Everyone involved in the regulated cannabis industry over the past few years understands that rules will be announced and then amended and then amended again. It is imperative to stay up-to-date on the latest developments and to align with common interests to make the cannabis industry work for all involved, one of the values of the International Cannabis Business Conference is bringing industry participants together with policymakers and regulators to learn from one another.

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control recently released a new round of draft rules after thousands of public comments. The BCC is now accepting new comments through November 5th on these rules. Marijuana Business Daily discussed the latest draft rules with Juli Crockett, compliance director for MMLG, and California attorney Omar Figueroa, some highlights:

  • Cannabis delivery would be prohibited by third-party companies that do not have state MJ commercial licenses, but the rules do allow for tech platforms to help facilitate deliveries as long as there’s no direct profit-sharing based on sales. The move could undercut business models of companies such as Eaze and Weedmaps when it comes to delivery, both Figueroa and Crockett said.

  • Licensed cannabis businesses would be required to disclose far more information about individuals and companies that hold ownership stakes – a move Figueroa said amounts to a “ban on silent partners.” Crockett added that the BCC “wants to know who’s standing to profit and who has a standing in each of these companies.”

  • Licensed MJ events would no longer be confined to county fairgrounds, which means there would likely be a proliferation of cannabis events of various types.

  • Testing requirements would be modified to ease the previously strict mandates that have led to a number of product failures and recalls.

As reported by Law.com, the latest BCC rules will not allow localities to ban deliveries within their jurisdictions and licensing fees have been reduced to $2,500 a year for businesses with sales under $500,000. Some more advertising and branding regulations have been proposed as well, such as no product can be shaped in a caricature or realistic depiction of a human being, no billboards are allowed within 15 miles of the California state line, and retailers are (for some reason) barred from giving away non-cannabis products (in addition to cannabis and cannabis-infused products).

The next International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco on February 7-8, 2019, will have up-to-date information on the newest rules and insight into potential legislative and regulatory changes that may be on the horizon. Additionally, the ICBC will have regulators on hand so California licensees, and those thinking of joining the industry, can have their concerns addressed. Be sure to purchase your ICBC San Francisco early-bird tickets by January 18th to save. In the meantime, if you have suggestions and ideas regarding California’s latest draft cannabis rules, email them to the Bureau of Cannabis Control at bcc@dca.ca.gov.