CALIFORNIA: On October 19th, the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) in California released an updated draft of proposed marijuana business regulations for the cannabis industry in the state. The new draft signaled the start of a 15-day period of public comment to gather feedback on the slightly tweaked industry rules.
Since the recreational use of marijuana was legalized in California on January 1st, 2018, three state agencies have overseen the cannabis industry in the state. These agencies are the BCC, the Department of Public Health and the Department of Food and Agriculture. They are set to finalize cannabis business regulations in California by Dec. 03, by which point another draft might be introduced depending on the public feedback received on the latest update.
Talking about the new draft, California marijuana attorney Omar Figueroa said that he is happy with the “certainty and knowing what we have to deal with, that the rules of the game are finally crystallizing.”
If the latest draft is permanently adopted, the proposed regulations would bring about a number of changes in California marijuana law for marijuana businesses.
Among the draft’s proposed changes:
● The quantity of marijuana inventory allowed to be carried by a delivery vehicle would be reduced from $10,000 to $5,000. The draft would also require at least $2000 of that inventory to be part of existing orders from customers, before the vehicle departs a delivery hub.
● Delivery vehicles are not allowed to have exterior markings indicating that they are delivering cannabis goods.
● In the current system, some jurisdictions do not allow deliveries of cannabis goods from other jurisdictions. The new set of proposed rules states that deliveries can be made into any jurisdiction in the state as long as it complies with the BCC’s delivery regulations.
● The new rules would require a substantial amount of information about major stakeholders in licensed marijuana businesses to be disclosed.
● Organization of licensed cannabis events that used to be limited to county fairgrounds will no longer be so. This is said to provide an impetus to a variety of cannabis events taking place all over the state.
● Companies like Eaze, which has been called the Uber of the marijuana industry, would be allowed to facilitate deliveries of marijuana products as long as there’s no direct profit-sharing with their delivery professionals, or “drivers” as they’re called, based on their sales. Third-party companies that do not possess a California marijuana commercial license would not be allowed to deliver cannabis whatsoever.
● Manufacturers would not have to comply with child-resistant packaging requirements until January 2020.
● Strict testing requirements would be relaxed, with a view to avoid the sheer number of failures and recalls faced by marijuana products.
● Licensed cannabis companies will not be allowed to sell or transport goods that are identified as any type of alcoholic product.
● Licensed cannabis companies can provide promotional non-cannabis goods, but they cannot sell branded cannabis goods that are not listed without the approval of the Bureau of Cannabis Control.
California’s legal cannabis market is estimated to bring in revenue amounting to $7.7 billion by 2021, but Josh Drayton, director of communication and outreach for the California Cannabis Industry Association believes that legal marijuana industry regulations in the state are still a “work in progress.”
“It’s still a work in progress,” Josh said, in an interview with Forbes. “We’re eight months in adult use and we’re operating under emergency regulations.”
This updated set of rules seems to be a step in the direction of completing this work in progress as soon as possible. The window for public comment and feedback will be open until Nov. 5, in which licensed marijuana business owners would be looking to weigh in on the regulations they like and dislike.