California Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA)
MMRSA is comprised of three legislative bills – Assembly Bills (AB) 266 and 243 and Senate Bill (SB) 643.
AB 266 is significant as it allows for-profit cannabis businesses to obtain medical marijuana state-issued licenses and permits cities and counties further regulatory oversight and licensing privileges, or dual-licensing. AB 266 also established the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulations (BMMR) as a part of the Department of Consumer Affairs. BMMR will be responsible to create, implement and monitor rules and regulations to support MMRSA. AB 266 establishes 17 different types of operational medical marijuana licenses – including dispensaries, cultivation centers, transporters, wholesalers, etc. There are limits on the number of licenses per licensee as well as the varying combinations of license types, or vertical integration.
While the United States government continues to try to convince the average citizen that marijuana is one of the most dangerous substances in the world, a smoke signal has been seen rising up over the horizon from Washington D.C. that could be an indication that Uncle Sam’s longtime opposition to cannabis may be on the verge of change.
It seems the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is looking to Canada in hopes of learning more about how to regulate a nationwide medical marijuana market. A recent report from Marijuana.com indicates the health agency has assigned a panel that will dissect the current marijuana policies in the northern nation later this month in order to get firm grip on the “regulatory framework for the regulation of marijuana for medicinal purposes,” including “information on the licensing process, compliance and enforcement and market statistics.”
According to an article in Marijuana Venture, an alarming trend of private citizens filing RICO claims targeting business owners, state public servants, accountants and landlords has emerged within the cannabis industry.
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is the 1970 federal statute aimed at eliminating the infiltration of organized crime and racketeering into legitimate organizations operating in interstate commerce. Now it is being used to target the cannabis industry.
With cannabis poised to take its place as one of the most heavily regulated industries in the world, compliance is and will increasingly be the name of the game for marijuana companies.
So how are cannabis businesses faring in this area?
In Colorado – home to the nation’s largest recreational industry and second-biggest medical cannabis market – the most common regulatory compliance infractions are related to physical inspections and security of business premises, according to Marijuana Business Daily.