Problems with California’s Medical Marijuana Regulations

MMRSA – It Has Issues

The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) was the much needed update to medical marijuana policy in the state of California. MMRSA puts new regulations of the sizes of plots, pesticide standards, organic status availability, and quality assurance standards. MMRSA also provides the frame work for different types of licenses related to marijuana growth and manufacturing, as well as the allowance for for-profit marijuana production. Another major aspect of MMRSA is the implementation of a taxation system that would bring in local and state tax revenue from the medical marijuana industry. Individual cities also were required to submit ordinances by March 1st if they wanted to set restrictions and maintain control over medical marijuana regulation in their borders.

The major problem with MMRSA, however, is a dramatic increase in the cost of cannabis and manufactured products that contain marijuana. The act outlines a new mandatory distribution level that will add extra steps, and cost, to the production of all different kinds of marijuana products. The new required distributers will be the middle men between each step in the process as a form of external management, essentially doubling the amount of steps needed to get marijuana products to market. Distributers are projected to ask for about 15-35% of the value of the cannabis product as a fee for each management step. The cost of distributers fees, in addition to the cost of the added steps, is going to lead to a dramatic mark up on the cost of cannabis products.

Skyrocketing Cost of Marijuana

The skyrocketing price of marijuana production will only be exacerbated by an extra 15% tax mark up. The exorbitant prices will put a great strain on the patients that use marijuana as medicine everyday and could also bar people from seeking out marijuana for treatment. The added steps can also add time to marijuana processing, creating situations where people may not get the medication they need in a timely manner. Another potential issue is the room for the illegal marketplace to grow under the stress of the overpriced legal market.

This could be potentially detrimental to the many patients that benefit from medical marijuana everyday and the industry as a whole. Its not too late, however, to work to fix this problem. If you’re a California resident you can contact your local representative by following these steps:
Go to this CA government website to find your local representative & reach out to your local representatives by email, phone, or an in person meeting to voice your concerns about the mandatory distribution step outlined in MMRSA.

Interested in asking a question about this article? Go to HelloMD Answers and ask one of our doctors and community.

If you are new to cannabis and want to learn more, take a look at our Cannabis 101 post. HelloMD can help you get your medical marijuana recommendation; it’s 100% online, private and efficient.

Photo by Greg Thames


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