by Sade Browne | Wednesday, June 13th, 2018 | Originally posted on

The future of Shasta County’s economy was the focus of an event on Wednesday, organized by E.D.C., known as Economic Development Corporation of Shasta County.

A luncheon was held with over 70 attendees at the Holiday Inn in Redding, including Redding City Manager Barry Tippin and Redding Mayor Kristen Schreder.

Guest speaker Robert Eyler, Ph.D., a professor of economics at Sonoma State University, has 20 years of experience in regional economics. He discussed what types of industries he viewed as a potential for Shasta County.

Eyler said tourism, construction, natural resources, and logistics are all important to the Northstate economy.

He believes communities like the City of Shasta Lake or Redding, who are embracing the new legal cannabis industry, could successfully capitalize on it.

“You need to regulate what you want in the future, not what you politically want to see now, so that’s part one. If you actually want to see some conversion and you believe that there’s a community of people who have been cultivating, distributing, and selling cannabis products–in whatever Ziploc form you want to call it–if you want to convert those folk’s overt legal businesses you have to provide a regulatory environment for that to happen now and in the future, not play this game of politics of ‘What should happen’,” Eyler explained. “Second, you have to be open to, in some cases, larger businesses–not only to have diversity in the businesses but to show growth.”

Eyler also discussed the possibility of bringing in businesses that focus on sciences or aerospace.

Eyler said asking questions like, ‘What does Redding have that other cities don’t?’ or, ‘What can it develop?’ should draw in people to businesses.