California state laws on marijuana – Gov. Brown proposalSimone Loganathan
In November 2016, California joined a growing number of states in legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. The new laws on the recreational use of marijuana, however, created a few legal disparities with the current reigning law on use of medical marijuana.
California is a bit nearer now to turning into the country’s largest weed economy, after Gov. Jerry Brown’s organization proposed new changes to adapt the state’s new recreational marijuana use law with the existing medical marijuana use law.
In fact, the changes are proposed in order to improve and clarify the differences and contrasts between these two laws, including the number and types of licenses issued for the process of cultivation, manufacturing and distributing of marijuana harvests and products.
Governor Brown‘s administration has stressed that, at this stage, the two simultaneous laws on recreational and medical use and sale of marijuana would result in sudden drastically higher costs and lead already-established cannabis businesses into total chaos.
At this time, the proposal has not been opposed by any of the known interested parties – the Los Angeles Cannabis Task Force being one of them – though the plan is still very much under review.
Avis Bulbulyan, president of Los Angeles Cannabis Task Force said: “This takes us another step closer to a uniform industry and puts this state in a position to set the national standard”.
The president of the California Growers Association, Hezekiah Allen, who has been confirmed to have had a few concerns in regards to this latest proposal, shared a similar reaction to Bulbulyan’s. The main concern expressed by Allen was the proposal that would consent a single entity to hold licenses for both production and distribution of marijuana.
To this, he said: “A medical marijuana provider cannot hold both licenses, however Brown proposes to remove that restriction once the recreational use law becomes effective in January, which could then lead to mega-manufactures and mega-chain stores,” said Allen.
He also commented that the plan includes temporary limitations that do not allow single entities to own more than three retail stores and a farm larger than four acres.
“This proposed legislation helps build an effective statewide regulatory system for cannabis to achieve our goals of protecting public safety with clear and consistent rules that are not overly burdensome,” said Lori Ajax, head of the state’s marijuana agency.
“It harmonizes the many elements of the two main statutes governing medicinal and adult-use cannabis, while preserving the integrity and separation of those industries.”
For now the only certain fact is that time is running out until the turn of the year, and it will take a considerable amount of time yet as the proposal is both lengthy and complex.
The law is due to become effective on January 1st 2018, by which time all regulations and rules must be ready to govern both recreational and medical marijuana markets, in all its aspects, from growing to manufacturing to retail.