Rumblings in CA legislature over marijuana licensing delay

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Many industry observers have doubted that California will be able to meet the January deadline for having a cannabis business licensing system up and running, and now a state senator has broached the topic as well.

Sen. Holly Mitchell, a Los Angeles Democrat, suggested the state delay licensing specifically for recreational marijuana businesses in order to first resolve the issue of how registered companies will be able to pay their taxes and fees without any guarantee of banking services.

“Does the legislature have the authority to delay implementation of either the tax collection or the Jan. 1 due date with regard to licensing?” Mitchell asked during a legislative committee hearing, the Los Angeles Times reported.

One option if the state did want to delay the permitting process would be to issue provisional licenses, according to the Times, until the larger licensing system is ready for the likely hundreds, if not thousands, of companies that will register with the state.

By contrast, state regulators have been more upbeat about the implementation of new regulations.

Last month, two top California cannabis regulators promised the state will be on schedule and have a formal permitting system up and running by January 2018.