In anticipation of the January 1st “green rush” bonanza of California officially adopting adult recreational use of marijuana, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control has issued 278 pages of rules and regulations governing its sale. In a November 16 release, the bureau announced its guidelines that will combine medicinal sales and recreational sales under one regulatory framework.
These guidelines are just an interim, emergency first set of rules for businesses who intend to begin operation on January 1, 2018. Licenses that any business receives will only be valid for 120 days, in hopes of a permanent framework being prepared in the early months of 2018.
"Now, it's going to go from the gray areas to the very black and white," San Diego attorney Michael Cindrich told KUSA. "If you have a state license, you're legal. If you don't have a state license, you're illegal."
Notably, dispensaries are required to be located at least 600 feet from a school under the new rules. Dispensaries cannot remain open past 10 p.m. and must have 24-hour video surveillance.
The regulations have consumer ramifications as well. Serving sizes cannot exceed more than 10 mg of THC, and products cannot be manufactured in the shape of animals, fruits, or other shapes that might appeal to children.
The big snag is the requirement that dispensaries receive a legal permit from local authorities before they can apply for a state permit. Most localities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, will not have their permit process in place by January 1.
The California cannabis market is currently valued at about $7 billion.