraceutical manufacturing industry. Qualified applicants should email cannabis@utah.gov for more information on how to become a board member.

 

UDAF Announces $112,500 Startup Grant for the Development of Local Food Hub

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food will be awarding $112,500 through the Local Food Hub Startup and Development Fund to one or more eligible applicants. This grant is the result of a one-time 2021 legislative appropriation (SB 3, Line 2005, Item 256, Senator Gene Davis) and is intended to provide seed funding towards the development of a food hub that connects farm fresh food to consumers along the Wasatch Front. 

Food hubs are innovative distribution centers that act as aggregators for small to medium-sized producers and provide wholesale, retail, and institutional market opportunities including schools, hotels, and restaurants that would otherwise be inaccessible to those producers. Food hubs may also provide minimal processing, e.g. for produce deemed too cosmetically imperfect for retail sales, creating new revenue streams for farmers. 

Eligible applicants must be one of the following: 

  • A Utah based for-profit business 
  • A Utah based non-profit organization with existing 501c3 status 
  • A Utah farmer or group of farmers 
  • A Utah rancher or group of ranchers 
  • An agricultural industry group 
  • An agricultural marketing entity 

Examples of how funding may be used include, but are not limited to: cooler and freezer space, manufacturing and packaging equipment, etc. 

“Utah is one of just five states that lack a centralized food hub distribution system. As we discovered during the last year, it’s incredibly important to strengthen our local food systems to keep the food produced in Utah connected with all Utah consumers.” — Commissioner Craig Buttars. 

“We thank the legislature and the Local Food Advisory Council for their recognition of this need and their efforts in educating the public about the importance of food hubs for Utah farmers, ranchers, processors, and consumers statewide.” — Linda Clark Gillmor, Director of Marketing and Economic Development. 

Find additional information, including a sample application, at https://ag.utah.gov/foodhubgrant. The application window will be open July 1 – August 27, 2021.

 

 

UDAF Urges Extreme Caution with Agricultural Burns Amidst Exceptional Drought Conditions

As the state of Utah is experiencing exceptional drought conditions and has entered the closed fire season of June 1-October 31, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is urging all Utahns, including those in the agricultural community, to avoid burning fires, whether they be recreational or prescribed burns for agricultural purposes. 

“Farmers and ranchers are being greatly affected by the extreme drought conditions this year,” said Craig Buttars, Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Food. “Feed for livestock will be scarce, which is why it will be even more pertinent that we have as much rangeland as possible. Wildfires would be severely detrimental to Utah’s farmers and ranchers.” 

The department recognizes that agricultural or prescribed burns are necessary at times. If this is the case, below are some guidelines to help you burn safely: 

  • Do not burn if not necessary 
  • Do not burn on high wind days 
  • Inform your local fire department that you will be burning, apply for a permit if applicable, and have them on stand by if your fire gets out of control 
  • Have a charged hose and sufficient water to control flare ups 
  • See regulations and additional instructions here:  https://ffsl.utah.gov/fire/burn-permits-and-fire-code/

The Department of Natural Resources, which is closely monitoring the drought and its effects on Utah’s wildlands and forests, echoes the importance of practicing safe burning during this extreme drought year. “Utah is experiencing extreme drought across the state,” said Jamie Barnes, Director of the Forestry, Fire, and State Lands Division in the Department of Natural Resources. “Temperatures are warm and the highs have increased over these last few days. We will start to see an increase in dry fuels and individuals should take caution in all outdoor activities to prevent the starting of a wildfire. Fire sense is very important at all times, but especially in these conditions.” 

UDAF thanks all Utahns for their continued support during these difficult drought conditions and for their efforts in conserving water and preventing wildfires.