California is considered the elder statesman when it comes to medical marijuana. And rightfully so: It pioneered the dispensary model and has the largest number of MMJ businesses in the country.
But it’s not necessarily the elder statesman the industry wants to have: California’s confusing patchwork of medical cannabis legislation – and the lack of statewide regulations – has allowed questionable operations to thrive. That’s given the state a severe image problem when it comes to medical marijuana and, just as importantly, put MMJ businesses at great risk. It’s no wonder the federal government has put California in the crosshairs over the past year.
The good news is that state lawmakers now finally seem to realize that California’s medical cannabis model is unsustainable, and they appear ready to address the situation head on. Last week, a committee of the state Assembly passed a measure that would bring accountability and oversight to California’s medical cannabis industry.
This is a positive step forward and shows that public officials are getting serious about medical marijuana.
But there’s still a long way to go before it becomes law. The clock is ticking, and time for a compromise on MMJ laws is running out. If lawmakers fail to act quickly, California’s medical marijuana industry could be in big trouble, especially if Los Angeles enacts a dispensary ban.
It’s time for the state to put its money where its mouth is and pass some type of regulation. But we’re skeptical that California will take any concrete action in 2012. What do you think?
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