Thank you for contacting my office regarding cannabis regulations in California. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.
I too believe that our state’s cannabis polices should protect small businesses in our rural communities. As one of the authors of the Medical Marijuana Regulatory and Safety Act (MRSA), I worked to protect California from vertical cannabis integration and unlimited cross licensure because I believed they would not serve our community well. I did not support Proposition 64 for the same reasons. Unfortunately with the passage of Prop 64, which did not include these protections, the will of the voters has taken precedence. To make any changes to the vertical integration model established in Prop 64, it will require another vote of the people.
While I share your concerns about the impacts this model may have on small growers in my district, there are a few developments that I see as hopeful. The budget trailer language does include a limitation on the number of licenses that will be provided to Type 3 medium size growers. I hope this limitation, as well as delayed implementation on the issuance of Type 5 licenses to large grower will allow time for growers in the district to establish themselves.
Additionally, last year I authored AB 2516 creating a specialty cottage cultivator license for small growers who grow only a handful of plants on relatively small plots of land. These cottage farmers often rely on medical cannabis cultivation to supplement their income, or simply as one product in a larger agricultural portfolio.
Assemblymember, 2nd District