CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) – A think session with marijuana industry leaders, the public, and state agencies was held in Citrus Heights on Tuesday.
It’s the second of eight public meetings held across the state as regulations on medical cannabis take shape.
“We want to stay on the forefront of the newest regulations and laws,” said Kimberly Cargile.
She’s the director of Therapeutic Alternative and she participated in Tuesday’s discussions. The marijuana industry was self-regulated and followed local rules for two decades. Now the state is getting involved.
“Any regulator should absolutely listen to the industry they’re regulating,” said Cargile.
“We’re responsible for the state licensing and enforcement structure for medical cannabis,” said Lori Ajax.
Ajax was is the former director of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. She was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to run the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation with a $10 million dollar budget.
“Making sure we’re protecting the patient, the public, the environment,” said Ajax about her department’s focus.
At Tuesday’s meeting, roughly 100 people discussed dispensaries, distribution, product testing, growing and transportation.
“We’re providing information on specific concepts we have for the regulation and getting input and feedback from the public,” said Ajax.
Until now, marijuana had been operating without state input and oversight.
“The problem is that there was a patch work of rules across the state,” said Nate Bradley with the California Cannabis Industry Association.
He says state lawmakers stayed away from marijuana for years and that Prop 64, which would legalize recreational marijuana, was partially the catalyst to get the state on board with regulation.
“If the state legislature wanted a say in how the initiative looks, the only way to do that is to regulate medical,” said Bradley.
The meetings continue through October. From there, the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation will draft the regulations. The plan is to implement them by 2018.