Capitol Alert

Pot businesses, lawmakers, bureaucrats gather for marijuana policy conference

This Feb. 1, 2011 file photo shows medical marijuana clone plants at a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, Calif.
This Feb. 1, 2011 file photo shows medical marijuana clone plants at a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, Calif. AP

The who’s who of pot will mingle with state lawmakers and bureaucrats today at the second annual marijuana policy conference hosted by the California Cannabis Industry Association.

The gathering takes place under a cloud of uncertainty over the federal government’s stance on recreational marijuana. During speeches on the campaign trail, Donald Trump said he would leave recreational pot decisions up to the states. His press secretary, Sean Spicer, seemed to suggest late last month that the president reversed his position. Spicer said the country needs to abide by federal law and that he expects greater enforcement.

A shift in federal policy could put $5 billion at stake in annual retail sales from pot in California. After voters legalized recreational marijuana in November, lawmakers and state agencies have been scrambling to set up regulations to govern the industry and begin distributing licenses to businesses early next year.

The conference kicks off at 9 a.m. at the Sheraton Grand on J Street. Lori Ajax, chief of the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, will speak on a panel and State Treasurer John Chiang will give the keynote address. California Assemblymen Rob Bonta and Rudy Salas and Sens. Steve Bradford and Scott Wiener, all Democrats, are expected to discuss policy developments and current legislation related to the industry.

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GENDER REVOLUTION: The California Legislative LGBT Caucus is hosting a free screening of “Gender Revolution,” a two-hour National Geographic special on gender identity by Katie Couric. Assemblyman Evan Low and Sen. Toni Atkins will attend the screening, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Capitol Theater in the building’s basement. RSVP to to reserve a seat.

BROWN BEAT: Gov. Jerry Brown will attend a dedication of the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Detention Center in Modesto at 2 p.m. today. The Governor’s Office said the state partially funds the facility, which will offer rehabilitation programs, among other services, to inmates.

FOLLOW THE MONEY: Want to search the gifts lawmakers and their staff accept from businesses, associations and other groups that lobby the Capitol? Check out our new database.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, who celebrates his 56th birthday, and Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City, who turns 36.

Taryn Luna: 916-326-5545, @TarynLuna