California Issues Penultimate Draft of Final Rules for the Cannabis Industry

State will issue permanent regulations in early December following a comment period ending Nov. 5.

Cannabis regulation mg magazine

SACRAMENTO –Responding to some 6,000 public comments submitted earlier this year concerning proposed regulations covering every aspect of the state’s cannabis industry, California regulators from three oversight agencies—the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), the Department of Food and Agriculture, and the Department of Public Health—have issued a number of amendments to the regulations. Following a 15-day public comment period, permanent regulations will be promulgated in early December.

The latest iterations contain several significant changes and clarifications to core areas of the business, including lowering the cost for some licenses, limitations on who can deliver, though delivery will be allowed statewide, modifying lab testing requirements, and freeing up locations where live cannabis events can take place, to name a few.

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“Regulators have lowered the annual license fees for smaller operators,” reported Law.com. “Previously, retailers with revenues of up to $750,000, for instance, would have had to pay $4,000 for a 12-month license. The proposed changes create lower revenue caps, so now retailers’ sales under $500,000 will pay $2,500… Bigger operations will still see big license fees. Retailers with sales of $7.5 million or more will pay $96,000 year for a license under the rules.”

The largesse extends to other small-scale businesses, including event organizers, micro-businesses, distributors, and testing labs. “Industry advocates had complained that high projected fees were encouraging some operators to stay in the black market,” noted Law.com.

Proposed changes affect the breadth of the industry, impacting BCC licensees with respect to applications, licensing, posting and advertising, security measures, and the return and destruction of product. No one is exempted, including distributors, retailers, micro-businesses, cannabis event organizers, and testing labs.

“It seems like they’re very sensitive to the needs of the industry,” industry attorney Omar Figueroa told Marijuana Business Daily. “What makes me happy is the certainty and knowing what we have to deal with, that the rules of the game are finally crystallizing.”

The 15-day public comment period ends November 5.

Text of the proposed changes can be found here.

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