Californians are learning how the state plans to regulate marijuana, with less than two months to go before recreational use becomes legal.
California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control, as well as the state’s agriculture and public health departments, crafted the preliminary regulations.
Some of the changes include new licenses for transportation and delivering product. Also, fees for licenses will be scaled depending on how much a business sells and does.
Any licensed nursery or farm for the first four months will be able to sell to any licensed dispensary, regardless if it’s medical or recreational.
George Boyadjian, CEO of marijuana business consulting company 420 College, said the regulations are a good foundation for long-term rules later.
“Once we actually implement [the regulations], we’ll see what’s working and what’s not working,” he said.
One big concern so far is the lack of size restrictions for farms and nurseries. Some feel it could squeeze out small mom-and-pop businesses.
However, Boyadjian thinks there’s room for big and small in the industry.
“You can do it on a mass scale, like a Budweiser or whatnot, but there are [also] specialty brewery companies — local breweries — that still stay in business,” Boydajian said.
Medical marijuana dispensary Canna Can Help (CCH) in Tulare County is holding its breath. Workers there are worried some regulations could leave the medical side behind.
For example, right now holding a medical marijuana identification card (MMIC) is voluntary. The MMIC only serves to help verify a patient’s medical need for the drug.
CCH general manager Wes Hardin worries the card could become mandatory through regulations.
“There’s only 12 people with those cards in Tulare County, right now we serve 15,000 people. The patient pool would shrink so drastically. We wouldn’t be a viable company anymore,” Hardin said.
The first round of recreational permits will be sent out Jan. 1.
You can click here to see all the new regulations yourself.