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
John is currently the Branch Chief of the Compliance and Enforcement Section (CEB) / CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing / California Department of Food and Agriculture. The CEB Team is responsible for inspecting, investigating and auditing state licensed cannabis cultivators for statutory and regulatory compliance. In addition, the CEB Team, along with support from the CDFA's Information Technology Services and the states’ track-and-trace program vendor, Franwell, Inc. is responsible for the day-to-day operation and support for the California Cannabis Track-and-Trace system.
A native of Stockton, California, John graduated from San Diego State University in 1988 with B.S. in Management. He started his California state service career in February 1990 at the Department of Conservation, Division of Recycling (DOR). During his 27-year tenure in DOR John served in several different positions including auditor, technical lead, unit / section supervisor, branch manager and Acting Assistant Director for Recycling.Although John did not join CDFA/CalCannabis until November 2016, the majority of John’s public sector career has been associated with statutory and regulatory compliance and enforcement. John was Branch Chief of the DOR, Recycling Program Enforcement Branch where he managed sixty inspection and investigation staff located in four field offices in Northern and Southern CA. His team was responsible for ensuring reporting, recordkeeping and operational compliance of over 3,500 certified and registered recycling program participants. His team, in coordination and collaboration with interagency partners at Department of Justice and the California Department of Food and Agriculture, were also responsible for combatting fraud and abuse associated with the importation and illegal CRV redemption of imported out-of-state empty beverage containers.
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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