Pushback on California proposal to merge rec, medical MJ systems

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A series of proposals from California Gov. Jerry Brown to merge regulations for medical and recreational marijuana have come under fire from some state lawmakers and political stakeholders, throwing the future of the regulatory changes into uncertainty.

Some in Sacramento are now saying Brown’s proposals – which are attached to a budget trailer bill – may not pass muster with the state legislature, according to the Los Angeles Times. Critics, including police chiefs, say the proposed changes would benefit the MJ industry over the public.

If the matter turns into a big political fight, it could delay the scheduled January 2018 rollout of the new statewide MJ business licensing system.

A central point of contention is that Brown wants to do away with the requirement that cannabis businesses obtain local permits before receiving state licenses.

Under Brown’s proposal, companies would have to get local permits if a local licensing system is in place; but if not, companies would still have to submit an Environmental Impact Report. Several state lawmakers want to keep that provision, the Times reported.

There are other issues at play as well, however, with the Teamsters and the police chiefs association pushing back on other changes Brown put forward.