Happy New Year! Let’s hit the ground running…
This coming year holds much promise for the cannabis industry. Many events happened in 2015 to move the cannabis reform needle in California, and across the country. We anticipate that 2016 will continue along the same path. New clean-up bills will be introduced at the state and federal levels, a new president will be voted into office, and increasing numbers will enter the cannabis industry seeking knowledge and opportunity.
Reform in California is poised to impact the country as we make sense of the newest regulations signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, and prepare to vote to allow cannabis for adults in November. The California Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) establishes California’s first statewide regulatory system for medical cannabis businesses to govern the cultivation, processing, transportation, testing and distribution of medical cannabis to qualified patients. Key provisions of MMRSA address required testing and labeling for products, licensing, protections for businesses and employees, plus the phasing out of collectives and cooperatives, new growing regulations for cultivators, as well as for caregivers, and more.
While MMRSA is long overdue to protect California businesses from federal interference, and a regulated system will be an improvement for patients, communities and providers, the regulations will be complex (and change is always difficult). On January 1st, 2016 this law went into effect amongst many questions and concerns from patients and cannabis businesses alike. Time will be needed to promulgate rules, and put processes in place. The transition will not be sudden—in fact, formal state licensing won’t begin until January 1, 2018—but understanding the new regulations,and how to comply with them, is important for everyone who currently makes money on marijuana.
We’ve been following these changes closely, and are pleased to let you know that Oaksterdam University is offering the first in a series of online classes to shed light on the layers of MMRSA regulations, and how to begin to comply with them. This initial introductory course will be available before February 1, and will be helpful to patients, caregivers, existing and potential cannabusinesses to understand what MMRSA does, and does not do (and there is no need to take pre-requisites!)
Oaksterdam will continue to offer semester and seminar classes in Oakland as well as across the United States (Coming your way NV, FL, NY and Jamaica!). In addition to the MMRSA online class, we will be offering our core prerequisite courses online very soon, followed by exciting new electives. Whether you choose to complete your education through the semester or seminar track, we encourage students to consider OU’s Certification Program, which is a valuable credential for employment in the cannabis industry.
Our students and alumni are among the most active, most educated and most knowledgeable leaders in the cannabis industry…it fills me with pride to know how much you have done in the world! As we charge into 2016, let’s embrace change with optimism! Keep fighting for civil rights, social and economic equality in every law you help to write. Compassion is king. There’s much to do this year, and we look forward to advancing cannabis education and reform together.
Dale Sky Jones