Cannabis Legalization: What it Means for Cultivators

Tuesday marked an incredible moment in history. This election will be remembered as one of the most shocking of all time. Donald Trump is now president elect of the United States of America. But before you start packing your bags and looking around for your passport, remember that now 1 in 5 Americans have access to marijuana. Yes folks, cannabis was the big winner this year with four states (Massachusetts, California, Nevada and Maine) voting to legalize recreational use for adults 21 and older and another four (Florida, North Dakota, Montana and Florida) voting to add or expand medical use. These states together represent about 75 million Americans who now have some type of access to cannabis. With so much uncertainty about what happens now, we can take comfort in one guarantee-- cannabis is not going anywhere anytime soon.

However, voting yes on cannabis is just the very beginning- now starts the hard part. What exactly has passed and what happens now? See our run-down for the details:

California

What does the law say?

The California Constitution states that any approved ballot measures will take place the day after the election- so November 9. This means that starting yesterday, it is now legal for residents of California to possess and give away up to 28.5 grams of cannabis flower and up to 8 grams of cannabis concentrate, consume cannabis in their private homes and grow up to six cannabis plants.

When can we expect cultivation to begin?

Unfortunately for cannabis cultivators, however, the new law specifies that no commercial cannabis licenses of any kind can be issued until January 1, 2018. That includes the myriad of different types of cultivation licenses meaning that no one can even begin growing for another 14 months. After that, you can be sure to expect additional delays as the new law gets batted around state agencies and local governments before specific details and regulations of the law can be agreed upon and implemented.

What things should I consider if I’m a grower in California?

First, educate yourself on the different cultivation licenses available because you will need a license to do just about anything with cannabis in California. Also keep in mind that Prop 64 bans large-scale operations until 2023 as a way of dipping its toe in the water first. Licenses for cultivation will be managed by the

Second, you will need to keep an eye on will be how local governments address cultivation type. Some will inevitably ban outdoor cultivation and most will put strict standards around odor control. Considering a closed-loop indoor system might be your best bet!

Nevada

What does the new law say?

The recreational legislation, Question 2, is slated to take action on January 1, 2017 and states that anyone 21 years and older can possess up to one ounce of cannabis flower and up to one-eighth ounce of cannabis concentrate. Nevadans are also allowed to grow up to six plants for personal use with a cap of 12 plants total per household.

When can we expect cultivation to begin?

The Nevada Department of Taxation has until January 1, 2018 to set all the regulations and begin accepting applications. The department is then required to issue licenses or send notice of rejection within 90 days of receiving application.

Massachusetts

What does the new law say?

While Question 4 did pass, it is not actually in effect until December 15, 2016. As of that date, adults 21 and older can possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis flower at home and up to one ounce in public. You are also allowed to possess up to five grams of cannabis concentrate. Question 4 also allows private cultivation of 6 plants per person.

When can we expect cultivation to begin?

The yet-to-be-created Cannabis Control Commission will be required to begin accepting applications no later than October 1, 2017. They then have 90 days to issue a license or inform of rejection.

What things should I consider if I’m a grower in Massachusetts?

There is staunch opposition to cannabis legalization from Governor Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. This may mean that the law will not be implemented as voters wanted and could mean the process will drag out some.

Maine

What does the new law say?

Maine’s Question 1 allows people 21 and older to possess up to two and a half ounces of marijuana and possess and cultivate up to 6 flowering plants and 6 immature plants at that person’s residence.

When can we expect cultivation to begin?

This has yet to be decided but we’ll keep you posted.

Florida

What does the new law say?

Amendment 2 is one of the less detailed legislation around, coming in at 5 pages total (vs. California’s 62 page legislation) so a lot remains to be seen. However, what we do know is that starting on January 3, 2017, it will be (sort of) legal for a patient to possess and use cannabis medically. Patients will have to have both a letter of certification from their physician as well as a valid state-issued medical marijuana ID card, which could take some time. However, amendment 2 also requires the Florida Department of Health to finalize regulations by June 3, 2017 and have ID cards issues no later than September 3, 2017. Really, most of the law remains to be decided, including how much cannabis patients are allowed to have.

When can we expect cultivation to begin?

This is also uncertain. The Florida Department of Health will also have to decide how to evaluate and issue dispensary licenses. As of now, there are no specifics about how cultivation will happen.

North Dakota

What does the new law say?

This new law states that qualified patients can gain access to up to three ounces of usable cannabis and can grow in his/her home if it is located more than 40 miles from a registered facility.

When can we expect cultivation to begin?

This is very up in the air. The State Department of Health has 90 days from the election to complete rules and regulations around the law. So check back in sometime early next year.

Arkansas

What does the new law say?

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act, or Issue 6, officially went into effect yesterday, November 9, 2016. Patients are allowed to begin consulting with physicians about if they qualify for medical marijuana. However, rules for patient registry and identification cards will not be ready until sometime in mid February 2017.

When can we expect cultivation to begin?

The Department of Health plans to begin accepting applications for cultivation facilities by June 1, 2017.

Montana

What does the new law say?

Medical marijuana has already been legalized in Montana since 2004. However, in 2011, the Montana Legislature amended the law, limiting how many patients dispensaries could have and effectively halted medical marijuana programs.  The major part of Initiative 182 is it now allows dispensaries to serve more than three patients, which should help keep the industry alive.

Related posts

Subscribe to Email Updates