A new law passed in California establishes strict regulations that cannabis extract manufacturers must follow. It’s intended to not only ensure high quality and safety for patients, but to protect manufacturers from misguided raids.
Last month, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 2679, a bill that establishes statewide standards for medical marijuana product manufacturers. The new law further implements regulations to help the industry prepare for the rules soon to be set forth by the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) and end “misguided raids” by law enforcement on cannabis product manufacturers.
Authored by a bipartisan coalition of Assemblymembers, AB 2679 acts a “legal bridge” between what is now an unregulated market to when the regulated market begins on January 1, 2018. The state’s medical marijuana market is currently in an interim period before the MCRSA, signed into law last year by Gov. Brown, takes effect.
“Last year, California took a historic step by regulating medical cannabis to protect patients, businesses, our communities, and the environment. But across the state, locally authorized medical cannabis manufacturers continue to be targeted by municipal law enforcement. As we await full implementation of medical cannabis regulations, manufacturers cannot continue to operate in a legal grey area,” California Assemblymember Rob Bonta explained in a press release. “Under AB 2679, local governments will be given guidance and manufacturers will be protected in preparation for state licenses in 2018.”
The new law sets strict standards that medical cannabis manufacturers must abide by in order to ensure the safety, quality and consistency of products. It creates a path for manufacturers to become licensed and requires that the manufacturing process includes local inspections and approvals.
By establishing manufacturing regulations and quality assurance standards, manufacturers of cannabis extract products can be protected from being arrested and prosecuted for operating a methamphetamine lab. The extractors and producers who follow the rules set forth by AB 2679 will be provided with a legal shield.
“AB 2679 brings needed clarity to local governments about the type of manufacturing of medical cannabis that is allowed during this interim period before the MCRSA is fully implemented,” said joint author, Assemblymember Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova). “I am proud to move this issue forward and continue the ongoing medical cannabis regulation conversation.”
California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. This November, the state’s voters will decide on whether California will become the fifth state to legalize adult use marijuana. Polls indicate that the measure, which would allow adults 21 and older to possess marijuana for personal use, is likely to pass. If it does, the legal marijuana market in California is projected to be worth $6.46 billion by 2020.
“With voters set to consider adult use of cannabis at the ballot box this November, it is critical that we clarify the role of manufacturers now. By acting today, California ensures manufacturers can continue to provide patients the medicine they need,” said Bonta.