It’s no secret that the rollout of California’s cannabis legalization laws has been slow-going. Moving at a cautious speed that has seen the first annual licenses just starting to be issued, the Bureau of Cannabis Control has favored a steady approach. In the BCC’s defense, no regulatory body has yet to deal with as big of a population, a large geographic area, and huge entrenched medical and outlaw grower cultures, while also dealing with the fact that the regulated substance is still illegal under federal law. The pace has been maddening for many in the industry and has led to California being the only state to see its revenue drastically below initial projections.
The opportunities remain vast and, according to Leafly, there are some positive signs that cannabis legalization is now surging in California. Here are a few of the seven signs Leafly detailed recently:
Annual Licenses Are Finally Here
In early November, BCC issued its first 12 annual licenses to cannabis businesses. In stark contrast to temporary licenses, which had been issued up until that point and required little more than local approval and a diagram of the premises, annual permits entail an exhaustive application process that includes a rigorous environmental impact review under the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA.
Tax Revenue Is Climbing
Although falling short of initial projections, cannabis tax revenue collected by the state has steadily increased throughout 2018, from $60.9 million in the first quarter of the year to more than $74 million in the second. These figures include state cultivation, excise, and sales taxes. The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) has yet to release more recent sales figures.
The Cannabis Job Market Is Booming
According to a report released this year from Vangst, a cannabis industry staffing agency, the number of cannabis job listings in the US grew by roughly 690% between Jan. 1, 2017 and Aug. 1, 2018. These include front-facing positions, such as budtenders and dispensary managers, as well as compliance managers and technical roles overseeing extraction operations. Mainstream professional hiring websites such as Monster and Indeed have embraced the new industry as well, and a simple search for “cannabis” yields hundreds of listings.
It’s always great to learn that cannabis policies are improving, so head on over to Leafly to read the full list why California’s cannabis system is starting to take off. With the world’s sixth-largest economy, the economic future of the Golden State’s cannabis industry is certainly bright after some pesky bureaucratic hurdles are overcome. As the state and local regulations are ironed out, ending federal regulations will provide the biggest boom to California’s cannabis community as cultivators and processors are able to export across state lines. The International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco on February 7-8, will be a great opportunity for the California industry to come together to network to compete in the present and the future.
Secure your spot at ICBC San Francisco and save on tickets, by purchasing your early-bird passes by January 18th. The event is expected to sell out, so don’t delay. After San Francisco, the ICBC will be heading to Barcelona, Spain, on March 14th, and then returning to Berlin, Germany, for the third time on March 31st-April 2nd.