So Proposition 64 has passed. The first thing you may want to know is, "When can I start buying recreational pot, and use it legally?" Sure, but there's so many more questions to ask -- and the answers are still evolving.
California's cannabis industry will see a lot of green, both in crops and in cash -- a recent study valued the state's current medical marijuana market at $2.7 billion, and a Prop 64-approved pot economy will grow to $6.46 billion by 2020. Who's going to reap the benefits? Who's going to have a buzzkill? How are individual cities and counties planning to regulate cannabis, and will that lead to a hodgepodge of confusing laws? With three different state agencies regulating cannabis, will California be able to stick to Prop 64's timeframe or will it harsh everyone's mellow with more red tape? Which county will be the first to embrace pot tourism and pitch itself as the "Napa of marijuana?" And with Donald Trump's pick as Attorney General on the record as strongly opposed to marijuana legalization, will these questions even matter?
For our first "Policy and a Pint" panel of 2017, come meet some people who are shaping and creating the state's cannabis industry, hear them explain the highs and lows of Proposition 64, how it's going to affect California economically, culturally and politically -- and, whether you partake or not, what you need to know about our biggest cash crop.
* Lori Ajax, Chief of California's Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation -- she was a top dog at the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control before Governor Brown appointed her as the state's first "pot czar" last year (her sit-down interview with the Mendocino Voice
* Hezekiah Allen, executive director of California Growers Association -- his trade group represents the state's cannabis farmers but he decided to vote against Prop 64 (he explains why to the Lost Coast Outpost)
* Nate Bradley, executive director of California Cannabis Industry Association-- a former cop from Yuba County who is now California's most effective pot lobbyist (as this BuzzFeed article describes)
* Gabriel Garcia, co-leader of the Cannabis Law practice at Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard, which, according to the Sacramento Business Journal, is the largest Sacramento law firm so far to publicize its efforts in that area of law.
* Jay Schenirer, Sacramento City Council Member for District 5 -- he believes the City should make the most of legalized marijuana by regulating the industry in ways that benefit residents first and foremost (here are his thoughts about it in a Sacramento Bee "Soapbox" column from last month)
* Andrea Unsworth, a former public-finance bond analyst for Moody's who is now founder of StashTwist, a cannabis delivery service in Oakland, and co-founder of Supernova Women, a group focused on getting more people of color running businesses in the cannabis industry (read this great profile of Supernova Women in California Sunday Magazine)
Listen to the podcast of this event at: https://soundcloud.com/californiagroundbreakers/policy-and-a-pint-pot-is-legal-now-what
Hear the entire 1 hr, 45 mins all at once, or move around to specific segments (we marked up sections in the "Podcast Timeframe" at the bottom of the page).
And here are some interesting articles worth reading about the cannabis industry:.
- Is Marijuana the Luxury Industry's Next Big Opportunity? $12 rolling papers and $65 pipes, anyone? How about $700 an ounce? Fashion and design brands have their sights set on California.
- "Those were our entrepreneurs we locked up." Can Oakland, a new capital of legal weed, undo the injustices of the war on drugs?
- Key Differences Between Recent Medical Cannabis Laws and Proposition 64. A report from our Legislative Analyst's Office that shows a good chart of the differences between CA's medical cannabis laws and the proposed recreational cannabis laws -- and how those differences could be a major headache for legislators and the marijuana industry.
- America's $6.7 Billion Marijuana Habit, Mapped. The legal marijuana market rang up $6.7 billion in sales last year; 8.3 percent of Americans age 12 and over (22 million people) use pot on a monthly basis; and other interesting data facts.
- 10 Things You Need to Know About California's Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Gabriel Garcia, one of our panelists, wrote this Top 10 List of the important things to know about the passing ofProp 64.