"How will existing business adapt to the change? What will be the effects on this growing industry both positive and negative?"
If passed, the measure would create a new Bureau of Marijuana Control, require growers and sellers to pay taxes, and establish stiff penalties for anyone caught illegally diverting water, an aspect popular with environmentalists. It would tighten the state’s comparatively lax medical marijuana system and bar use by anyone younger than 21.
The measure allows adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana at a time and grow six plants without needing a license. It also would bar public consumption, require quality and contamination testing, and grant business licensing priority to recognized medical marijuana producers. Giving preference to established medical marijuana industry players means they’ll get a jumpstart on their competition.
The stakes are huge. Experts say legal marijuana could be worth billions for California, not just through taxes, but through a new network of licensed cultivation, distribution and testing facilities, all of which will need employees, construction workers and equipment. Nationwide, by 2020, adult use and medical marijuana sales are expected to reach nearly $23 billion, triple this year, based in part on California’s legalization.
(Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY 5:46 p.m. EDT May 4, 2016)