On September 11, 2015, California legislature passed The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), a trio of bills that will implement a statewide licensing and regulatory framework for the medical marijuana industry. The signage is a historic milestone in the almost 2 decades long fight for the state to finally recognize and decriminalize a plant that has proven to possess vast medicinal properties. So what does this mean for the industry?
A new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation will be established under the Department of Consumer Affairs to oversee the bill’s implementation. Starting January 1, 2018, this Bureau will begin issuing 17 different license types for commercial businesses in the industry. These include:
Commercially sold medical marijuana will need to follow a strict distribution chain that can be tracked from cultivation to final sale. Medical marijuana collectives and cooperatives that were previously forced to operate as nonprofit mutual benefit corporations will now be allowed to operate as for-profit businesses. Business owners will now be protected from criminal prosecution and asset forfeiture. Lastly, third-party laboratories will be mandated to test for certain cannabinoids, terpenes, microbes, pesticide residues, and other contaminants to verify the quality and safety of products that are sold.
These bills are a great step forward for the medical marijuana industry to move out of its current pseudo-legal grey area and into a recognized and legitimized industry. To learn more, check out the full text of the bills below: