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Governor Jerry Brown Wants to Reconcile California’s Conflicting Cannabis Laws

California’s cannabis advocates support the Governor’s proposal, but are still looking for more clarity.

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Cannabis regulations are coming to California. When voters passed Proposition 64 last November to legalize adult recreational use they also agreed to a set of rules that varied from the state’s existing medical marijuana laws. 

Both industries, recreational and medical, will have new sets of rules and regulations by January 1st, 2018. Currently, however, recreational and medical laws are glaringly different and such issues as distribution channels, farm sizes, and the number of licenses available to cannabusiness owners have been causing trouble for cannabis users, cultivators and lawmakers alike.

Enter Governor Jerry Brown, whose office recently submitted a trailing bill to this year’s budget that would clarify and coordinate the regulations surrounding the two industries.

Brown’s bill would keep the medical legislation’s limits on medium sized farms, but side with the Prop. 64 language allowing an unlimited number of licenses available to business owners and the ability for cultivators to deal directly with retail proprietors, instead of going through an independent distribution company. 

For industry insiders and state regulators alike, the new bill is a step in the right direction. 

"We were extremely happy when we saw what the governor's office did," said Nate Bradley, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association.

On the other side of things, the Governor’s move is helping the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation figure out how to best craft next year’s new MMJ rules.

"This provides us with direction for our regulations," bureau spokesman Alex Traverso said.

The Governor’s bill will have to pass the state legislature, and then return to Brown’s desk for final approval. It would be another step in the process of normalizing and taxing California’s most profitable cash crop - before concrete regulations are set up for both segments of the industry in 2018.