California is making a powerful effort to gain control of its unruly medical marijuana industry. State regulators released a draft of new regulations this past Friday which is intended to force order on the loosely organized marketplace which was created more than twenty years ago.
The proposal would set the first comprehensive rules and regulations for growing, testing, transporting and selling medical marijuana in the state that is home to 1 in 8 Americans.
This past year registered voters agreed to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults in 2018. The state is faced with the challenging task of trying to govern a vast, emerging cannabis industry with a calculated value of $7 billion.
Similar rules and regulations are currently being created for the recreational marijuana industry. Yet still there are some differences, and a bill in the Legislature backed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown seeks to square the recreational pot law with the rules for medical marijuana.
Hezekiah Allen, president of the California Growers Association, an industry group, called the draft rules “a major step toward a well-regulated cannabis industry.”
However, he added in a statement that “there is still a lot of uncertainty as the Legislature works to better balance” the various proposals.
For medical marijuana users in California, the proposed rules will have no immediate impression. The draft of rules and regulations that are being developed is expected to take months to review and improve. They do not go into effect until Jan. 1 when recreational marijuana use also becomes legal.
The Bureau of Marijuana Control said in a statement that it’s attempting to establish a “coherent regulatory framework for an established industry that has not been comprehensively regulated by the state.”