New ‘Legal Marijuana’ Law Explained. What Prop. 64 Means for CA
Interested in the future of Cannabis related jobs & and nightlife in San Francisco? SF politicians break it down in the SF Mission Monday, October 24th. More info here
San Francisco CA – There is both excitement and confusion surrounding the new cannabis legislation on the ballot this November: California, Proposition 64 Marijuana Legalization. This article looks at the basics. Namely, will Prop 64 pass, how it will effect everyday citizens, and when these laws go into effect. We will cover how the new Cannabis regulations will shape marijuana manufacturing, farming, & retail in an article next week.
Will Prop 64 pass? The answer is most likely yes. According to a LATimes/USC Dornsife poll this summer, 58% of California voters support the bill, and favorability extends across most lines of age, race, income and gender. It looks as though the measure will succeed as prop 64 only needs 51% of the vote to pass.
When will changes take effect? Many changes, especially in the criminal justice system (see bellow) will go into effect immediately after midnight November 8th 2016. Meaning any Californian over the age of 21 will be able to poses and consume Marijuana legally, as well as grow up to 6 plants indoors. But other changes, like issuing licenses to pot clubs to sell recreational cannabis (without prescriptions), will likely begin more than a year from then. It will take time to set the new state laws in place, local municipalities like Oakland or San Francisco may expedite the process and set up their own licensing systems faster, but the state regulatory agency will most likely begin issuing licenses in late 2017. Which means recreational pot clubs won’t be seen immediately.
What does Prop 64 mean to cannabis consumers? As stated before, Prop 64 would allow Californians ages 21 or older to possess, transport and use up to an ounce of cannabis (roughly 30-50 joints worth) for recreational purposes, and grow up to 6 plants indoors. It would also have an incredible effect on our state criminal justice system and potentially California’s prison population. Individuals serving sentences for activities made legal under the measure would be eligible for resentencing, and anyone on parole or probation for a marijuana-related offense will be able to petition to have their sentence reduced. California has arrested nearly half a million people for marijuana in the past decade (with a sharp racial bias against people of color in arrests and conviction rates). Resentencing in these cases will directly effect thousands of lives, alleviate stress on the penal system in the long term, and unburden California jails holding and processing marijuana offenders.
The new legislation is not without dissenters. Many small pot farmers for example are against Prop 64. They argue that it will open the door for big corporations to take over the industry, that the taxes on cannabis will be too high, and that the taxes (annually in the millions) will not go to benefit the state, but will rather go to a beaucratic ‘slush’ fund controlled by one of the propositions leading proponents, Lt Gov. Gavin Newsom.
On the flip side of the those arguments, legislators have written in a 5 year ban on issuing licenses for large-scale marijuana businesses in order to prevent “unlawful monopoly power” in the industry. They have set up a new ‘California Marijuana Tax Fund’ which devotes the 15% cannabis retail tax towards administrating and enforcing the measure. Taxes collected will be distributed to drug research, treatment and enforcement programs, including millions of dollars to public university cannabis research, and other programs that do things like alleviate environmental damage from illegal marijuana producers.
The Cannabis industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and billion dollar industries don’t just emerge like this everyday. So, how is this new measure going to effect you, the consumer? How are the new marijuana laws going to shape cannabis tourism, nightlife and jobs in the SF Bay Area? Find out on Monday October 24th, District 9 Supervisor candidates Hilary Ronen and Joshua Arce are going to break down how they envision the cannabis legislation unfolding in the city, and many marijuana advocates, industry insiders, and experts will be in attendance.
And if you want to look at the prop 64 legislation itself, it is comprehensibly broken down and explained on Balletopedia.