Richard Parrott is the Director of the California Department of Food and Agriculture's CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division. As the Director, Richard oversees the implementation of the cultivation licensing, compliance and enforcement programs for medicinal and adult-use cannabis.
He has over 30 years of state government experience primarily working for the State Board of Equalization overseeing the administration of 30 different tax and fee programs. Richard is excited about the creation of this new program for the Department and is looking forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure that cannabis cultivators understand what is expected of them in order to comply with state laws and regulations.
Melissa is currently the Assistant Director of the CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, a division of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. She has been with the Division since January 2017. Melissa is responsible for overseeing the administrative and business operations for the Division, including cash collection functions, contracts, human resources, and budgets.
Melissa is a native of the Sacramento area and graduated from California State University, Sacramento with B.S. in Government in 2002. She began working at CDFA in 1997 as a Student Assistant in the Human Resources Branch and during her 20+ years has worked as the Branch Chief of Departmental Services, Special Assistant in Inspection Services Division, Assistant Legislative Director in the Legislative Office, as well as other positions within the Legislative and Executive Office.
Chief, Compliance and Enforcement Branch
Since September 2017, Tabatha has served in multiple roles with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division’s Compliance and Enforcement Branch. Her assignments have included Regional Supervisor, Assistant Chief, and since September 2019, Acting Branch Chief. Tabatha is tasked with regulatory compliance of CalCannabis licensees, overseeing the management of the California Cannabis Track-and-Trace Metrc system, and spearheading unlicensed enforcement operations.
Tabatha’s first assignment in state service was with the California Conservation Corps (CCC). She served 10 years with the program; promoting through the ranks from Corpsmember to Conservationist I, eventually landing a position as an Associate Budget Analyst. During her tenure at the CCC Tabatha garnered a vast array of experience from public service conservation work and emergency response (fires, floods, bugs, and more), administrative and health and safety investigations, to database development and implementation, policy development, legislative analysis, and budget administration, including several successful support and capital outlay budget change proposals. She logged several years working as a Budget Analyst for the California Department of Industrial Relations and as a Budget Officer for the California Bay Delta Authority.
Tabatha spent 10 years with CalRecycle’s California Beverage Container Recycling Program (BCRP) as an Associate Management Auditor and was later promoted to a Senior Management Auditor. She was responsible for the statewide technical assistance and review process for all operational areas of the BCRP. Responsibilities included training, regulatory interpretation and advisement, limited and full scope compliance audits, recommending licensing actions, and supervision of cases that contributed to California Department of Justice investigations and prosecutions for fraud and other criminal violations. Tabatha served as a subject-matter-expert in the development, deployment, and implementation of the Division of Recycling Integrated Information System.
Tabatha has received several awards and accolades in her 22+ year career with the State of California, notably a Superior Accomplishment Award and the Delta Service District Conservationist I of the Year Award. Her free time is spent participating in civically minded volunteer activities and has served on several city commissions, volunteered within the county carceral system for more than eight years, and served two annual terms on a county Grand Jury.
Chief, Licensing Branch
Ryan is currently Chief of the Licensing Branch within the CDFA CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division. The Licensing Branch team is responsible for the cultivation licensing program, development and implementation of a comparable organic program for cannabis, development and implementation of an appellations program for cannabis, and environmental compliance verification by field staff. Ryan has more than 20 years of experience in environmental protection, regulation, and compliance assistance programs and policy and working collaboratively with stakeholders to facilitate positive results to protect public health and the environment.
Ryan previously served at the Sacramento County Environmental Management Department, Environmental Compliance Division as Deputy Chief and Acting Chief. There he managed over 20 environmental regulatory programs, such as groundwater protection, stormwater quality, recycled water, toxic site cleanup, business recycling, hazardous and medical waste, complaint response, chemical emergency planning and community right-to-know, and enforcement efforts.
Prior to that, he served as Division Supervisor at the Business Environmental Resource Center (BERC), where he led pollution prevention, compliance assistance, brownfields assessment grant, sustainable business recognition, and economic development efforts in collaboration with regional partner agencies such as the Sacramento Stormwater Quality Project, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, Sacramento Regional Solid Waste Authority, Regional Sanitation District, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and Sacramento County Airport System.
Ryan has a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) and a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies/Geology minor from California State University, Sacramento and he is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist in California. He has also participated in executive education programs from UC Davis, University of Notre Dame, and the California State Association of Counties' Institute for Excellence in County Government.
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