California Cannabis Industry Must Be Prepared

Business and cannabis experts agree, California is positioned to be the dominant world market for legal marijuana following the passage of Proposition 64 during the election this past November. While California has had some degree of legal cannabis since 1996, when it passed the country’s first medical cannabis law, Proposition 215, regulations have been varied and imperfect. Statewide standards have been virtually non-existent in the Golden State.
Though Colorado and Washington passed adult-use recreational marijuana measures four years ago in 2012, businesses in those states still struggle to keep up with the changing whims of overly-cautious politicians. As California moves adult use cannabis into a legal industry, the state will face many similar battles. Currently, some legislators there are pushing to ban billboard advertising on in-state highways.
According to Peter Hecht of The Sacramento Bee:
For months, westbound commuters on Highway 50 were greeted with a towering billboard of pot culture icon Tommy Chong pitching his Chong’s Choice marijuana products and directing motorists to a Sacramento dispensary, the Horizon Collective.
…[But] State lawmakers are considering legislation – Assembly Bill 64 – that would amend California’s recently passed Proposition 64 recreational marijuana initiative by imposing stricter rules for marijuana advertising.
Proposition 64, which allows adults 21 and over to possess an ounce of marijuana and creates a framework for recreational pot sales by Jan. 1, 2018, banned marijuana advertisements on interstate highways crossing the border into California. The new legislation would extend the ban to prohibit marijuana advertising along any stretch of interstate or state highway in California.
The uncertainty of a brand-new market, especially a market which comes with so many extreme positive and negative feelings, creates a large amount of unpredictability. People getting into the cannabis industry will need a strong business plan and a team of skilled and knowledgeable persons for any new cannabis enterprise. If you want to be part of the coalition of cannabis entrepreneurs working to understand these evolving laws and advocate for sensible regulations, you won’t want to miss the International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco, CA, on February 17th, 2017.
This blog was originally published at and has been reposted here with special permission.

Anthony Johnson

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort. He served as director of both the New Approach Oregon and Vote Yes on 91 PACs, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. As director of New Approach Oregon, Anthony continues to work towards effectively implementing the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature as well as city councils and county commissions across the state. Anthony helps cannabis business comply with Oregon's laws and advises advocates across the country. He also serves as content director of both the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, helping share the vision of moving the cannabis industry forward in a way that maintains the focus on keeping people out of prison and protecting patients. He was a member of the Oregon Health Authority Rules Advisory Committee, assisting the drafting of the administrative rules governing Oregon’s state-licensed medical marijuana facilities. He first co-authored and helped pass successful marijuana law reform measures while a law student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He passed the Oregon Bar in 2005 and practiced criminal defense for two years before transitioning to working full-time in the political advocacy realm. His blogs on Marijuana Politics are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization.