California MJ regulators promise timely licensing for industry

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A pair of top state cannabis regulators delivered a promise this week to those in California’s enormous marijuana trade: They will be on schedule and have a formal state permitting system up and running by January 2018.

That was the word out of the state capital on Wednesday, after cannabis executives and growers met with Lori Ajax, the head of the California Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, and Amber Morris, a branch chief of CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing (a division of the state department of food and agriculture).

Pursuant to both Proposition 64 – which legalized recreational marijuana – and the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) signed into law in 2015 by Gov. Jerry Brown, January 2018 is when the state is supposed to have a licensing system established for cannabis companies that want to operate within the bounds of the law.

“We will not fail. We will make this happen by Jan. 1, 2018, because we have to,” Ajax told the marijuana entrepreneurs, The Sacramento Bee reported. “It may not be pretty. But we will get there.”

Over the next 12 months, however, California will face plenty of serious questions and logistical obstacles before its statewide system is up and running, not the least of which is an ongoing lack of banking access for MJ companies. That’s an issue the California state treasurer has appealed directly to President-elect Donald Trump for help on.