March 1 Tax Deadline Nears for Many Farmers and Fishermen

February 24, 2017 at 12:14 PM

 IRS Direct Pay Offers an Easy Way to Pay Taxes

WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service is reminding farmers and fishermen about Wednesday’s deadline to take advantage of special rules that can allow them to forgo making quarterly estimated tax payments.

Taxpayers with income from farming or fishing have until Wednesday, March 1to file their 2016 Form 1040 and pay the tax due to avoid making estimated tax payments. This rule generally applies if farming or fishing income was at least two-thirds of the total gross income in either the current or the preceding tax year.

Since 2014, IRS Direct Pay has offered individual taxpayers an easy way to quickly pay the tax amount due or make quarterly estimated tax payments directly from checking or savings accounts without any fees or pre-registration.

IRS Direct Pay is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be scheduled up to 30 days in advance. Last year, IRS Direct Pay received more than nine million tax payments from individual taxpayers totaling more than $31.6 billion.

When a taxpayer uses the tool they receive instant confirmation after they submit their payment. Direct Pay cannot be used to pay the federal highway use tax, payroll taxes or other business taxes.

Taxpayers who wish to pay their federal business taxes electronically should enroll in the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), or visit IRS.gov/payments to check out other payment options.

Farmers and fishers choosing not to file by March 1 should have made an estimated tax payment by Jan. 17 to avoid a penalty.

New tax in 2018

February 23, 2017 at 12:07 AM

In January 2018, there will be a new 15% excise tax imposed by the state.

  • In January of 2018 the state will impose an additional 15% Excise tax on all cannabis sales.
  • Even patients with a California Patient ID card will need to pay this tax.
  • However, the good news is that patients with a CA Patient ID card will still continue to be exempt from the standard 8.75% sales tax.
  • Both recreational users and medical cannabis patients without a CA Patient ID card will pay the 15% excise tax, 8.75% sales tax, and the 10% Measure U tax

Accepting applications for the Cannabis Advisory Committee

February 14, 2017 at 12:39 PM

13 February 2017

Hello CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Stakeholders:

We would like to inform you that the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation (BMCR)  is now accepting applications for the Cannabis Advisory Committee to advise the bureau on matters relating to both medical and adult recreational use of cannabis.

The committee will advise BMCR and the other licensing authorities—the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing and the California Department of Public Health’s Office of Manufactured Cannabis Safety—on the development of regulations that protect public health and safety while ensuring a regulated market that helps reduce the illicit market for cannabis. In addition, starting January 1, 2019, the committee will publish an annual public report describing its activities during the previous year, including any recommendations it makes to the state licensing authorities.

Committee members are selected by and serve at the pleasure of the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs. The committee will consist of representatives from diverse backgrounds, including the cannabis industry, labor, state and local agencies, public health experts, representatives from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control with expertise in regulating intoxicating substances for adult use, individuals with expertise in the medicinal properties of cannabis, and representatives from communities disproportionately affected by past federal and state drug policy, among others.

Members will not be paid but will be reimbursed for any necessary travel for approved advisory committee meetings.

Individuals interested in serving on the committee can access the online application here:http://www.bmcr.ca.gov/about_us/documents/commitee_application.pdf

For additional information about BMCR, or to subscribe to email alerts to hear about updates as they become available, please visit the BMCR website: http://www.bmcr.ca.gov/.

Thank you,

CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing
California Department of Food and Agriculture
calcannabis.cdfa.ca.gov

CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing was previously called the Medical Cannabis Cultivation Program (MCCP).

San Diego legalizes recreational pot dispensaries

February 11, 2017 at 3:34 PM

San Diego is the first local city to approve recreational marijuana sales since state voters approved Proposition 64 in November, and no other cities in the county have indicated they intend to follow suit.

Read more here

Ordinance 925

February 11, 2017 at 1:39 PM

Please review Ordinance 925 to ensure you understand the cultivation prohibitions in unincorporated Riverside County.

 

 

State funding may help farmers overcome challenges to improved soil practices

January 17, 2017 at 6:05 PM

Improved soil promises to help farmers use less water and reduce carbon in the atmosphere. Jesse Sanchez, manager at Sano Farms in Firebaugh, said 15 years ago, tractors were rolling across the 4,000-acre tomato farm all the time. Now, the farm features cover crops in the winter, reduced soil tillage, irrigation with super-efficient buried drip tape and lower fertilizer needs. The result is a one-third drop in water use and a 75 percent reduction in diesel to fuel tractors, Romero said.

http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=22798

SB 3 – Minimum Wage

January 17, 2017 at 6:01 PM

Minimum wage in the state is set to gradually increase to $15 by 2020. Under this updated law, the first wave of increases will take the minimum wage to $10.50 per hour on Jan. 1 2017, for businesses with more than 26 employees. Businesses with fewer employees have an extra year to implement the increase.

Farmers can learn how to add value to their products at one-day UC workshop

January 17, 2017 at 5:58 PM

One-day workshop Jan. 25 to help farmers increase profits by processing raw produce into more valuable products, like jams, sauces and baked items.

The workshop provides an update on laws that govern value-added products and gives an introduction to the roles of retailers, distributors and brokers.

 

http://ucanr.edu/?blogpost=22892&blogasset=87394

GMO Labeling Bill

July 23, 2016 at 2:45 PM

 

apples for fb

 

The new GMO labeling bill passed last week has both sides of the issue grumbling. The bill was a response to Vermont’s GMO labeling law in an effort to have a nationwide standard. The measure says that within a few years foods with genetically engineered ingredients will be “labeled.” It’s that labeled part that gets tricky.

According to a New York Times story, companies have several choices for labeling:

  • They can add text to a label stating that it contains genetically engineered ingredients
  • Put a symbol (yet to be determined) on packaging to denote such ingredients
  • Or use a digital link like a QR code that consumers can scan with their smartphone

That QR code part upsets groups that have rallied for direct labeling on the product. On the other side, anti-GMO label organizations aren’t happy with any labeling at all. “I don’t think it’s the best bill we could have, but it’s the best bill we could pass,” Delaware farmer Richard Wilkins told NPR. He’s also the president of the American Soybean Association.

According to the NPR story, the Organic Trade Association opted to support the compromise because “the law includes some special benefits for the organic industry. It includes, for instance, a provision that allows organic food companies to label their products as non-GMO.”

 

 

Federal Funds Available to Help Pay For Organic Certification Fees

July 21, 2016 at 2:08 PM

SACRAMENTO, June 29, 2016 – The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced the availability of $2,180,870 for organic certification assistance to organic operations in California. Funds from the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP) are available through CDFA’s State Organic Program (SOP) to help more organic operations succeed and take advantage of economic opportunities in this growing market.

Cost Share helps farmers and processors afford the expense of organic certification by refunding up to 75 percent or $750 of their certification fees. Cost Share funds are available to any eligible organic operation in California that has received or renewed organic certification between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016.

The SOP administers the Cost Share program in California, and is responsible for reviewing and approving cost share applications. The SOP then works with the State Controller’s Office to process funds for the issuance of reimbursement checks to the organic operations. In addition, the SOP collaborates with accredited certifying agents to ensure that cost share resources are available to their clients and information is posted on their respective certifier websites.

The deadline for submitting Cost Share applications to CDFA is October 31, 2016. Applications must be postmarked by this date.

The following are needed to complete a Cost Share application:

• A copy of an organic certification document.
• Copies of all associated organic certification and inspection expense receipts.
– Please contact a certifier if you do not have the above documents.
• Completed and signed CDFA Cost Share Application. The applications can be mailed, emailed, or faxed to CDFA.
• Completed Payee Data Record (STD. 204) form. (Name on this form must match the name on the Cost Share application).

To apply, go to the CDFA website, http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/i_&_c/organic.html and download the Cost Share application packet/documents. Send the completed, signed application to CDFA with all supporting documentation listed above.

Applications are approved on a “first received, first approved” basis. Incomplete applications will be returned and the application process will need to be started again.

Applications must be sent to CDFA. Do not send the application to your certifier. Mail applications to:

California Department of Food and Agriculture
State Organic Program
Cost Share Reimbursement
ATTN: Sharon Parsons
1220 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Please allow 6-8 weeks for the completion of the Cost Share process. For additional information or assistance, please contact Sharon Parsons at (916) 900-5202 or by email at sparsons@cdfa.ca.gov
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https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/egov/press_releases/Press_Release.asp?PRnum=16-024