California Budget is Signed, Includes Key Cleanup Provisions to MMRSA

It's official: as of this afternoon California has a balanced budget. Not only is this the fifth straight on-time and balanced budget we've had, it also includes critical clarification to the mandatory distributor model. In addition to refinements to distribution, SB 837 also contains several other priority policies that Cal Growers has been advocating for.

It was a tough decision to support the distributor model last year--but as soon as we made the compromise we got to work on fixing it. There is a lot left to do, but this legislation provides relief from some of the most egregious potential impacts of mandatory distribution by ensuring that cultivators and manufacturers can transport product, as long as is it not intended for sale to a patient. 

We will continue to work on other priority issues like cooperative ownership, certified growers markets, micro-businesses and auction houses. And of course we want to hear your ideas--strategic planning for 2017 starts in September. Now is a great time to get involved. 


Cleanup language in the trailer bill will prevent the potentially disastrous unintended consequences to the distributor:

  • Clarifies that "a cultivator shall not be required to send medical cannabis to a distributor if the medical cannabis is to be used, sold, or otherwise distributed by methods approved pursuant to this chapter by a manufacturer for further manufacturing."
  • Authorizes cultivators to transport "from a cultivation site to a manufacturer or a distributor."
  • Authorizes manufacturers to transport:
    • Between a cultivation site and a manufacturing site.
    • Between a manufacturing site and a manufacturing site.
    • Between a manufacturing site and a distributor.


  • Clarify provisions establishing “appellations” and clarify that administration and development of regulations will be by the Department of Food and Agriculture


  • The language creates a much-needed definition for “batch and lot” and helps create regulatory certainty and a workable track and trace model that will provide needed flexibility to California’s diverse growers.
  • Shifts the development and administration of “track-and-trace” to the Department of Food and Agriculture to ensure the system remains farmer-friendly.
  • Involves the Board of Equalization in developing the system. 


  • Authorizes agencies and departments to adopt interim and emergency regulations in order to meet MMRSA implementation goals and timelines.


  • Ensures appropriate and streamlined natural resource protections by modifying “1600 LSA” agreements and other provisions related to water. These provisions will result in significant efficiencies and greater protection of water resources through increased participation in the regulated marketplace.