The clock is ticking in California as months dissolve into weeks leading up to the Jan. 1 launch of an adult-use cannabis market. While the state Bureau of Cannabis Control will impose regulations on the newly legal industry, many of California’s nearly 600 municipalities are scrambling to enact their own guidelines that could mean life or death for local businesses.
Confusion Coming With California’s Legal Cannabis
Rules adopted at the city and county level will, in many ways, shape the face of the state’s cannabis industry—and could make or break a would-be business. Not only do state regulators require local authorization to grant a cannabis business license, but beyond that, local ordinances often dictate crucial elements of business operations, such as zoning restrictions and additional tax requirements.
“We’re going from a culture of hiding to all of a sudden being a culture of inviting.”
Gavin Kogan , Grupo Flor
That’s why legislative advocates, cannabis activists and consultants alike are encouraging everyone in the cannabis business to engage with their local governments.
“There’s no doubt about it,” said Gavin Kogan, an attorney and a co-founder of cannabis consortium Grupo Flor. “If you’re in the pot industry, you’re in politics.”
Leafly spoke with industry experts on how to best rally support of local officials as members of an industry that’s long carried social stigma. The first step? Don’t be intimidated.
Leafly List: The Best Cannabis Dispensaries in Northern California, Fall 2017
1 Show Up! Be Visible!
If you’re struggling to find a good place to begin your political career, start small. Make a call to your representative or show up at City Council meeting. Speak up during the appropriate comment period, said Amy Jenkins, a longtime legislative