California lawmakers seek to expedite cannabis rulemaking

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

In a move to ensure they can meet their January 2018 deadline to establish a new regulatory system for medical and recreational marijuana businesses, California legislators have established an “emergency rulemaking process” that won’t include a normal public comment period.

The lawmakers fear that going through a typical comment period would prevent the state from issuing marijuana business licenses beginning Jan. 2, The Cannifornian reported. Missing that mandated deadline would also delay the launch of the state’s recreational industry.

The new emergency regulations for the state’s medical cannabis market are expected sometime “this fall,” according to the news outlet, and rec rules will follow after that. But no hard timeline has been set.

The issue facing California legislators is that the merging of the medical and rec systems in June forced several state agencies to go “back to the drawing board” on a number of industry rules, The Cannifornian reported.

Those agencies include the Department of Consumer Affair’s Bureau of Cannabis Control, the Department of Public Health and the Department of Food and Agriculture.

However, state officials insist they’re on track to meet the January timeline to issue cannabis business licenses.