New regulation could triple the price of cannabis in California unless we fix it now.
While many industry leaders in California are very excited that we could soon have a fully regulated and above-board cannabis industry, there’s a serious flaw in California’s new Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) that could double or triple the price of cannabis for consumers.
This would jeopardize the safety of patients, farmers, jobs, state tax revenue – and potentially bring down the state’s entire regulated cannabis industry.
If this sounds alarming to you – that’s because it is.
But it’s not too late to fix this if we act now.
Let’s take a quick look at what the actual problem is and how it will affect patients like you.
And if you don’t live in California, you should still take note because California is the largest cannabis market, and if regulations go wrong here, it will be a disaster for the rest of the country in regards to legalizing cannabis.
The urgent problem with MMRSA
The passing of MMRSA brings with it long-awaited, state-wide regulation of medical cannabis.
However, there is one aspect of MMRSA that makes zero sense for medical cannabis patients, cannabis farmers, manufacturers, or dispensaries – and that’s the introduction of a mandatory distributor level into the supply chain.
This distributor requirement will add extra steps (and costs) into the supply chain, with distributors quoting a 15 percent to 35 percent fee to manage each step.
In this video, watch long-time cannabis entrepreneur and activist Steve DeAngelo explain the challenges and negative repercussions with mandatory distribution:
Patients and farmers alike are worried about MMRSA
Watch how patients and families will suffer if we don’t amend the new regulation ASAP:
And while the reasoning behind MMRSA’s mandatory distribution clause is to protect the small farmers, most of them are opposed to it:
The additional taxation alone would SUBSTANTIALLY drive up prices.
MMRSA also includes two new taxation measures that will substantially raise the price of cannabis and hurt patients.
Specifically, SB987 is a new 15% retail tax (to consumers) and AB224 creates new (excess) taxation to growers on the raw plant material.
While everyone appreciates the desire to create funding from this new regulatory system, this is an outrageous level of additional taxation that will prevent affordable and safe access to the medicine.
This is not something we should just sit back and tolerate when the price of cannabis is already too expensive for most patients.
More challenges with mandatory distribution
Mandatory distribution presents other challenges, like increasing the time it takes for cannabis products to reach patients.
As cannabis ages, THC is turned into CBN, which can have a dramatically different effect on a patient – mostly sedative. And THCA can turn into THC through temperature changes – also dangerous if unexpected.
Bottom line is that adding in mandatory distribution will substantially increase the processing and transportation time, which could have damaging, unintended consequences on patients who rely on cannabis as medicine.
How you can save medical cannabis in California (yes you!)
This mandatory distribution scheme was not created with cannabis patients in mind. It was drawn up by outside interests who are almost exclusively financially motivated – and don’t have the best interests of the people, farmers, or the industry.
Unfortunately, they don’t realize that their avaricious play could sink the entire industry and threaten the safety and livelihood of countless people.
Luckily, it is not too late to fix this. But we’re going to need your help…
If you live in California, we encourage you to contact your local representative and share your concerns.
Here’s how you can do that.
Step 1: You can easily find your local representatives here:http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/
Step 2: Reach out to EVERY REPRESENTATIVE listed in your local area and send them an email, call them up, or make an appointment to go speak with them in-person. Their job is to listen to your concerns.
Step 3: Tell them:
“I am very opposed to mandatory distribution and excess taxation in the MMRSA to regulate medical cannabis in California. It will substantially raise the price of cannabis for patients, and it will put many small farmers out of business. I am voicing my concerns so that you can represent our best interests to make sure this bill gets amended to support the people it’s designed to serve.”
That’s it! They just need to hear your voice to make a difference.
Together, we can save cannabis in California. Let’s show our public servants that we don’t accept MMRSA’s mandatory distribution model and the excess taxation, and let’s flood their email boxes and voice mails so they know to act in favor of our best interests.
If you care about cannabis and the patients who depend on it, please share this article with as many people as possible.