Late Friday evening California lawmakers passed the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), which will provide a regulatory structure for the state's medical cannabis industry. The state has lacked such a structure since the 1996 passage of Proposition 215, even though the initiative explicitly called on the Legislature to regulate the cultivation and distribution of medical cannabis. However, industry leaders are apprehensive that the last-minute passage of MMRSA has resulted in lack of clarity and conflict with prior legislation---and deprived lawmakers of a sufficient opportunity to consider how the regulatory structure will actually affect patients, dispensaries, growers and local communities. Specific areas of concern include low cultivation limits that could lead to shortages and higher prices, a lack of clarity on profitmaking, and the prohibition of farm-to-table, "bud & breakfast," and other opportunities for small, artisan growers.
"Harborside welcomes the long overdue enactment of statewide medical cannabis regulations---almost two decades after Proposition 215 called for them," said Steve DeAngelo, co-founder and executive director of Harborside Health Center. "However, we are concerned that time pressures made it impossible for legislators to adequately consider the impact of the new regulations on medical cannabis patients and the organizations that serve them. In addition, some of the language in the bill is unclear or may be in conflict with prior legislation. Harborside looks forward to working with lawmakers next session to address and resolve these outstanding issues."
About Steve DeAngelo and Harborside Health Center:
"Harborside Health Center, a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary with locations in Oakland and San Jose, California, is looked upon as a model of how others could operate." - The New York Times
Founded in 2006 by Steve DeAngelo, Harborside Health Center is the most respected and largest medical cannabis dispensary in the United States. Harborside has over 200,000 registered patients and was first in the nation to support education for seniors, veterans and families with severely ill children; first in the country to offer CBD-rich medicine; and the first to treat children with Dravet syndrome. Harborside continues to set an example of diversity and compliance, and is one of the prime advocates of diversity, sustainability and economic justice in the industry.
DeAngelo also co-founded the nation's first cannabis-testing facility, Steep Hill Labs, and the country's first cannabis investment and research firm, The ArcView Group. His debut book, "The Cannabis Manifesto: A New Paradigm for Wellness," will be published by North Atlantic Books and distributed by Penguin/Random House on September 22, 2015; in the book's foreword, Willie L. Brown, Jr., 41st mayor of San Francisco, calls DeAngelo, "the father of the legal cannabis industry." DeAngelo was named one of the most influential people and "gatekeeper" of the marijuana industry in 2015 by the International Business Times, and one of the most influential people in the cannabis industry in 2014 by the Cannabis Business Executive.
Steve DeAngelo has released two mini-documentaries recently. The first one can be viewed at this link, and tells the untold story of how Harborside came into existence. The second video deals with using cannabis for wellness purposes, and the benefits that go with it, and can be viewed at this link here.