Ready or not California, the world’s sixth largest economy, is going to the green side on January 1, 2018.  Despite this measure being passed in November of 2016, state officials are scrambling to make sure everything runs smoothly during the first 120 days during the initial transition.

 

The California Department of Public Health’s Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB), the regulatory board overseeing the implementation, issued emergency guidelines to ease the growing pains and relax some of the pressures placed on existing operations to become immediately compliant.  

 

Some are hesitant about the switch, fearing big-business and wealthy investors will take over due to the lack of restriction on the number of retail venues permissible statewide.  The reticent minority fear this uncapped expansion ability will leave the wellbeing of consumers and impressionable children vulnerable for exploitation.  Questionable societal impacts aside, there is much to look forward to in the days and months to come as we ring in a new year and a new era.

CALIFORNIA’S EMERGENCY REGULATIONS – QUICK VIEW

    1. Edibles
      1. 10mg/serving – 100mg/packet max
      2. Shape regulations – no [cute] shapes that can be misconstrued as marketable to children
    2. Non-Edible 
      1. 1,000/mg per package max
      2. Applies to: Concentrates, Tinctures, Topical
    3. Flowers
      1. Recreational limit: 1/oz Max
      2. Medicinal – 8/oz max
    4. Delivery
      1. Only in Cars
      2. Only from employees of licensed retailers
    5. Hours of Operation
      1. Only 6am-10pm
    6. Industry
      1. No added stimulants – eg Nicotine, Caffeine
      2. Shelf Stable
      3. Cannot contain: Seafood, unlicensed dairy, low-acid canned goods
      4. Must display warning label
      5. No free giveaways
      6. Must be tested
    7. Licensing
      1. Temp licenses will be distributed Jan 1
        1. 120 days of permissible retail operation
        2. Not subject to packaging and distribution laws during 6 mo. interim
        3. 20+ employees must provide labor peace agreement to Bureau of Cannabis Control
        4. Board members, 20%+ shareholders, managing directors need to submit fingerprints

With 2018 just moments away consumers, investors operators and activists alike should position themselves wisely to make the most of the transitionary time.  The industry should expect some hiccups, as with other states who recently legalized, but should also expect to see huge gains in certain sectors.  Regardless of the outcome, the public awaits on baited breath to be a witness.