California Cannabis Regulations Continue to Progress

As many entrepreneurs in California’s cannabis industry are well aware, after the November elections to legalize adult-use of cannabis the legal landscape is anything but settled. As an interested ancillary party, we here at Green Leaf Web have been trying to stay abreast of what is happening so we can better advise our clients. Here are a few snippets we found interesting.

SJR-5 Passed: Downgrade Cannabis from Schedule 1

The California legislature has approved SJR-5 (Stone), a joint resolution calling for Congress “to pass a law to reschedule marijuana or cannabis and its derivatives from a Schedule I drug to an alternative schedule, therefore allowing the legal research and development of marijuana or cannabis for medical use.”

The measure passed by a vote of 60-10 in the Assembly, and 34-2 in the Senate.

We feel many cannabis producers would find this interesting as California has a wealth of research institutions who could very well be interested in particular strains which had a profile suitable for their particular research. These institutions could likely be great and stable customers.

AB350 Vetoed by Governor Brown

We think edible cannabis product producers will be pleased to know that Governor Brown vetoed a State Assembly bill that would have prohibited creating products in shapes. While it may seem mundane, having spoken with many in the edible cannabis product space we realize that most want to differentiate themselves in some way beyond branding. Shapes are a great way to do that.

SB 663 (Nielsen) was vetoed in favor of pending regulations regarding packaging and labeling. AB 350 (Salas) passed after it was amended to read: “A cannabis product shall not be made in the shape of a person, animal, insect, or fruit.” It was also vetoed by the Governor.

For now, creating shapes for various edible products is still ok.

AB133 Passed: Allow Medical and Non-medical to Coexist

Governor Brown has signed AB 133, a new budget trailer bill making last-minute adjustments to California’s cannabis regulations. Among the most important of these is to allow medical and non-medical licensees to operate on the same premises. Other technical provisions in the trailer bill would adjust how and when the cannabis tax is assessed. The new trailer bill does NOT include the provision in AB 64 that would have allowed for trademarking of cannabis products.

This is important for anyone in the industry who would like to produce  medical and non-medical products and/or sell their product to medical and non-medical outlets. From people we’ve spoken to, this an efficient move which will not hinder commerce and not force entrepreneurs to “choose a side”.

Check back as we’re keeping an eye on some other bills.

 

You Have Control of Your Message and Freedom to Progress

Your Customer Base Finds Your Business on the WebMany business owners decide to forego the time and expense of launching their own website preferring to leverage a social media platform like Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest or Google Plus.

While there are plenty of social media platforms out there, you will always be confined to their “look” and requirements. Top social media sites can be very effective at conveying your message but they are limiting too.

These platforms are “closed systems” which require intent of the user; in other words, they need to sign up and log on in the first place. Additionally, someone essentially has to already know about you to see what you post – meaning they need to be connected to you in some way previously before your business will appear on their feed.

Add in the regulations imposed by the TOS, filters, and a lack of customization depending on which platform you’re on and a “social media only” approach does have its down-sides.

Of course, one can pay for advertising, which can be a good option in certain cases and help get your business more views. Regardless it does take time and knowledge of the platform to create a strong presence within a single social media platform and, even then, it is still just that single platform.

Your Website is Your 24/7 Agent

A business card and a phone number are just not enough in this day and age. A billboard on the highway would be great exposure, but many would be pulling out their phones to look up your business on the web when that slick billboard caught their eye. Savvy customers, whether business-to-business or endusers, want to know what they are paying for, why they should pay you or how your goods and services can solve some dilemma they are facing.

A professional website can represent your business an experienced, authoritative concern that educates your customers. It can  draw in potential leads and groom them for additional conversation about your product. A well designed and keenly planned website can convey your message skillfully no matter what device it is being viewed on nor what the desired user goal is.

The web is an open platform which potential leads access merely by logging on to the internet. You owe it to your business to be on it.

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