Is California Ready For Legalized Recreational Marijuana?

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — “The bottom line is, we’re on track for January.”

Alex Traverso with the California Bureau of Cannabis Control is hopeful when it comes to the state’s readiness for the legalization of recreational marijuana businesses in 2018.

“It’s really been trying to keep up with things as they change,” said Traverso about the work being done the last 10 months, “and things tend to change pretty fast around these parts.”

State workers have sculpted regulations for every aspect of the marijuana industry, from cultivation and dispensaries to testing facilities, delivery services, and manufacturing.

“I think that it’s going to change the way people feel about state government,” said Traverso.

While the state is heading in the right direction, it’s really up to each local entity to make up its mind about cannabis.

“Your community license is more important than the state license,” said Traverso.

“Local control is something that we’re always interested in,” said Cara Martinson with the California Association of Counties, “it really reflects the will of the community.”

Fifty-eight counties and more than 480 cities in the state can impose their own rules on cannabis.

“They might allow for retail sale and not cultivation; they might allow for cultivation and not retail or manufacture or a combination,” said Martinson.

For example, Yolo County doesn’t allow dispensaries while Sacramento city requires only indoor cultivation. But in Sacramento County, all cannabis-related businesses are banned for the time being.

“There is a lot of local control built into Proposition 64,” reiterated Martinson.

That local control means a patchwork of laws that could create havoc for consumers and potential business owners come the first of the year.

The finalized regulations are expected to be released in mid-November. Applications for licenses will be accepted in December.

More from Drew Bollea
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