Gov’s recall-election victory eases concern for California’s cannabis sector

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

On Tuesday, September 14, California Governor Gavin Newsom was triumphant in his efforts to defeat a recall claim that could have prematurely removed him from office. 

The outcome disappointed conservative activists who were hoping to banish Newsom with a forced off-year recall election.

A report by the Associated Press confirmed that Newsom was winning by 30 points when two-thirds of the ballots had been counted.

Members of the cannabis industry have rejoiced upon hearing the news, since it means that Newsom’s supportive stance towards the plant will help the legal market to continue thriving; for the next year at least. In November 2022, he will go up for reelection.

The recall election ignited divided debate in California’s cannabis industry 

A total of 46 candidates attempted to overthrow the governor from his position in office, one of whom was cannabis consultant Jackie McGowan. She argued that, since he assumed his gubernatorial role, California’s governor has failed to pull his weight in terms of helping medical cannabis businesses to advance.

However, numerous trade groups and labor unions that collaborate closely with California’s cannabis businesses were on Newsom’s side. Many of his supporters claim that he was the first ever state governor to label the state’s cannabis businesses as “essential” when the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in 2020. 

Consequently, this prompted other governor’s to act in a similar fashion, thus enabling the legal cannabis industry to carry on as normal. In addition to this, Gov. Newsom also consolidated California’s three cannabis regulatory agencies into one single entity that will provide effective industry oversight.

Newsom’s critics in the cannabis space, however, maintain that the governor has fallen short on political goals such as reducing state taxes and helping expand the industry’s statewide footprint.

California’s Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) releases draft of industry regulations

On Wednesday, September 8, the newly formed California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) published a 197-page draft of cannabis industry regulations. Included in the rules is a section outlining how broader sales of branded goods and product sample sharing will be permitted across the supply chain.

A new public commenting period has begun following the release of the DCC’s draft regulations, which are expected to be formally enacted before October. The regulations will enable distributors, growers and manufacturers to share product samples free of charge with fellow supply chain workers.

More customized definitions have been drawn up for cannabis business owners, as well as for people who possess financial stakes in industry-focused companies. Additionally, cannabis companies will be granted allowances to sell branded merchandise from other licensed industry-focused businesses.

It’s important to note that this is merely the beginning of numerous regulatory changes that the DCC will be enacting in the foreseeable future.