Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation: Update on Regulations Process


Capacity crowds, lively interaction and solid ideas filled the rooms as leaders from the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation (BMCR) and the Department of Public Health’s Office of Medical Cannabis Safety (OMCS)—two of the agencies tasked with regulating the medical cannabis industry—held pre-regulatory meetings to gather feedback before drafting the new rules. Eight meetings were held across California, bringing together cannabis business owners, patients, law enforcement, local authorities and the public.

Bureau Chief Lori Ajax and OMCS Chief Asif Maan led the discussions. The meetings had two purposes: update stakeholders on the status of the regulatory framework development and collect specific input on general licensing as well as five major license types. The Bureau will license and regulate dispensaries, distributors, testing labs and transportation. OMCS will regulate manufacturers. (Cultivation will be regulated by the Department of Food and Agriculture, which held separate meetings.)

“We are seeking input from stakeholders throughout the entire regulatory process,” said Bureau Chief Lori Ajax. “We want to hear what’s important to them, learn how their businesses work and develop relationships. Our end goal is clear, concise, effective regulations that make sense for California.”

Break-out sessions at the meetings allowed attendees to participate in group discussions about possible components of the regulations, essentially the rules. Regulations further define components that already exist in law and specify the details of how the law will actually be implemented. For example, the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act requires all cannabis businesses to have security protocols in order to obtain a state license, however, the details of the security protocols will be determined through the regulatory process.

These pre-regulatory meetings followed statewide informational sessions hosted by the Bureau to gather preliminary feedback from stakeholders who shared their opinions and perspectives based on their experience working in and with the industry.

Click here for a brief outline of how the regulatory process works.

It’s anticipated that the first draft regulations will be published in early 2017.

Here’s how YOU can get involved:

  • Sign up for email alerts through the Bureau’s website, and check the website for updates.
  • Attend regulatory hearings, when scheduled.
  • Submit comments and input during the public comment period by using the online public comment form at https://www.dca.ca.gov/webapps/bmcr/public_comment.php, or by email at comments@dca.ca.gov or by mail to:

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

For more information, visit www.bmcr.ca.gov.

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