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Keeping you afloat amidst the rising sea of regulations

Just in Time for the Holidays: California Agencies Propose Emergency Regulations for Temporary Cannabis Licenses

With less than 45 days until the January 1st implementation of Proposition 64 (the proposition that legalized cannabis in California) and the effective date for the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (an act that regulates cannabis), the California agencies given licensing authority under the law posted their proposed emergency regulations for commercial medicinal and adult-use cannabis. The announcement was made by the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) on their California Cannabis Portal webpage.  

Links to the text and summaries of the regulations proposed by the three licensing agencies – BCC, the California Department of Agriculture, and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) – are included in the webpage announcement. Because commercial cannabis activity can be conducted only between licensees, all three agencies need to provide for issuance of temporary licenses, along with regulations on the operation of these activities. BCC is responsible for the licensing and regulation of distributors, distributor-transporters, and retail dispensaries. The Department of Agriculture is responsible for licensing growers. CDPH will license cannabis manufacturers who make and/or package cannabis products for sale, including both medicinal and adult-use products.

All three agencies plan to issue temporary, 120-day licenses to applicants who meet both the state and local requirements. The proposed regulations of these agencies provide for a transition period so stakeholders can adapt to the newly regulated market. The licensing authorities indicated they expect to meet the January 1st implementation date for the issuance of commercial cannabis licenses.

We expect a hectic holiday season as these emergency regulations go through the formal adoption process under the Office of Administrative Law and the licensing agencies – in conjunction with other state and local entities – scramble to process applications for temporary licenses. And, of course, it would be remiss of us not to remind readers that although cannabis has legal status in California, the growth, sale, and possession of cannabis is still illegal under federal law.  

Arent Fox’s Cannabis Industry group and Health Care group is monitoring the rapidly evolving area of cannabis law, and will provide updates as California agencies continue their development of regulation. If you have any questions about this topic, please contact Thomas Jeffry or John Malone in our Los Angeles office, Steven Schnier in our San Francisco office, James Ravitz or Brian Malkin in our Washington, DC office, or the Arent Fox professional who regularly handles your matters.