California’s Micro-Farmer Cottage Cannabis Bill Signed

Cottage Cannabis Farming Bill
Image: BigStock

Small medical cannabis cultivators are celebrating the signing last week of the Cottage Cannabis Farmers Bill by California’s Governor, Jerry Brown; but there are new challenges on the horizon.

Legitimate micro operations have been doing it tough in the state as they need to meet the same standards as larger operations. Those standards would have only become harder to achieve as California increasingly regulates its medical cannabis market.

However, thanks to Assemblymember Jim Wood’s Bill; a significant amount of green tape could be cut for the little guys of marijuana.

“We are so proud to have fought for this legislation and thankful to Governor Brown for his signature,” Mr. Wood is reported as saying.

“As this industry moves forward, we need to make sure that all farmers, regardless of size, can come into compliance – that’s what success looks like.”

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will develop regulations addressing the characteristics of small farm practices..

Under the Bill, AB 2516, legislation will see a new license type issued, 1C:

“Type 1C, or “specialty cottage,” for cultivation using a combination of natural and supplemental artificial lighting at a maximum threshold to be determined by the licensing authority, of 2,500 square feet or less of total canopy size for mixed-light cultivation, up to 25 mature plants for outdoor cultivation, or 500 square feet or less of total canopy size for indoor cultivation, on one premises.”

California’s medical marijuana sector is massive and is expected to lead the nation through to 2020. However, strict new regulations passed last year and assumed legalization of adult use this year threatens to eat into registered patient participation numbers.

As a result, California’s medical market is forecast to retrace a little from USD  $2.7 billion in 2015 to $2.6 billion by 2020 according to The State of Legal Marijuana Markets – 4th Edition.

Californians will vote on the adult use issue in November (Proposition 64). Parts of Proposition 64 understandably have some in the state’s medicinal cannabis sector a little on edge as to the impacts if the vote is in favour – and it is expected to be.

The industry in California is also facing the effects of a proposed 15 percent tax added at the point of sale of medical marijuana products.