The state flag of California flying on a clear, blue sky day.

Mario Sánchez Prada

California Governor’s Plan to Solve Conflict Between Rec. and MMJ Draws Mixed Reviews

California Gov. Jerry Brown’s Office has made recommendations to solve the conflicts between the state’s medical and adult-use cannabis industries as part of his 2017-2018 budget, according to an Orange County Register report. However, his plan includes vertical integration – allowing a single business to hold licenses to cultivate, distribute, manufacture, and sell cannabis – which drew the ire of state law enforcement officials.

According to Ken Corney, president of the California Police Chiefs Association, the governor’s plan could turn traditionally small cannabis businesses into larger ones by allowing them to control the entire supply chain which could open the door for criminal elements to stake their claim in the industry. Under the state’s current medical cannabis laws, businesses are prevented from holding both cultivation and distribution licenses.

“The proposal favors big marijuana grows over the welfare of our communities,” Corney said in an Associated Press report.

Even members of the cannabis industry were split on the proposal.

Nate Bradley, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association, said the association was “extremely happy” with the governor’s proposal, which also includes language to limit larger farms.

However, Hezekiah Allen, head of the California Growers Association, said allowing entities to hold multiple licenses “could lead to mega-manufacturers and mega chain stores.”

The proposal requires legislative approval before it is enacted.

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