Cannabis regulators may loosen California rules to help struggling industry

The state Cannabis Advisory Committee recommended changes that included lifting the $5,000 limit on the amount of pot that can be carried by delivery vans, making it easier for small businesses to sell different products and eventually allowing food and beverages to be served in cannabis lounges. The panel included the proposals in its annual report, which it approved Wednesday.

“The state has faced unprecedented circumstances in 2020: the global COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession, a record breaking wildfire season, and the nationwide fight for racial justice and equality,” the 17-member panel said in the report.

California voters approved state licensing of growing, distributing and selling cannabis in 2016 when they approved Proposition 64, but the legal market has not lived up to expectations.

State officials originally predicted the initiative would result in 6,000 retail stores selling marijuana for recreational and medical use under state license in California, but currently there are just 715 pot shops and 314 state-approved delivery firms.

The industry has said it has not grown as expected because of high taxes, strict regulations and the fact that 80% of California’s cities do not permit the retail sale of cannabis for recreational use. [Read More @ The LA Times]

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