NORTH COAST, Calif. – In November 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64 legalizing recreational cannabis.
California residents are now seeing the migration of North America’s largest cannabis market into the light of a regulated and legal system estimated to be worth an approximate $7 billion annually.
State Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Jim Wood will hold a first-of-its-kind hearing next week in Ukiah to discuss the “First 60 Days of Prop 64.”
This will be one of the largest and most comprehensive events of its kind since the initiative went into effect earlier this year.
“Preparing for the implementation of Prop 64 was a massive undertaking for the state of California and local communities, and we have been committed to a transparent process,” McGuire said. “As we all know, the state has been ‘building the plane while it’s flying’ with the implementation of Prop 64 which is why Assemblymember Wood and I have made it a priority to bring all of the state agency, local government and business leaders together in Ukiah to provide an in-depth briefing to the North Coast.”
The hearing will be an official joint meeting of the Committee on Governance and Finance, chaired by McGuire and will be held at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 1.
“We need to make sure that regulations for smaller cannabis farms are reasonable and attainable,” said Wood. “Without that, I am concerned that these farmers, who are an important part of the North Coast economy, won’t have an incentive to comply and may return to an underground economy that could adversely affect public safety and the environment.”
On March 1, the committee will hear testimony from leaders of state and local agencies, as well as the cannabis industry.
Committee members will first hear from Mendocino County Supervisor Dan Hamburg and Ukiah Mayor Kevin Doble with welcoming remarks, after which witnesses will testify in three panels:
– State agency Leaders, including Lori Ajax, Chief of the Bureau of Cannabis Control (lead agency for the State of California on all; Nicholas Maduros, executive director of the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (responsible for all cannabis related taxes), and Richard Parrott, director, CalCannabis Licensing with the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
– Local officials from Mendocino, Humboldt, and Sonoma counties will discuss the challenges and potential opportunities ahead for local governments related to legal recreational cannabis.
– CEOs and executives from CannaCraft, FlowKana, and the California Growers Association will also be presenting on the panel “The Green Gold Rush: Will it Pan Out for California Businesses?”
The two committees consider the most significant legislation that sets the rules for California’s cannabis industry, affects local regulation of recreational cannabis, or changes its taxation.
The hearing follows up on two previous Governance and Finance Committee’s hearings: “California Cannabis in a Turbulent Time,” held last February, and “Preparing for California’s Green Gold Rush – Implementing Proposition 64 Taxes,” which took place in July.
These hearings can be viewed online on the California State Senate’s Web site, http://senate.ca.gov/media-archive?page=1.