This past Friday, three of the California state agencies charged with implementing the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act released their initial draft rules that will govern all medical cannabis commercial activity in California. These long-awaited rules make up the regulatory standards for: transportation, distribution, and retailers (as developed by the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation/Bureau of Marijuana Control); cultivation (as developed by the Department of Food and Agriculture through its CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing arm); and manufacturing (as developed by the Department of Public Health through its Office of Manufactured Cannabis Safety). The summary/statement of reasons for each set of rules can be found here, here, and here.
As expected, the regulations are voluminous and comprehensively cover everything from what applicants must submit to receive a cannabis license (including required background checks) to all operational standards for each type of license, including, packaging and labeling standards, ownership qualifications, defining how to meet “priority status,” quality assurance testing, distributor controls, delivery, hours of operation, sales limitations, licensing fees, environmental protection standards, medium cultivation license limits, traceability requirements, pesticide limitations, quality control standards for manufacturing, security and surveillance, extraction standards, product recall procedures, edible product serving size limitations, and what products will be allowed in the marketplace.
Notably, these initial rules say nothing about any regulations under the Adult Use of Marijuana Act and we probably won’t see those rules until Governor Brown’s technical fix bill passes this summer. We are though betting those rules will be similar if not identical to some of these MCRSA rules, at least when it comes to operational standards. Note though that these are initial MCRSA rules and they are not yet official. Friday marks the beginning of a 45-day public comment period. So don’t be surprised if these agencies go back to the drawing board after taking public comments at various public hearings the’ve set for themselves. You can find the public hearing schedule here.
Nonetheless the release of these regulations is a huge deal and our California cannabis attorneys (Hilary Bricken, Alison Malsbury, Habib Bentaleb, Daniel Dersham, and Carlton Willey) will throughout the upcoming week be writing about each license type and its corresponding MCRSA regulations. And later next month, we’ll be hosting a webinar to discuss these regulations and what they will mean for your California marijuana business and licensing application.
Please stay tuned.