The long-anticipated list of new marijuana regulations for California, which go into effect January 2018, is finally here. On Thursday, California made the 276 pages of regulations public. How will the changes impact marijuana business’ and their consumers?
Marijuana Regulations For Retailers
Here’s what to expect from a retail standpoint.
Retailers cannot open up shop within 600 feet of schools. They must also close by 10 p.m. and have 24-hour video surveillance.
Additionally, shops can only give free cannabis to patients and their caregivers.
Until July 1, retailers will be able to sell any products in inventory that are not yet in accordance with the new laws.
Cannabis advertisements can only be in outlets where 71.6 percent or more of the audience “is reasonably expected to be 21 years of age or older.”
New Rules For Growers
There were small changes, as well as more drastic ones, for small-scale growers.
Apparently, you won’t be able to use an “aircraft, watercraft, drone, rail, human-powered vehicle or unmanned vehicle” to transport cannabis.
Furthermore, when the changes go into effect, all growers and retailers receiving licenses will only be temporary ones. They will also need local permits before applying for approval to open a dispensary or grow operation.
The more dramatic changes are the ones to the size limits on cannabis farms. Small- to medium-sized growers were afraid of competition from large-scale grows backed by big money.
The issue is the multiple types of licenses that will be given out. Some will be limited to a medium-sized growers’ license. Steve Lyle of the State Department of Food and Agriculture said in an e-mail that “there is no limitation for the other categories of licenses.”
Critics fear this leaves room for fuckery. Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association, an industry group, said the marijuana regulations would allow bigger business to obtain “as many licenses as they could afford.”
As a result, large business’ would be able to produce at a massive-scale, potentially posing a threat to mom-and-pop growers.
One of the main changes consumers can expect to see is in the shape and dosages of edibles.
In the past, California companies were able to concoct edibles with any level of potency and label it whatever with no regulations to stop them.
Now, companies will be forced to produce edible products that come in serving sizes of no more than 10 mg of THC. Furthermore, there can only be 100 mg of THC total per package. Right now, you can find edibles that go well over 1,000 mg per package but that will likely change come January.
In an attempt to make cannabis-infused products less appealing to children, there are new limitations on how they can be shaped as well.
According to a summary of the new regulations, “edible products cannot be shaped like a human, animal, insect, or fruit.”
Final Hit: California’s New Marijuana Regulations
The new rules have the potential to negatively impact current marijuana users and growers. As the scale of grow operations increase, the quality drops. If you cop budget buds, this could be good news for you. However, if you’re a quality strain hunter, you may have a harder time finding something to meet your standards.
Businesses’ that have applied for temporary licenses will get an e-mail on New Year’s Day informing them of their approval. If they get a yes, they’ll be able to immediately sell cannabis and continue to do so for four months. During which time, they can apply for a permanent license.