CA: Marin County – Recreational Cannabis Sales Not An Option Until 2018

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San Rafael, CA Despite the recent statewide passage earlier this month of Proposition 64 regarding recreational marijuana use, the County of Marin is cautioning residents against jumping the gun.

New language has been added to the Countys cannabis webpage stating: Please be advised that the County of Marin does not accept, approve, license, or authorize commercial sale, commercial cultivation, or manufacturing of any cannabis or cannabis related byproducts for non-medical use at the present time. Violators may be subject to civil penalties, fines, and arrest.

Tom Lai, Assistant Director of the Countys Community Development Agency, said the County has been working for over a year on a new framework to permit medical cannabis dispensaries to operate in the unincorporated areas of Marin. Staff is reviewing applications, and an advisory committee will hold public meetings on 11 license applications as early as January 2017 to hear from the public about the proposed applications.

That is entirely separate from Proposition 64, Lai said. We regulate medical cannabis dispensaries through an ordinance passed in December 2015, and that process is moving along well. However, wed like to avoid confusion to the public by clarifying that recreational cannabis will not be allowed to be sold from a medical cannabis dispensary.

Officially known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, Proposition 64 legalized non-medical use of cannabis by adults 21 years and older, establishes a regulatory framework for licensing sales of cannabis for recreational use, and imposes state taxes on its sales and cultivation. Local governments are empowered to ban the sale of cannabis or to restrict where cannabis businesses could be located. Approvals from the state and local government will be required for cultivation, processing, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of cannabis including cannabis products for recreational use, and that framework is not yet in place.

Proposition 64, which received 56 percent support statewide and 69.75 percent support in Marin, allows retail cannabis sales by licensed outlets and imposes a 15 percent excise tax. Non-medical cannabis must be sold by state-licensed businesses, and the state has until Jan. 1, 2018, to begin issuing sales licenses for retailers.

Possession, use, cultivation, and distribution of cannabis for medical purposes is not affected by Proposition 64 but instead is protected under the states Compassionate Use Act (1996) and Medical Cannabis Program (2003). Businesses engaged in medical cannabis will be regulated by the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act of 2015.

More information about the Countys program for licensing medical cannabis dispensaries can be found at Proposed Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program – County of Marin.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Marin County – Recreational Cannabis Sales Not An Option Until 2018
Author: Mark Nero
Contact: Navato Patch
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Website: Navato Patch