As everyone knows, California is on the verge of implementing statewide rules and regulations for the cannabis industry. Considering the state’s medical program started in 1996, the fact that in 2018 we are finally getting a regulatory framework is really big news.
As all economists, consultants and investors have been prognosticating, California cannabis is going to be quite the big business. Estimates range anywhere from $5 billion to $25 billion in projected annual revenue for the industry. These are incredibly lucrative projections and the taxes from it can go a long way in paving new roads, fixing bridges, helping the homeless and building new schools.
Lori Ajax, the first chief of the Bureau of Medical Cannabis, has done an excellent job in tackling this massive task. To say that there are a lot of moving parts in regulating cannabis in California might be the greatest understatement ever uttered in public. This industry has been the “Wild West” for nearly 20 years. Ms. Ajax has done an excellent job of sharing information from Sacramento as it becomes available. She has also been very receptive to listening to concerns and ideas expressed by industry professionals.
It has been very important for our company, P&S Ventures LLC, to keep current on the direction of state regulations. For example, we began discussions with an ice cream manufacturer to start an infused ice cream line. But as we were preparing to move forward, the state decided to ban any edible products that would require freezing or refrigeration. Had we not been keeping our ears open, we might have wasted valuable time and resources on a deal that has no chance in moving forward. This is just one example of how we’ve had to adjust on the fly as the regulatory framework is still being decided.
It is incredibly important to have a team of advisers in your corner. We are members of the Los Angeles Cannabis Task Force, created by our attorney, Ariel Clark of Clark Neubert LLP. In addition, Ruben Honig, executive director of the task force, has created a network of contacts that is unparalleled in the industry and his information has been incredibly important to our progress.
On the local level, we have had a tremendous working relationship with City Hall officials in Cathedral City. From the chief community director to the chief building official, everyone has been incredibly helpful along the way. We had more hiccups than I would like to admit during our construction phase, and having a close working relationship with City Hall has made the process so much smoother than we expected.
With so many different aspects of the industry still being ironed out, I would venture to say that having the right team around us is the most important part of our success.[contextly_auto_sidebar]