Temporary licenses will allow California cannabis sales to start on January 1, 2018.

On November 2016 it finally happened: California voted to legalize cannabis for adult use.

Once the honeymoon phase was over, cannabis consumers turned their focus towards the obvious question: 'When do legal adult-use cannabis sales begin?'

Regulating a new industry is never easy.

The process is messy.

And fortunately, California has a plan in place.

Part of this plan involves issuing temporary cannabis licenses to ensure adult-use sales start at the beginning of 2018.

The announcement was made at an industry event this past September by Lori Ajax, Chief of the California Bureau of Cannabis Control, aka the 'Cannabis Czar'.

Why does this matter?

California Is Unlike Any Other Cannabis State

California state flag with cannabis leaves
California is set to make a major impact in the cannabis world.

California is special in many ways, and the new cannabis policy is no exception.

With California having the oldest medical cannabis program in the nation, and many consumers being used to it, integrating cannabis sales for adult use is a bit tricky.

When you factor into the equation that California has the largest population out of any state in America, legal cannabis or otherwise, it gets even more complicated.

California is very complex from a public policy standpoint, which makes implementing any new laws that involve environmental and business regulataions a real challenge. 

Doing so with this historical cannabis initiative makes the task even more difficult.

Watch the Exclusive Interview with California 'Cannabis Czar' Lori Ajax

"The Fundamentals of California's New Cannabis Regulations in 2018"

You can now watch this exclusive feature interview streaming on INSIDER.

Lori Ajax and Max Simon

During this comprehensive discussion, covers:

  • License types available in this new, regulated California market.
  • The status of banks working with cannabis businesses in the state.
  • How local and municipal regulations can affect state licensing.
  • Temporary and Special Event licensing.
  • What government organizations need to be involved for compliance.
  • The number and type of each license the bureau will issue.
  • Handling dispensaries that want to maintain their medical status.
  • Licensing protocols, criteria and how to apply for a license.
  • How the state will handle illegal dispensaries currently operating.
  • Job creation and careers in the new cannabis industry.
  • Medical vs. Adult-Use licenses.
  • Lessons learned from other states that have legalized cannabis.
  • Lots more...

California’s Industry Will Create Ripple Effects throughout the Nation

Are we looking at a cannabis juggernaut?

Reports have found that California is home to half of the entire cannabis industry in America, and that is WITHOUT adult-use sales.

California has long been a hotbed for tourism, and launching adult-use cannabis sales should see a lot of those tourists spending their dollars in retail outlets.

How many people that were previously going to other states for cannabis tourism will instead go to California remains to be seen.

The same is true for surrounding states that may see sales along the border go towards California entities.

No one knows exactly what effect California legalization will have on other states, and I think it's safe to say that it will indeed make a significant impact.

The Rulemaking Process Is On-Going

Here's the deal:

The fight to make legalization a reality does not end on Election Day.

Far from it.

A successful vote for a legalization initiative is the end of one process and the start of another – the implementation process.

Implementing a cannabis legalization initiative is a rough process that can take quite a bit of time and effort.

Many questions need to be asked and answered:

  • How will cannabis business licenses be issued?
  • How will people qualify for those licenses?
  • How much will they cost?
  • Does the initiative contain any holes that need to be filled?

All states that have legalized cannabis for adult use have struggled with the implementation phase because, after all, there is not really a guidebook for how to implement a legalization initiative.

Sure, other states have done it, but every state is different. Every state has its own nuances and factions which affect how legalization initiatives are implemented.

California’s New Adult-Use Law Is Years in the Making

California was the first state to legalize cannabis for medical use in 1996. Since that time dozens of other states have followed suit.

Many, including myself, expected California to be the first state to legalize cannabis for adult use. California originally had the chance to do so in 2010, but the initiative that year, Proposition 19, failed to pass.

2012 came and went with no initiative making the ballot in California. The 2014 ballot in California also did not contain a cannabis legalization initiative.

Fortunately, California was successful in passing a legalization initiative in 2016. California was joined in 2016 by Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maine.

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Do you plan on making a trip to California to make a legal cannabis purchase?

Do you plan on making a trip to California to make a legal cannabis purchase?