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San Bernardino County Shows How Online Permitting can Spur Economic Growth


The  National  Association of Counties  has recogni zed   San Bernardino   with  its  Achievement Award  after the launch of its  high-speed   digital p ermitting system   California’s San Bernardino County’s new permitting system has received top honors from the National Association of Counties (NACo) after earning the organization’s 2018 Achievement Award, an accolade granted to county programs that demonstrate “innovative” service.   NACo announced the awards in  a blog post on May 11 , where it commended the 615 winning programs submitted from 116 counties and state associations across the U.S. The award validates San Bernardino and Accela’s work to build a modern permitting system that can answer the county's growing demand in permitting. In its award  submission , San Bernardino reported that it designed the new system, called EZ Online Permitting (EZOP), to speed up the approval process for economic growth and community improvement projects that had been hampered with long delays caused by its old permitting system.     “With county communities often competing across the...
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3 Strategies for Regulating Cannabis


Denver’s former licensing expert Judy Steele highlights key ingredients in the city’s successful cannabis regulation program   (Photo Credit: Creative Commons/Flickr) With 30 states that have legalized medical marijuana, and eight of those that have legalized recreational marijuana, Denver’s former cannabis licensing expert is offering authorities guidance to regulate the advancing industry.     Judy Steele, the former deputy director of Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses (DEL), shared three strategies that helped Denver become the first U.S. city in 2013 to successfully regulate recreational marijuana. Steele, who is now Accela’s director of Cannabis Regulation, outlined the strategies in  a webinar last September  with the intent to assist localities that are launching marijuana licensing programs or improving their current cannabis licensing strategies.   When Colorado voters approved an amendment to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, Steele said it required the city to pioneer new regulatory procedures, embrace an unprecedented level of collaboration and to deploy a new set of digital tools. Her hope, she said, is for other cities and local officials to benefit from  Denver’s efforts .   1. Align  L ocal  P rocedures with  S tate  P olicy...
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Building Capacity Gadget by Gadget


  This article was originally published in the  June issue of the Journal of Environmental Health , a publication produced by the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA).  Editor’s Note:  A need exists within environmental health agencies to increase their capacity to perform in an environment of diminishing resources. With limited resources and increasing demands, we need to seek new approaches to the business of environmental health. Acutely aware of these challenges, NEHA has initiated a partnership with Accela called Building Capacity. Building Capacity is a joint effort to educate, reinforce, and build upon successes within the profession, using technology to improve efficiency and extend the impact of environmental health agencies. The Journal is pleased to publish this bi-monthly column from Accela that will provide readers with insight into the Building Capacity initiative, as well as be a conduit for fostering the capacity building of environmental health agencies across the country. The...
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Expanding Cannabis Policy and Platforms to Support a Growing Industry






The last several election cycles have demonstrated quite a shift in American politics, particularly when it comes to cannabis regulation. Voters in 29 states have legalized medical cannabis, and nine of those states have legalized recreational cannabis use for adults as well. There has been plenty of activity at the federal level, which sometimes conflicts with state and local actions. The most recent spending bill keeps federal protection prohibiting Congress from using federal funds to prevent states from developing their own marijuana markets.                   State and local governments considering their regulatory approach should note that—although still something of a gray area—the law may be evolving in order to support taxation and reinforce programs of public safety, ethical business ownership and fair competition. A Coordinated Approach to Cannabis Regulation   There are variations in how this may be done—we typically see an integrated, multi-departmental process involving inspection and permitting by such agencies...
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Tailoring Our Solutions to Address Increasingly Complex Government Challenges


Accela creates software for state, county and municipal governments to streamline interactions with citizens by meeting them where they are, which is increasingly online. When I joined the company last year, my first priority was to listen to our customers and understand their needs. In my conversations, it was clear that local and state governments are experiencing a tough time navigating new innovations and industries driven by regulatory and technological change. We’ve taken two steps to enhance the success of our customers. Simplifying deployment of our solutions Last Wednesday, Accela announced the availability of turnkey licensing and regulatory products for cannabis and short-term rentals (i.e. Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway). The Accela Civic Application for Cannabis Regulation and the Accela Civic Application for Short-Term Rental Registration are the first product offerings in Accela’s new Civic Applications suite that will provide governments customizable, easy-to-implement solutions that solve new and evolving regulatory challenges....
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Making governments great again. One humble permit and license at a time.

I joined Accela this past Fall to help state and local governments work better for their citizens. I’m convinced that by improving everyday interactions between communities and their governments we can improve society as a whole. This was a natural career progression. Prior to Accela, I headed up marketing at Singularity University, a unique organization that helps executives and entrepreneurs understand and address the exponential rate of technological change to create a better future for humanity. I witnessed first-hand how hard it is for the private sector, let alone governments, to adapt. That’s why I answered the call about the opportunity at Accela, the technology leader modernizing governments so communities can thrive! Now four months into my role leading marketing here, I’m focused on raising awareness and understanding of Accela’s track record in, and solutions for, helping governments work better through technological progress. Unlike private sector companies which deliver goods...
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