Welcome to Cannabis Corner. A weekly insight into the world of evolving cannabis legislation, regulation, use and access. Robbin Lynn, MBA, Certified Cannabis Specialist, and author/owner of The One Minute Cannabist Education Center in Oceanside, California has spent the last decade helping people navigate the world of cannabis whether for medicinal or recreational use. Through her unique insight and expertise, she has helped more than 5,000 people, most over the age of 50, achieve desired results in a safe and effective manner.
The Legality of California Cannabis
Cannabis is legal now so it should be easy and readily available, right? Sadly, the answer is no. This week’s article will address the changing legal landscape and why it just isn’t that simple (yet).
California made history in 1996, when Prop 215, which made cannabis legal for medicinal use became law by a 55.6% majority vote.
The State not wanting it at all attempted to invalidate it and eventually when they couldn’t make it go away, simply ignored it. This was the consummate dis-implementation of a law. Despite the inaction of the State, an industry around medical cannabis emerged and has served consumers for the past 22 years.
In 2016, the voters of California passed Prop 64, which made cannabis legal for adult use in California. This means anyone 21 or over may purchase and use cannabis (see chart below). This time around the State has fully embraced the law, governed by the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) which has been working diligently with industry stakeholders and consumers to craft and roll out the regulations.
While Prop 64 removed previously restrictive prohibitions on cannabis in California, there are many nuances of the law which make it quite complicated for consumers wanting access to the state regulated products and business owners desiring a state legal status. In addition, Prop 64, encompassed Prop 215, putting both M-type licensing (medical use) and A-type licensing (adult use) under a single regulatory body.
For a cannabis business to apply for and receive a state license from the BCC, said business must first obtain local licensing. Prop 64 allows for municipalities to restrict or outright ban cannabis businesses. Only 15% of all cities in California are currently allowing for cannabis businesses, leaving 85% of the adult population without an easy and safe mechanism to access state regulated cannabis products.
All cities in North County have chosen to ban, except for Oceanside, which is currently implementing M-type regulations, but is not including walk-in dispensary operations
. In all North County, we have just two state licensed cannabis businesses operating. SD Naturals in Escondido and 420 Central a medical cannabis delivery service. At last count, there were approximately 14 legally operating dispensaries within the city of San Diego.
This means that if north county consumers want regulated & safe state legal products the options are quite limited outside of making the drive into San Diego.
On the topic of state legal products, tune in next week for a better understanding of the physiology of cannabis, why it works in our bodies, and best practices for selecting products.
Quick view Cannabis Legal Landscape
Crossing state lines is Federally illegal
**Cities cannot restrict your right to grow, but they can restrict where you grow, i.e. indoor vs outdoor.