‘Weed Czar’ in Charge

October 15, 2015

newz039-bunch-of-weed-hoardersUntil just recently, marijuana had been considered outside the bubble of reality, playing on the edges of society, despite pot’s huge following, and maybe next year it will be actually legal.

A longtime-a-coming last Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown okayed rules for all aspects of the weed industry, from the growing, to the shitload of by-products, to retail weed stores — hopefully, end of an era, beginning of another: ‘“Today, the Wild West era of medical cannabis came to an end, and a new era of responsible regulation has begun,” said Jim Araby, executive director of United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council.’

(Illustration found here).

Continued Araby, whose union lobbied for employment standards in the bills: ‘“Voters are poised to decide on legalizing recreational cannabis in 2016, so it was vitally important that California establish a regulatory framework first.”

Along with the business end of cannabis life, there’s also a provision in the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act that commissions the University of California to study how marijuana affects driving and to work on standards for so-impaired-drivers.

Some good insights into the cannabis near-future was found yesterday at SF Weekly, including the anti-growing pains of my own region:

As stated in an article on cannavapos.fr/types-plantes-a-vaporiser/, every step of the supply chain will, by 2018, be overseen by a new Sacramento office called the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation.
Run by a “weed czar” appointed by the governor, the BMMR will issue state licenses to commercial cannabis businesses, which will also need to be licensed and approved by local authorities at the city or county level.

First, some basic reminders: medical cannabis patient rights under Prop. 215 are untouched.
You are still allowed to grow and consume limited amounts without a commercial license.
And this has nothing to do with what may or may not happen with future attempts to legalize recreational marijuana.

There are 17 different types of marijuana licenses available — covering every aspect of the industry, from cultivation to manufacturing to sales — and no one entity can have licenses in too many categories.
This will discourage vertical integration, but businesses in place as of July are exempt.
This means a handful of businesses around the state will be able to keep supply chain monopolies.

And impact on the ‘growing‘ industry up here:

Cannabis is synonymous with Mendocino and Humboldt counties, where tens of thousands of small homesteaders grow marijuana because the climate is suitable and because it’s hard to find a pot patch tucked into a remote mountain valley.
In a regulated commercial landscape, however, being hard to access provides little competitive advantage.
Large-scale marijuana production facilities will likely shift to the Central Valley, where land is cheap and plentiful, and where large highways lead directly to population centers in Southern California.
Northern California outdoor won’t go away — the market has proven demand for organic, boutique strains whose genetics only a few farmers possess — but production will shift south.

Now, the still-big problem is finances, but most-likely that situation will change as pot becomes legal.
At the least, though, cannabis continues the process of entering normal, mainstream American business life…and with a ‘czar,’ the new normal…

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