Hard to believe that it’s been five years since the passage of Prop. 64, which legalized the distribution and sale of cannabis for adults 21 and up in the State of California.
Like all “cannabis friendly” states, California has had issues and time delays getting a licensing framework off the ground. Of course, this is made doubly difficult by the fact that cannabis is still a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law. In my ten years of practice in the space, I’ve learned that regulators are often flying by the seat of their pants in dealing with rulemaking to address industry issues only as they arise. (Keep in mind that the states are in complete control of the fate of these democratic experiments and there is no gold standard yet for the ideal cannabis licensing system.) Oftentimes, cannabis businesses experience frustrating operational and compliance issues simply because regulators (and legislators) haven’t yet caught up with the real-world issues these businesses face in this unique area of commerce.
California cannabis though seems to suffer more than most other states because of its massive size, incredibly diverse interest groups, and its correspondingly huge illegal market that on the whole refuses to