On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, California voters decided to legalize marijuana for adults over 21. In fact is was 56.04% yes and 43.96% no. You can read the bill here.
So what happens now?
Adults over 21 can possess and consume up to an ounce of pot. Adults can grow 6 plants at private residence as long as the grow area is locked and not visible to the public.
California has a government entity to oversee this, the Bureau of Marijuana Control. They are responsible for regulating and licensing marijuana businesses. There are also taxes on cultivation and sales of marijuana. Local governments are allowed to add their own tax as well. They will begin licensing on January 1, 2018.
You are not allowed to smoke in public or to drive under the influence. Edibles have to be low dose and in child proof packages. Don’t try to take it with you on a plane or cross state lines, federal laws prohibit that.
But, and its a big but, federal laws classify marijuana as a Class 1 prohibited drug. So, the new pot stores are prevented from opening bank accounts, accepting credit cards or paying their taxes electronically. Marijuana is banned in national parks and other federal lands. Since some estimates are the pot business in California will add 6 billion dollars to the states economy, the feds will want to get involved. Right now it looks like a legislative mess!
Also in the bill passed on Tuesday is the criminal penalties change. Past offenders can apply to have their records expunged and/or get out of jail if they are there on pot related charges.
Employers now have to think about their policy and how to handle the issue. Business can have a drug free workplace and let prospective employees know that even legal drug use is not ok.
For those of you that have employees that are federally regulated like truck drivers, bus drivers, pilots and train engineers, nothing changes. Federal law still maintains marijuana as a Class 1 prohibited drug.
If you need help figuring out a policy for your business call us. We can help. 530-241-2099