California’s medical marijuana industry is the oldest in the country. But whereas most other states that legalized medical marijuana after California have passed medical marijuana industry regulations, California has not up until this point. It’s a big reason that the federal government cites when they conduct raids on medical marijuana businesses in California. It appears that after a lot of debate, and a lot of prior defeats, California lawmakers have finally reached an agreement and will be passing medical marijuana regulations by the end of today. Per the Los Angeles Times:
The proposal would create a new state office that, along with cities, would issue licenses for medical cannabis dispensaries. Marijuana growers also would face regulations enforced by the state. Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) said the compromise drops a proposed excise tax that would have brought in $60 million for policing and environmental protection.
“This package is the end product of countless hours meeting with stakeholders and extensive negotiations with the governor’s office,” Wood said.
The regulations of the billion-dollar industry will be divided between a couple of bills in the Senate and Assembly.
They will create a new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation that would oversee a multiagency licensing and regulatory effort, relying on expertise from the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Department of Public Health, according to Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Alameda), an author of one of the bills.
Since the related bills have not been passed yet, and only agreed upon in principal, it’s unclear exactly what the final regulations will be. I know that on social media I have seen mixed reactions about the details that have emerged about the regulations so far. What do TWB readers think? Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? Regulations are obviously needed in California, but how much regulation is too much? I’ll make sure to post an article after I get off of work that deals with the final provisions (assuming they are passed by 5 p.m. PST), as well as any reactions from activists and organizations that are sent my way.