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State agencies released a draft of permanent regulations for legal marijuana in CA, a check-in on the industry

A budtender displays cannabis at the Higher Path medical marijuana dispensary in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, California, December 27, 2017.
A budtender displays cannabis at the Higher Path medical marijuana dispensary in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, California, December 27, 2017.

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For the last seven months that California’s recreational marijuana industry has been officially legal, growers, manufacturers and retailers have been operating under emergency regulations, the most recent set of which set new testing regulations that have some dispensaries scrambling to replenish their inventories with compliant product.

But state regulators say a new set of permanent rules in the works would not only ease certain testing requirements, but also clarify some of the bigger questions about where pot delivery services can operate and how certain products can be advertised.

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control, the Department of Food and Agriculture, and the Department of Public Health put out drafts of their proposed regulations on Friday, and maybe the biggest takeaway appears to be the clarification of exactly where cannabis delivery services can legally operate. The draft proposal also contained updated rules for how products can be packaged and advertised, but left out a 1-acre cap on grow space per farmer that growers and cultivators say is necessary to open up the cannabis market to smaller grow operations.

The new rules come not only as the industry is trying to get up to speed with the new set of emergency regulations that went into effect on July 1, but also as the industry tries to find its footing and prevent growers, cultivators, retailers, manufacturers, and customers from going back to the black market to get their cannabis to take advantage of the lack of strict regulations and, at least for customers, the potential for lower prices thanks to no taxes.

AirTalk guest host Libby Denkmann checks in on the state of California’s legal marijuana market more than half a year into its existence and looks ahead to how permanent regulations will impact the industry.

With guest host Libby Denkmann

AirTalk invited the California Bureau of Cannabis Control to participate in this segment but as of its airing, we had not received a response.


Brooke Staggs, reporter covering cannabis for the Orange County Register and The Cannifornian, a collaboration of the Southern California News Group and other Digital First Media organizations across California covering the state’s legal cannabis industry; she tweets @journobrooke   

Sarah Armstrong, policy chair for Southern California Coalition, an advocacy group representing the marijuana industry; director of industry affairs, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a Washington, DC-based advocacy organization for medical cannabis patients