Following a tumultuous round of dispensary licensing in 2018, which caused uncertainty and infighting in the state’s fledgling cannabis industry, the Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB) took over the marijuana regulatory reins in 2020. The code focused on cracking down on bad actors and offering personalized regulation that brought stability to the industry from the 2021 parliamentary session.
Lawmakers in this session took a significant step to widen and diversify the industry’s ownership that is overwhelmingly white and male. They achieved this while creating a new license type for cannabis consumption lounges that allows tourists to legally consume marijuana. Following lessons learned in the eight years since the state first permitted marijuana dispensaries, the board also approved numerous other changes such as permanent curbside pickup, reevaluating police protocol for determining whether someone is driving under the influence of marijuana, and revised product labeling.
Assemblyman Steve Yeager (D) said that it’s been a long journey from the start of the 2013 session, when they launched the dispensaries, to where they are now.
“It’s really nice to see how the industry has matured,” said Yeager. “The legislation that we see this session is really in recognition that we’ve primarily done things right and to try to take that next step.”
A new legislative session would allow the compliance board to meet with legislators due to the work it had to do in July 2020 after becoming the state’s marijuana regulator.
Klimas says they are “very pleased” with how it came up.
“So much of this legislative session was focused on education for the CCB,” said Klimas. He added that they would report the CCB’s progress to the legislature for the first time in 2021. The director believes the legislature got the message.
The session saw the passage of a wide range of