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What Can You Do About New Cannabis Regulations?

The Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation (BMC), Department of Public Health (CDPH), Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) are all creating new regulations to clarify and define existing law regarding the use of cannabis and medical cannabis in the state of California.

For your information, oversight of cannabis has been split between each of the three agencies in the following way:

  • CDFA – will govern and license the growing and cultivation of cannabis.
  • CDPH – will govern the manufacturing of cannabis, which includes but is not limited to cannabis or marijuana infused edibles. This also includes developing standards for the labeling of all medical cannabis products
  • BMC – will govern and license the transportation, distribution, and sale of cannabis, which will include but is not limited to dispensaries.

(Please note, the Department of Pesticide Regulation, in consultation with the CDFA, shall develop standards for the use of pesticides in cultivation and maximum tolerances for pesticides and other foreign object residue in harvested cannabis. Those standards have not yet been developed. Moreover, the Board of Equalization is who is/will be issuing seller's permits for those licensees selling marijuana or cannabis products.)

The proposed regulations will be implemented under the Administrative Procedure Act. During the public comment period of the regulatory process, all interested individuals are encouraged to participate by submitting comments regarding the proposed regulations during the public comment period. 

Each of these agencies is required to consider and address all relevant comments received during the public comment period. After the close of the public comment period, the comments received from the public are reviewed by the respective agency: BMC, CDPH, or CDFA. The respective agency will then provide a summary and response to timely and relevant comments within a document called the final statement of reasons. The final statement of reasons and the adopted regulation text will be posted on the respective agencies’ website at the end of the rulemaking process. It will likely be posted at the California Cannabis Portal (https://cannabis.ca.gov/) as well.

All information submitted with your written comments on the proposed regulations becomes public information. Therefore, you may not want to include any confidential information (e.g., Social Security number) or other personal information in your comments. 

When to Comment

Basically, now!

Specifically, the agencies will begin accepting written comments regarding the proposed regulations during the announced public comment period. The end of the public comment period will be announced in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that is published in the California Regulatory Notice Register. In addition, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be published on the agency’s website.

In particular, please be mindful of the following deadlines:

  • June 12, 2017 – deadline for proposed regulations from BMC
  • June 13, 2017 – deadline for proposed regulations from CDPH
  • June 14, 2017 – deadline for proposed regulations from CDFA
  • June 19, 2017 – deadline for commenting on proposed regulations from BMC on medical cannabis testing laboratories

What to Include in a Comment

Writing a comment is actually quite simple. All you really need to do is accurately identify the proposed regulation upon which you are commenting. Once that is done, then for your comment to be helpful and considered, you should:

  1. Identify a problem within the proposed regulation.
  2. Identify the harm caused by the particular problem identified.
  3. Identify a proposed solution to the problem.
  4. Explain how the proposed solution addresses the problem.

In particular, CPDH has requested that all comments associated with its proposed regulations include the following as the Subject or Regarding line:

“DPH-17-004 Medical Cannabis Manufacturing”

How to Submit a Comment

There are three different ways to provide the agency with your public comments regarding the regulations:

Submit a comment through e-mail

Please send all e-mails containing public comments regarding proposed regulations to bmcr.comments@dca.ca.gov, CalCannabisRegs@cdfa.ca.gov, or regulations@cdph.ca.gov, respectively. In the subject line of the e-mail please type in the regulation subject title of the proposed regulation to which the comments apply (e.g., Medical Cannabis Regulation). Comments typed in a Word document or PDF format may be included as an e-mail attachment. 

Submit a comment through physical mail

Please mail all public comments regarding the proposed regulations to:

BMC:

Department of Consumer Affairs
Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation Regulatory Office
P.O. Box 138200
Sacramento, CA 95813-8200

CDPH:

California Department of Public Health
Office of Regulations
1415 L Street, Suite 500
Sacramento, CA 95814

Please note that CDPH will also accept public comments by way of facsimile transmission. Please send to (916) 440-5747.

CDFA:

Rachelle Kennedy
Department of Food and Agriculture
CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing
1220 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Submit a comment by attending a public hearing

The public also has the opportunity to provide comments by attending a public hearing on the proposed regulations. Public hearings will be scheduled at the time and place announced in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking or Notice of Emergency Rulemaking that is published in the California Regulatory Notice Register and on the California Cannabis Portal website.

The public is welcome to present oral comments and/or submit written comments during the public hearing. Oral comments given at a public hearing will be recorded by the respective agency. In order to ensure that attendees have an opportunity to provide oral comments, each speaker may be limited to a specific amount of time for comment, such as two minutes. Therefore, interested persons who wish to testify may also wish to bring a written testimonial to submit at the hearing.

Lastly, the public hearing is intended to provide the public with an opportunity to voice opinions on the rulemaking. Thus, the the respective agency will not provide an immediate, verbal response to comments at the public hearing.

Here are some upcoming hearing dates and locations (more could be announced at a later date):

BMC (for transportation, distribution, and sales of cannabis):

June 1, 2017; 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Adorni Center
1011 Waterfront Drive
Eureka, CA 95501

June 8, 2017; 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Junipero Serra Building
320 W. Fourth Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

June 9, 2017; 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Department of Consumer Affairs
Hearing Room, S-102
1625 North Market Boulevard
Sacramento, CA  95834

June 13, 2017; 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

King Library
Second Floor
150 E. San Fernando Street
San Jose, CA 95112

CDPH:

June 8, 2017; 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

50 D Street
Room 410A/410B
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

June 13, 2017; 10:00 am – 1:00 p.m.

1350 Front Street, Auditorium
San Diego, CA 92101

CDFA:

May 16, 2017; 1 p.m. –  3 p.m.

Delhi Center
Ballroom 505
E. Central Avenue
Santa Ana, CA 92707

May 18, 2017; 1 p.m. –  3 p.m. 

Visalia Convention Center
303 E. Acequia Avenue
Visalia, CA 93291

May 25, 2017; 1 p.m. –  3 p.m.

Ukiah Convention Center
200 S. School Street
Ukiah, CA 95482

June 14, 2017; 1 p.m. –  3 p.m.1

California Department of Food & Agriculture
Auditorium
1220 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

BMC (for regulations on cannabis testing):

June 1, 2017; 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Adorni Center
1011 Waterfront Drive
Eureka, CA 95501

June 8, 2017; 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Junipero Serra Building
320 W. Fourth Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

June 13, 2017; 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

King Library
Second Floor
150 E. San Fernando Street
San Jose, CA 95112

June 20, 2017; 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Department of Consumer Affairs
Hearing Room, S-102
1625 North Market Boulevard
Sacramento, CA  95834

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Wit of Mandate - the official blog of Simas & Associates, Ltd., is made available by Simas & Associates, Ltd. to the general public for educational purposes only.  Specifically, the entries contained within Wit of Mandate are designed to provide the general public with general information concerning California and Federal law.  Wit of Mandate does not provide specific legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Simas & Associates, Ltd.  Wit of Mandate is not an effective or appropriate substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your state with experience in your practice area or forum of law.

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