California’s Initiative to Legalize Marijuana Could Cultivate Marijuana-Friendly Bars, Clubs And Restaurants

Yesterday the good folks at Reform CA unleashed their ballot initiative to legalize weed in California during the 2016 presidential election. Provided it passes, California’s initiative to legalize marijuana could cultivate marijuana-friendly bars, clubs and restaurants throughout the state.

Similar to the initiatives in states that have already legalized recreational marijuana, California’s proposed initiative would allow adults 21 or older to personally possess up to 1 oz. of chronic in public places. Additionally, California’s initiative would also allow those so inclined to share up to 1 ounce with other adults and grow the plant at home.

In contrast to the other states that have passed recreational marijuana legislation, California’s initiative would restrict cultivation at home by area: allowing no more than a total of 100 square feet for growing weed.

If passed, the initiative offered up by Reform CA would create the Office of Cannabis Regulation as part of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. The newly created California Cannabis Commission would manage the new industry and be charged with licensing and regulating all marijuana businesses within the state.

Required to start handing out “provisional licenses” to current medical marijuana collectives by July 1, 2017, the Office of Cannabis Regulation could then allow legal recreational sales to begin. Those granted licenses under the new rules could expect to be notified by January 1, 2018. As part of the Tax and Regulate plan, the initiative allows for three different tiers of taxation for legal marijuana: $2 per sq. ft. of canopy on commercial cultivation, $15 per oz. on the first sale, and a 10% retail sales tax.

Caveat: as it’s currently written, local municipalities could forbid marijuana shops from legally operating, provided they get voter approval first.

Leaving the door wide open to firing up outside of private residences, consumption would be perfectly legal in “a private residence or such other location as permitted under this Act.” That said, consumption “in a public street, school, playground, public transit vehicle, or any public property” would be seriously frowned upon and considered an infraction, subject to a maximum fine of $500.

(Photo Courtesy of New York Daily News)

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