Flaws In Legal Pot System Put Thousands At Risk, Bay Area Politician Warns

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Photo credit Medical Marijuana Testing (Photo credit: Jose Luis Villegas/Sacramento Bee/MCT/Sipa USA)

 A warning has been issued to state lawmakers that California's legal cannabis industry needs an intervention to avoid going “extinct."

Radio.com station KNX 1070 in Los Angeles reports that state Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) warned that around 10,000 marijuana growers are at risk of losing their temporary licenses in the next several months unless they are given more time to file for an extension.

Following the passage of Proposition 64 in 2016, which legalized recreational marijuana in California, the state issued temporary and annual licenses to growers allowing them to operate while the state and grow operators worked out the kinks in the new legal system.

Now, many of those temporary licenses are set to expire. McGuire says many will not be renewed unless the deadline to apply for an extension is extended.

“This also means the flow of legal cannabis is at risk to retailers which very well could mean an enhanced reliance on black market cannabis at the retail level,” said McGuire, creating the exact issue Proposition 64 was designed to avoid.

Obstacles such as this one are to be expected considering the accelerated process of legalizing recreational marijuana, McGuire said. 

“Providing this state one year to prepare after Prop 64 was setting us up for significant challenges and I will share with you these challenges are now here on our plate,” the Senator said. “I don’t think there’s one silver bullet to a fix on this.”

McGuire is introducing a bill to extend the renewal period until the end of this year.