Capitol Alert

Is California ready to regulate marijuana?

In this April 20, 2016 file photo, customers buy products at the Harvest Medical Marijuana Dispensary in San Francisco.
In this April 20, 2016 file photo, customers buy products at the Harvest Medical Marijuana Dispensary in San Francisco. AP

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Once Californians legalized marijuana in November they passed the ball to state legislators to craft rules for the budding industry. And the clock is ticking.

Proposition 64 dictates that the state should begin issuing licenses to marijuana businesses on Jan. 1, 2018. So, in the next 11 months, lawmakers must set up regulations governing everything from taxation to testing.

Some say there’s no way to implement an entire regulatory system in such a short period, especially considering that it took nearly two decades to agree on rules for medical marijuana. Others think it’s entirely possible.

California state Sens. Jerry Hill, Cathleen Galgiani, Ed Hernandez and Mike McGuire plan to question regulators Monday to better understand the progress that has been made and whether they can hit the deadline next year.

The Senate is holding a joint hearing of the Business Professions and Economic Development, Agriculture and Health committees Monday at 3 p.m. in room 4203 of the state Capitol.

Lori Ajax, head of the new Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, is expected to testify along side executives at the Department of Technology, Department of Food and Agriculture and the Department of Public Health.

Curious if they’re on track? You can watch the hearing live here.

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