Implementation of the Medical Marijauna (Cannabis) Regulatory and Safety Act is a major focus for our work in 2016.
Implementation began in mid-October, within days of the governor’s signature. This report represents a snapshot of our strategy and activities over the last few months. Our work in 2016 is organized around 3 key themes: information, community and advocacy.
Since October, we have distributed more than 10,000 handouts around the state. Handouts have focused on topics such as:
- MMRSA: Summary and Overview
- Licenses and Timeline
- Cultivation Licenses
These handouts have worked to raise awareness of the MMRSA within the cannabis business community. These handouts have helped structure a series of community events.
Since the MMRSA was signed in October we have organized 24 community events in places like Marina Del Rey, Santa Cruz, Humboldt County, Nevada County, Sacramento, Petaluma, San Francisco, Siskiyou County, Santa Monica, Grass Valley, Santa Rosa and more. We have also spoken at dozens of meeting, events, and hearings from local government to other advocacy groups and community events.
This community building work is aimed at increasing comfort with cannabis policy. Many stakeholders—from growers to law enforcement—are uncomfortable with regulating cannabis. Our outreach aims to overcome this inhibiting factor by promoting dialogue and relationship building.
Community development is a fundamental component of successful implementation of the MMRSA. You can join or form a local chapter by clicking here.
Our public policy advocacy work consists of four core program areas: legislative affairs, regulatory affairs, local government, and electoral politics. Implementation is a key focus of each.
Our efforts in the legislature are focused on increasing awareness of MMRSA and raising the profile of cannabis policy. We are actively supporting legislation to further clarify, correct, and improve the regulatory framework. Successful implementation of MMRSA will depend on a sustained commitment for the legislature. Our commitment to the state legislature to provide a focused and clear voice for growers remains strong.
We are working with staff at the regulatory agencies to ensure that regulations are developed with the best possible information. We have hosted speakers from the DCA and BoE at policy events. We have met with staff from DPH and have been attending Food and Ag Board meetings. We are encouraged by the enthusiasm with which many regulatory agencies are approaching this challenging task. Agencies must coordinate with each other and with other stakeholders in order to successfully implement MMRSA.
We are still neutral on all initiatives to legalize cannabis. We believe that implementing the MMRSA is a high priority. While we almost unanimously support the end of prohibition, very few in our membership would consider it a failure if legalization did not happen in 2016. Our focus in the initiative development process has been to work with all groups to encourage consistency with MMRSA.
Partnerships with local governments remain challenging. Attention needs to be focused on partnerships between local governments and the business community. Bans are antithetical to implementation of MMRSA. We would like to encourage all local jurisdictions to implement MMRSA. For local government this means developing ordinances to regulate cannabis instead of resorting to bans. We encourage all stakeholders to fundamentally agree that implementation of MMRSA does not include bans.