California has implemented a series of regulations aimed at one of the state’s booming agricultural products—medical marijuana—and far from balking at government interference, producers seem pleased that lawmakers are ready to treat them as a real industry.
The Los Angeles Times reports that three bills, creating a system of oversight for the production of marijuana for medical purposes, were signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday:
The new laws create a state Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation to issue and revoke licenses for the cultivation, storage and sale of cannabis and collect fees to pay for the agency’s work.
Cities and counties will also have the power to issue and revoke local permits, adopt tougher restrictions on dispensary operations and ask voters to approve taxes on marijuana growers and dispensaries to pay for local public safety expenses.
Currently, some cities and counties have ordinances allowing them to license and limit the number of dispensaries. The new laws preserve the ability of Los Angeles to prosecute businesses that violate rules set by voters in 2013.
The Sacramento Bee notes that while the governor’s approval was expected, since his office was heavily involved in drafting the bills, an unlikely coalition of support had sprung up among some of the state’s most powerful interests, from labor unions seeking worker protections to the head of the state association of police chiefs.
And the target of this regulatory intrusion, proprietors of marijuana businesses, have made it known that they don’t mind the new rules. One grower told the Los Angeles Times that, even though he’ll have to modify his plans for a new indoor cultivation facility in order to comply, he welcomed “this well-thought-out set of guidelines.”