Tracking and Tracing Program and Testing Under MMRSA

Los Angeles Attorneys Representing Medical Marijuana Businesses

Due to the recent signing into law of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), California will soon have a complicated and highly regulated licensing framework for medical marijuana. Among other things, MMRSA provides for a tracking and tracing program and testing that could have an impact on Southern California businesses. If you are in the medical marijuana industry or would like to be, the Los Angeles medical marijuana lawyers at the Cannabis Law Group can advise you on this developing area of law and what it means for your objectives.

Tracking and Tracing Program

MMRSA put into place new requirements related to cultivation and made 10 licenses available for those that wish to engage in cultivation. Under MMRSA, the Department of Food and Agriculture (the Department) will issue cultivation licenses. It will also establish a Medical Cannabis Cultivation Program. Those that want to cultivate marijuana must first obtain a license or other entitlement that specifically permits cultivation from the city, county, or county and city in which they will be cultivating medical marijuana. They also need to obtain a state cultivation license from the Department.

The Department will also establish a program to identify authorized medical marijuana plants at cultivation sites during the cultivation period authorized by a license. Each plant will possess a unique identifier to be attached at its base. The unique identifier may be a zip tie. The Department will only issue these identifiers to people or entities that have the appropriate license, and a fee may be charged to issue the identifier and track and inspect each plant. Under Section 19355, any information associated with a particular unique identifier and license holder will be included in the track and trace program.

The track and trace program will give law enforcement, state taxing officials, and public health officials the ability to follow authorized medical marijuana plants from their origin to their sale on dispensary shelves. Further regulations will be promulgated as to the level of detail, but generally it may even include how often a particular plant was sprayed with pesticide.

Testing under MMRSA

All cultivation and manufacturing license holders will be required to send their products to a Type 11 (distribution) license holder for inspection and quality assurance. The Type 11 license holder will then submit the marijuana product to a Type 8 testing facility to be batch tested and certified. The product will be returned to the Type 11 distributor for a final inspection. The distributor will charge a fee to cover testing and taxes.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is supposed to administer aspects of MMRSA that are related to the manufacturing and testing of medical marijuana. After MMRSA was signed into law, the Office of Medical Cannabis Safety (OMCS) was established in the Department of Health. The CDPH, alongside the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Department of Food and Agriculture, will implement MMRSA.

The OMCS will issue licenses to manufacturers and medical marijuana testing laboratories and create California-wide standards, licensing procedures, and regulations related to testing. It will also provide guidance on policy issues related to these aspects of the industry. Meanwhile, the CDHP will issue Type 8 licenses to testing laboratories and manufacturing licenses to manufacturers. It is expected that applications for these types of licenses will be received starting in 2018.

Consult an Experienced Medical Marijuana Lawyer in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles medical marijuana attorneys at the Cannabis Law Group are keeping track of the standards being developed in connection with MMRSA and can advise you about applying for a cultivation, manufacturing, or testing license in Southern California. We help clients in cities such as Moreno Valley, Indio, Corona, Laguna Niguel, Tustin, Newport Beach, Irvine, Anaheim, Long Beach, Woodland Hills, Van Nuys, Hollywood, Burbank, and Beverly Hills. Call us at 949-375-4734 or use our online form to set up an appointment with a cannabis attorney.

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