California Cannabis Leaders Gather to Discuss Legalization
January 13th, 2015
Policy, Top News
The Emerald Cup’s 2016 California Marijuana Legalization Panel gathered in Santa Rosa earlier this week to begin discussing the state’s next marijuana legislation. For the first time, some of the state’s most competitive cannabis factions sat together at the same table to find a way to achieve the same goal – adult-use marijuana legalization in the largest U.S. state.
In 2010, Proposition 19 failed with 46.5% of the vote, but a recent polls suggests that 65% of Californians would now support a similar measure to legalize the drug. The largest question in December’s elections will not be whether or not the measures will pass, but what the legalization legislation will look like and how it will be implemented.
Many of the panelists are concerned that, without a cohesive agreement between all of the state’s factions, there’s a risk that big tobacco or other lobbies could come in and shape legislation in their favor. In the discussions, there was talk of banning all out-of-state growers and investors for up to three years in order to foster domestic growth.
Other issues that were discussed include whether or not the lobby will be able to attract the same donors that it has during 2016. With a lot of the groundwork already laid, many of the largest financial backers have been pulling some funds from the pool, while many profitable cannabis operations have been hesitant to open their wallets.
Adult-use cannabis legalization has already been implemented in Colorado and Washington State, while legalization measures have passed in Oregon, Alaska, and Washington DC. With a lot of early success in the rollout of these programs, many voters have become a lot more open to the idea of legalization, overcoming prior obstacles in public perception.
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