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As the United States debates and deploys outlets for recreational and medical marijuana use, many businesses look for tools to help them stay compliant with state and federal laws that still make marijuana sales illegal.  WorldWatch Plus is adding data to help risk teams identify connections to the marijuana industry.

Nearly 20,000 people, eager to profit as cannabis becomes legal in more places around the world, learned last week that tapping one of the biggest markets, California, will prove challenging because of the state’s legendary regulations and huge black market. 

Investors, growers, regulators and others gathered for the country’s biggest marijuana business conference, MJBizCon, held by Marijuana Business Daily at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Attendance at the publication’s conferences has mushroomed, nearly doubling in the past year, organizers said.

The enthusiasm is the result of more states and countries legalizing cannabis. The biggest state to do so, California, will allow sales of recreational marijuana to adults 21 and over starting Jan. 1. However, it remains unclear exactly where consumers will be able to purchase adult-use marijuana, as local jurisdictions continue to develop their own regulations related to retail sales and delivery.

Before approving their own rules, many cities and counties had been waiting for the state to clarify its guidelines, which it did last week, releasing regulations for the nascent commercial market and updating those for medical marijuana.

The new regulations allow the state to begin issuing temporary licenses for growers, distributors and sellers at the beginning of the year. They offer specifics on the tracking and testing of marijuana, and its packaging and potency. (Serving sizes for edible products, for example, cannot exceed 10 milligrams of THC, and there can be no more than 100 milligrams of THC in the entire package.) They also spell out the different licenses and fees, and give guidance in areas including inspection, enforcement and advertising.

The state’s decision not to enact a 1-acre cap on growing sites as previously expected created concern among many growers in the state.

The lack of limits on farm size could increase California’s existing problem of overproduction and put smaller growers at a disadvantage, said Hezekiah Allen of the California Growers Association. Already, industry and state regulators estimate that only a sixth of the cannabis grown in California is consumed in the state, leading to questions about interstate trafficking.

Read the full article at: www.msn.com


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