March 1, 2017
RE: AB 1578 (Jones-Sawyer) Marijuana and cannabis programs: cooperation with federal authorities. – SUPPORT
On behalf of the California Growers Association (Cal Growers) representing over 800 members in 48 counties throughout California, we write to indicate our strong support for your AB 1578 dealing with state cooperation with federal authorities.
With no change to federal law, California’s cannabis business owners are exposing themselves to great risk as they shift from an opaque underground business culture that has dominated the unregulated marketplace in our state. Transparency is a fundamental element of compliance, yet recordkeeping has historically been a significant liability to business owners who face mandatory minimum 5 year sentences for commercial cannabis activity.
The increased likelihood of restored enforcement of federal cannabis laws has already had a chilling effect on our membership and community. Reduced rates of participation will result in reduced effectiveness and—without significant buy-in from the cannabis business community it is possible that regulation will fail.
If the state does not take action, there is a very real possibility that even as California continues to lead on cannabis policy Californians will continue to suffer the injustice of cannabis criminalization. AB 1578 is an important step to take as our state seeks to navigate this turbulent transition to a fully regulated cannabis marketplace. Our organization offers our support for this measure and looks forward to working with the author and other stakeholders to strengthen the legislation.