California’s New Cannabis Regulations for the industry were released last Thursday.
The rulebook gives aspiring and established marijuana businesses their first look at 276 pages of regulations they must abide by beginning Jan. 1, when the state will start issuing licenses for the multibillion-dollar industry and allowing recreational pot sales to start for the first time.
You can read the official documents here:
- Regulations for shops, distributors and testers (PDF)
- Regulations for cultivators (PDF)
- Regulations for manufacturers (PDF)
The rushed timeline is the result of a series of conflicting laws passed over the last two years.
In fall 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a trio of bills that mandated the first set of comprehensive regulations on medical marijuana in California by the start of 2018.
Then in fall 2016, voters passed Proposition 64, legalizing recreational marijuana. That measure also called for recreational cannabis businesses to get state licenses starting Jan. 1, 2018.
The three sets of rules released Thursday by each agency include expected rules for strict testing and tracking all products from seed to sale. They also added dozens of pages of rules regarding fees, enforcement, and new license types. And they kept controversial limits from the proposed rules on how much THC, the compound that makes consumers high, can be in edibles. Here are some specific regulations laid out for businesses:
- Edible products must be produced in serving sizes that have no more than 10 milligrams of THC and no more than 100 milligrams of THC for the total package.
- Shops will only be allowed to give free cannabis products to medical patients or their caregivers.
- Scaled fees are spelled out, with costs for annual licenses ranging from $800 for businesses transporting cannabis up to $120,000 for a business doing multiple activities and making more than $4.5 million a year.
- Businesses will be able to apply for a special license to host cannabis events, such as festivals at fairgrounds.
- There’s a six-month grace period for some rules. Through July 1, licensed businesses will still be able to sell products in their inventory that haven’t been tested (with a label saying that) or put in child-resistant packaging. And they’ll be able to work with other licensed businesses without worrying about whether their permits are for medical and recreational activities.
- Rules for advertising are laid out, including only allowing cannabis ads in outlets where at least 71.6 percent of the audience “is reasonably expected to be 21 years of age or older.”
- A controversial cap on how many small farms people can own was removed, with some conditions.