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California Cannabis Regulations Hearing Reveals Challenges for Dispensaries

August 20, 2018

It’s been a bumpy road for California cannabis retailers and delivery services following the legalization of recreational marijuana. Black market marijuana dispensaries continue to operate and the supply chain has been devastated by packaging and testing regulations. Earlier this week, the Bureau of Cannabis Control hosted a California cannabis regulations hearing to listen to public comments on the proposed Permanent Cannabis Regulations.

Transition to Legal Market

It’s been a tough transition for the largest legal cannabis market in the U.S. The BCC’s Chief Officer, Lori Ajax, admits that it’s been challenging to transform what was a largely illegal marketplace into a regulated billion dollar industry. Ajax noted, “Unfortunately, there is confusion out there.”

Statewide sales for recreational marijuana began on January 1st, 2018 and temporary emergency regulations were put into effect for cultivators, manufacturers, and retailers. Since then, these regulations have proved vague and troublesome for licensed marijuana businesses.

Public Hearings for Regulations

The cannabis regulations hearing gives regulators the opportunity to hear from business owners on how the legal structure can improve and still provide adequate oversight. The Los Angeles cannabis regulations hearing allowed dozens of business owners, activists, and legal consultants to voice their concerns and suggest ways to improve the framework.

Common complaints pertained to corporate cannabis companies encroaching on small businesses, a shortage of cannabis licenses for testing facilities, cultivators, and retailers, and testing requirements. One of the main topics of discussion was whether or not delivery services should be able to service customers in cities where cannabis sales have been banned.

Cannabis Delivery Services

BCC official were quick to clarify that licensed marijuana delivery services are allowed to make sales in “any jurisdiction within the state.” It is important for those who need cannabis for medical reasons to have access to marijuana products even if they reside in cities with a sales ban.

Sarah Armstrong of Americans for Safe Access noted that, “The patients are citizens too. They have rights and they have needs.” Now that the BCC has made it crystal clear that deliveries will be allowed in those jurisdictions, hopefully more people will be able to treat the symptoms of their medical condition without interference.