Fulfilling the mandate on Marijuana in America has become more difficult than anticipated. On Election Day, four states legalized marijuana possession and cultivation for all adults over the age of 21. Because it is difficult to possess anything in America if it cannot be purchased or sold; marijuana retail stores were legalized as well.
For the most part, the possession limits and amendment of criminal statutes became effective immediately, or almost-immediately. With pot stores, the government has to create and implement the “regulate” aspect of “tax and regulate;” therefore, buyers and sellers may have to continue waiting until 2018 for a retail adult-use marijuana trade.
Did we say 2018? Sorry, we meant 2019.
Government officials across the country are asking for more time to address the marijuana marketplaces they are now required to oversee. In the weeks following the elections; officials in Massachusetts were implying that 14 months was too fast to implement regulations for commercial marijuana. Recently; according to reports, officials in California said the same thing‚ (suggesting that a delay of up to a year could be necessary).
Many state officials feel the Jan. 1, 2018 start date for sales is too good to be true.
“Time is not on our side,” stated Lori Ajax, the state’s new “marijuana czar” and leader of the Bureau of Marijuana Regulation, as per the San Francisco Chronicle.
As per officials; the issue is the new medical-cannabis regulations passed by the legislature.
The Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA); which was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown a year before Prop. 64 passed, sets up taxes, state licenses as well as a large book of guidelines for growing, wholesaling and selling medical cannabis.
However; these guidelines apply to medical cannabis even though Prop. 64 was written specifically to be consistent with MCRSA. Various authors of this law are now saying it is conflicting.
“It is a very real challenge,” stated Assemblyman Jim Wood, in comments to the Cannifornian. “Do we have two systems that move in parallel or one unitary system that combines the two? My hope is that we can all sit down and work out the differences.”
This would not be happening if lawmakers such as Wood; (who represents many marijuana growers), would have voiced concerns before the Nov. 8 vote. If we listen closely to what Wood said; we would realize he is saying that officials either were not aware or did not prepare for this outcome. This comes following positive national and local polling suggesting Prop. 64 would win by a mile and it did.
The paperwork for medical and recreational cannabis legalities are a lot alike. They both go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018; both require a state license for any commercial marijuana activity and their structure for licensing such as: big vs small growers, transporter or seller are alike.
However; the state needs to create a tracking system in order to oversee marijuana activity, (from seed to sale) via a computer. As per newspapers; this signifies the state would need to create new software and the government is known for moving slowly when creating things.
A delay in recreational sales would mean that marijuana would continue to come from the medical marijuana dispensaries. As has been the case for over a year; the state’s existing dispensaries are required to obtain state licenses by that Jan. 1 date. As of now, no one has mentioned that date needs to be moved.
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