The medical pot industry may be witnessing a rebuilding of policies that restrict the business. Revisions come after SB643, a recently approved senate bill, was passed in both the Senate and the Assembly. SB643 is focused on the safety of the industry on a state and county level. The bill shall make a regulatory system that California needs, giving those who are not planning on breaking the law a shot in the industry.

“When federal memos came out that said they were going to leave people in the marijuana industry alone as long as they complied with the state system it was hard in California to say you were in compliance with the state system because we don’t really have one,” stated Attorney Melissa Sanchez, who worked on the bill.

Mike McGuire, Humboldt County California Senator, presented the bill and it was successfully pushed through Congress. SB643 now only needs to be signed by the governor. The regulation was previously left to counties and cities when medicinal marijuana was legalized in California under the Compassionate Use Act in 1996. The industry will “now be overseen by The Department of Consumer Affairs, The Department of Food and Agriculture and The State Department of Public Health.” All of these departments will have individual duties that will come together for a statewide regulatory system. This would take California out of the grey area of legislation.

“We really want to distinguish between unregulated cultivation who want to be regulated versus state criminal cultivation on public and private land,” Sanchez commented.

The new bill will need dispensaries to receive a country and a state license. Dispensaries that are already operating as well as new ones will be subject to this. These licenses will need fingerprint tests to ensure that criminals are not being involved in this industry. Another feature that the bill takes pride in is that medical marijuana is now considered an agricultural crop by The Department of Food and Agriculture. They will be the ones to distribute licenses and make sure that environmental impacts are being regulated.

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