State cannabis regulations have been revised multiple times since 2015 to account for changes to state law and deadlines created by Proposition 64.
March 2017 – Initial Medical Regulations
Regulations for medical cannabis businesses were initially developed by state agencies early in 2017. Throughout Spring 2017, regulators engaged in a full 45-day public comment period to solicit feedback, including in-person meetings throughout the state. The regulations were eventually rescinded after the MCRSA was repealed and replaced with the MAUCRSA.
December 2017 – Adoption of MAUCRSA Emergency Regulations
After the state legislature passed the MAUCRSA in July 2017, regulators worked to develop new rules consistent with state law. Those regulations were released in December 2017 and were similar to those proposed in March, with some changes based on public comment and revisions to the law. Regulations were adopted as emergency rules with limited public comment in order to meet the January 1 deadline for implemention.
Days before emergency regulations were released, CDFA published its Final Program Environmental Impact Report, which stated that they would cap total cultivation area at one acre per licensee, consistent with Proposition 64’s intent to prohibit large-scale cultivation until 2023. When emergency regulations were published later that week, however, the cap on cultivation acreage was removed entirely.
January 2018 – Lawsuit Filed Against CDFA Regulations
In response to the removal of the one-acre cultivation cap, CalGrowers filed suit against CDFA arguing that a cap is required under Proposition 64 and the MAUCRSA. Read the full legal brief here. A ruling on the lawsuit has been postponed until the release of "regular" rules later in 2018.
May 2018 – Readoption and Revision of MAUCRSA Emergency Regulations
On May 18, state regulators readopted the emergency rules from November 2017 while making a small number of meaningful changes. The decision to extend emergency rules means that the "regular" rulemaking period will be postponed until later in 2018.
Summer-Winter 2018 – Non-Emergency/Regular Rulemaking
The May 2018 readoption of emergency regulations extends those rules for an additional 180 days, until December 2018. During that time, state regulatory agencies will released new proposed regulations and initiate the "regular" rulemaking process. Once proposed regulations are released, a 45-day public comment period will begin. Agencies are required to response to public comments and, if they choose to make any substantive changes, allow for additional public comment on the revisions.