CATHEDRAL CITY —  A pair of forums are scheduled to see where state and local candidates stand on the issue of cannabis and the issues facing the industry.

The events are called CVCAN Canna-Candidate Forums and are being hosted by the Coachella Valley Cannabis Alliance Network (CVCAN). One is in Cathedral City and the other is in Desert Hot Springs.

CVCAN is producing these Canna Candidate Forums for the first time in the Coachella Valley.

“The cannabis industry is still in its infancy, and laboring under ever-changing and very heavy regulations,” Jocelyn Kane, legislative director
for the Coachella Valley Cannabis Alliance Network, told Uken Report. “The supply chain businesses and their affiliated businesses (insurance, security, packaging, etc) are just now learning how to navigate the municipal and state regulations.  As the only valleywide Cannabis business organization, CVCAN feels compelled to understand how local, county and state candidates feel about the issues facing the legal, regulated cannabis industry in an election year. ”

In other words, Kane added, “there is constant flux at the moment within the regulatory environment regarding legal cannabis. CVCAN members would like to be confident that their elected officials are aware of industry issues, needs and concerns, and that there is an open dialogue with their elected officials going forward.”

CVCAN will not be making endorsements as it is nonprofit organization. These events are for educational purposes.

The first cannabis forum will be held in Cathedral City on Tuesday Oct 2  at the Cathedral City Senior Center, 37171 Buddy Rogers Avenue,  from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The second forum will be held in Desert Hot Springs on Wednesday, Oct. 3 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Carl May Center, 11711 West Drive in Desert Hot Springs.

The Cathedral City Cannabis Forum will include candidates from Districts 3, 4 and 5.  They are:

  • Mark Carnevale, incumbent ouncilmember, District 3
  • Juan Carlos Vizaga, challenger, District 3
  • Sergio Espericueta, candidate, District 4
  • Ernesto Gutierrez, candidate, District 4
  • Rick Saldivar, candidate, District 4
  • John Rivera, candidate, District 4
  • Raymond Gregory, candidate, District 5
  • Laura Ahmed, candidate, District 5

In addition, Kane has confirmed Joy Silver, the Democratic nominee for State Senate, District 28. Her opponent, incumbent Republican state Sen. Jeff Stone, has not confirmed to date but has been invited.

In Desert Hot Springs, the candidates for two, at-large City Council seats and Mayor will be attending the Cannabis Forum. They are:

  • Scott Matas, mayor, incumbent
  • Stephen Giboney, challenger, mayor’s seat
  • Jan Pye, incumbent councilmember
  • Jim Fitzgerald, challenger for City Council
  • Gary Gardner, challenger for City Counil
  • Adam Sanchez,  challenger for City Council
  • Peter Tsachpinis, challenger for City Council

Kane said she also invited candidates for Riverside County Sheriff to the Cannabis Forum. Chad Bianco declined; Stan Sniff has not yet responded.

For more information about CVCAN and the events, visit