California Votes on Recreational Cannabis

EC_08The AUMA (Adult Use of Marijuana Act) is coming to your California ballot in November 2016. It’s one of the 18 latest California propositions the voters will be deciding this November. Besides the recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 years and older, the voters will have a say in a ban on plastic bags, increase in cigarette taxes, eliminating the death penalty, increasing California’s minimum wage and retooling Proposition 13, especially as it relates to commercial properties. If the AUMA is passed, it will create a schism between the majority of growers who are still transporting their product out of state (Interstate Transportation of Narcotics) for cash (tax avoidance) versus those who are selling their product in state and trying to become legitimate business people.

  If you’re reading this Emerald Magazine, then you probably care about one very important subject – cannabis. California was the first state to pass a medical Marijuana bill in 1996 (Proposition 215). To legally obtain cannabis, you have to get a doctor’s medical recommendation card to legally purchase/transport cannabis. Technically you can’t even enter a cannabis dispensary without a recommendation card.

  California, with almost 10 percent of the US population, leads our nation in just about every trend. Automobiles? Try the Los Angeles Auto Show to see what the latest hot car is. Wine? When I think of wines, I only think of two locations: Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Technology? Ever heard of Silicon Valley? Can you think of a California product that dominates more than the rest of the other 49 states combined? Yeah, that’s what I’m getting at… the Emerald Triangle. The Emerald Triangle doesn’t produce that five percent THC schwag you get from low-grade growers. No, in fact, the region is well known for producing the finest cannabis in the world, with signature strains such as Chem Dog or Sage & Sour containing upwards of 26 percent THC, according to Harborside Health Center in Oakland, California.   

  So how does the act help Californians? First off, it will allow for Amsterdam–style cannabis bud shops, (Think the Starbucks of cannabis), bud & breakfasts, tours of local farms and for cannabis tastings, much like Napa/

Sonoma Valleys. Most importantly, the act will permit “mom & pop” growers (under 10,000 square feet of cultivation) to obtain a micro-business license, allow them to cultivate, process, extract, transport and sell — all under the same government umbrella.

  Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Every time the government, especially the federal government gets involved with cannabis, things go sideways. You may be right about the feds. As usual, the feds are still the wild card in cannabis regulation.   

  However, should the California voters pass this proposition in November, Sacramento will have to bend to the will of the voters. So I don’t want to see anymore of those bumper stickers, “Keep Pot Illegal / Vote Against Legalization.” You have a choice. Would you rather be a legal cannabis farmer or an illegal drug dealer?

For more information on AUMA, visit: LetsGetItRightCa.org

Emerald contributor since April 2019

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