Role of the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation

Cannabis Attorneys Assisting Los Angeles Businesses

The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) was passed in 2015. It is made up of three bills that together provide a new licensing scheme for the medical marijuana industry. Among other things, the law created the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation to administer and issue licenses throughout California. If you are thinking about entering the medical marijuana industry, or you want your pre-existing business to be considered for a license, you should consult the experienced Los Angeles medical marijuana lawyers at the Cannabis Law Group.

The Role of the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation

There are 17 different types of licenses created by MMRSA, including licenses for cultivation, manufacturing, testing, distributing, transportation, and dispensaries. Once the Department of Consumer Affairs finishes establishing the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation and developing further regulations, the Bureau's primary role will be to issue licenses for transporters, distributors, and dispensaries.

Transporters will be required to have a Type 12 license and may transfer medical cannabis from the business location of one licensee to that of another licensee. For example, they may transport marijuana to a testing facility and then to a dispensary.

Distributors will be required to have a Type 11 license. Under MMRSA, distributors will be authorized to engage in buying medical marijuana from a licensed cultivator or licensed manufacturer for sale to a licensed dispensary.

Dispensaries are facilities where medical cannabis or related products or devices are offered for retail sale. The category of dispensaries includes establishments that deliver medical cannabis or medical cannabis products as part of a retail sale according to the express authorization of a local ordinance. A Type 10 or Type 10A license must be obtained to operate a dispensary under MMRSA. The appropriate license depends on how many retail sites you have.

The Bureau is supposed to exercise its functions, including licensing, regulating, and disciplining, with the protection of the public as its highest priority. It may make and prescribe rules that are necessary to carry out its goals, as long as they are not inconsistent with other statutes. The Bureau may also convene an advisory committee to advise it on the development of standards and regulations for carrying out its duties.

The Director of Consumer Affairs will supervise and control the Bureau and enforce the provisions of MMRSA. However, licenses to cultivate marijuana will be available through the California Department of Food and Agriculture, rather than the Bureau. The Department of Food and Agriculture will also implement a tracking program that will allow the government to watch over plants from the time of cultivation to the point of sale.

Under Section 27 of the Business & Professions Code, the Bureau will be required to disclose information on its licensees in accordance with the California Public Records Act and the Information Practices Act of 1977. This information about suspensions, revocations, and other enforcement actions will be provided on the Internet. Personal information will not be included, although each entity will disclose a licensee's address of record, which can be a post office box number.

Given the potential difficulties of navigating the MMRSA licensing scheme, some businesses may be tempted to ignore it. However, this is a more expensive decision in the long run than consulting an attorney to make sure you are in compliance with existing laws and obtain the right license. The new law provides that someone engaging in cannabis activity without the appropriate license may be subject to civil penalties that are at a maximum twice the limit of the license fee for every violation. The civil penalties that are collected will be deposited into a Marijuana Production and Environment Mitigation Fund. Additionally, the medical cannabis that is associated with the violation may be destroyed.

Consult an Experienced Medical Marijuana Lawyer in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles medical marijuana attorneys at the Cannabis Law Group can advise Southern California businesses on the role of the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation and all other marijuana-related laws in California. We can represent clients in Moreno Valley, Indio, Corona, Laguna Niguel, Tustin, Newport Beach, Irvine, Anaheim, Long Beach, Woodland Hills, Van Nuys, Hollywood, Burbank, and Beverly Hills, among other cities. Contact us at 949-375-4734 or through our online form to set up an appointment with a cannabis attorney.

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