SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 12, 2017 /Weed Wire/ — California’s North Coast is the epicenter of cannabis country with four Northern California counties growing approximately 60 percent of the cannabis in America.
Senator Mike McGuire, who represents those cannabis rich counties, has been the lead legislator in the Senate to help craft the cannabis budget trailer bill that was released today.
Working with his colleagues, including Assemblymember Jim Wood, Senator McGuire developed bold solutions to some of the biggest challenges that have impacted the North Coast and California communities for years.
The budget trailer bill includes:
- Enhancing environmental rules and regulations, including creating an organic standards program for cannabis
- Opening a desperately needed North Coast one stop shop for tax and license collections which will be fully staffed
- Implementing appellations for cannabis growing regions
- Recognizing agricultural co-ops for cannabis growers, ensuring that small family cultivators can thrive in the new regulatory system
- Preserving the ability for cities and counties to maintain local control and regulation of businesses in their hometowns
“The North Coast is the epicenter for cannabis cultivation in America and it has been critical that as state regulations are implemented, the North Coast is driving the conversation. The proposed new rules and regulations that are embedded within the budget will enhance environmental protections, advance local control for cities and counties and ensure the health and safety of consumers is priority number one as we continue to move this multi-billion dollar industry into the light,” Senator McGuire said.
Currently, as cannabis farmers and business owners attempt to pay their share of taxes – in cash – there is no tax and license office on the North Coast to remit payment, so they travel hundreds of miles with tens of thousands of dollars to make the deposit. Senator McGuire has been a staunch advocate to develop and open a fully staffed state tax and license office located in the heart of California’s cultivation region and after intense negotiations, the North Coast will finally have a fully staffed office by July 1 of 2018.
“The North Coast will finally have a tax collection and cannabis license office, which will end the absolute madness of law-abiding residents and business owners driving 5 hours to pay their taxes. This new office will be close to home, and make tax compliance quick and simple,” Senator McGuire said.
Northern California watersheds and forest lands have been hit hard by rogue marijuana grows. Working closely with Assemblymember Wood, new environmental rules and regulations will further protect our environment. The bill includes an organics program that will be in place by 2021, creating a new standard which is a big win for the environment and it meets the growing consumer demand for organic cannabis. The bill’s language also ensures that licensing entities can deny an application for a licensure or renewal for failure or inability to meet environmental requirements.
The bill also creates safety product labeling, allows for the co-location of retail sales for medical and recreational cannabis, and clarifies that businesses cannot mislead consumers as to the origin of marijuana products on labeling, advertising, marketing or packaging, which is identical to the language in Senator McGuire’s SB 175.
“There have been major steps taken over the past two years that are completely transforming the cannabis industry, and while there is still a lot of work to be done including the implementation of the electronic cannabis tax system, this budget bill ensures Californians health and safety is priory number one and environmental protections are at the forefront of every decision,” Senator McGuire said.
The state budget and budget trailer bills will be voted on by the legislature Thursday.