There were some high hopes that California’s cannabis market would provide the rest of the nation with a stellar blueprint for how to legalize marijuana on a grand scale. But so far, the state has only proven to be the biggest failure in the stoner sector. There is even a possibility, at this juncture of the game, that the Golden State’s pot commerce is at risk of an “extinction event” if growers are not given licensing extensions. The bottom line is: if something doesn’t happen soon to keep the state’s pot farmers in compliance with the law, all of them could end up either shut down or forced to operate illegally.
This is a situation that one state lawmaker is trying to prevent.
California Senator Mike McGuire recently introduced legislation intended to prevent the cannabis cultivators operating across the state with temporary licenses from being pushed in the black market once again. As it stands, thousands of pot growers are conducting businesses on permits that keep most of them legit until March or April. Some, however, have already expired.
The proposal is designed to keep upstanding growers on the right side of the law through the rest of the year.
“This bill is going to protect thousands of cannabis farmers, in particular, who did the right thing and applied for a state license after the passage of Prop. 64 but their temporary license is about to expire,” McGuire said, according to a report from the Sacramento Bee.
The thing is, although the bill is expected to pass with flying colors, it might not happen until May. This means all of the growers affected, at least those who want to remain in good standings with the state of California, might have to cease operations for a few weeks while the issue gets sorted out. And this could lead to supply shortages in the largest pot market in the country.
What’s worse is some pot growers have already been run out of business due to the licensing snafu.
“There will be dire consequences such as imminent market collapse of hundreds of businesses in the region and through the state,” is something isn’t done to correct the licensing problem soon, Terra Carver, executive director for the Humboldt County Growers Alliance, told the news source.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much being done by the cannabis industry itself to prepare for the lapse. It’s is mostly business as usual.
Some cannabis growers have said that regardless of whether they get an extension permit, they are going to continue growing weed. There is also some talk about filing a lawsuit against the state, but that doesn’t appear to be the way the majority wants to handle the issue. At least not for now.
McGuire’s bill would keep the pot sector on legal ground, as well as require state regulators to keep up with temporary licenses, because like he says, “without legal licenses, there isn’t a legal, regulated market in California.”
The cannabis industry is hopeful that a solution will be found to prevent any kind of a licensing lapse. If not, well, we will just have to wait and see.