It’s official: after 20 years of procrastinating, California has finally moved forward to establish a regulatory system for medical marijuana. Late Thursday night, California lawmakers announced that they had reached a conclusion to the ongoing debate and had worked out the details of their plan to reign in a market that many argued was out of control.
As discussed in a previous news post on this site, there were originally three different proposals submitted as possible solutions to what people on all sides agreed was an ongoing problem. However, rather than pit the three potential bills against one another, the legislature instead honed and amended the three to work in symbiosis with one other, free of redundancies. Here’s a sampling of what the new regulations will do (as relayed by The Sacramento Bee):
- Require all medical marijuana businesses to obtain both state and local licenses
- Form a new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation to handle regulatory oversight
- Allow local cities and counties to tax medical marijuana commerce in their jurisdiction as well as charge licensing fees to absorb new costs
- Efficiently track all medical marijuana grown and sold in the state (as most states with MMJ laws do)
- Officially designate cannabis as an agricultural product, thereby placing the growers under the same rules and regulations as other farmers, regarding such things as water use, pesticides, etc.
- Implement mandatory testing on all products, including edibles and oil
Though a long awaited set of conclusions were reached regarding California’s Medical Marijuana industry this week, this story is only beginning. We’ll know more about exactly what these new rules mean for MMJ business in the Golden State as the process unfolds over the coming months and weeks. For now, let’s all hope that we’ve found a solution that truly satisfies all parties involved and doesn’t strangle anyone with red tape.