Gooey’s Coffee Shop Cannabis, Part 7: Californication

Welcome to Gooey Rabinski’s Coffee Shop Cannabis, where I take exactly 420 words of your day to teach you about the business and science of the emerging cannabis industry. I promise to address any feedback in the comments.

To set the mood, listen to Cab Calloway tell you how it is in 1932, five years before marijuana became illegal in the United States.

Previous installments in this series:


The cannabis industry is emerging—and evolving—at an astounding rate. All industry segments, from cultivation and dispensing to the red headed stepchildren of transportation and distribution, are experiencing growth rates that make other industries envious.

Despite significant hurdles driven by federal prohibition, a gross lack of merchant banking, and hundreds of municipalities and counties in legal states that have decided to ban pot businesses, the struggling marijuana industry continues to attract investors and entrepreneurs.


Amid a literal swarm of red Santa suits comprised of semi-inebriated humans dressed as the proverbial jolly ol’ elf, I met with my client at an expensive hipster tavern in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles.

“What about Florida?” she asked. “What if my business was located in Florida instead of Costa Mesa, California?”

“Well, that would be a totally different scenario. The jurisdiction is god; they make the rules,” I responded.

Thus unfolds the gross, complicated regulatory schema—including sometimes massive pushback from jurisdictions at all levels—amid the chaotic emergence of a new, promising market in the United States called “recreational cannabis.”

In late November 2017, three California regulatory bodies released a combined 278 pages of the latest draft regulations for the marijuana industry in the Golden State. These regulations are all derived from California’s Senate Bill No. 94 (SB 94), the “law of the land” (as interpreted from the state’s ballot passage of Proposition 64 [officially dubbed the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, or AUMA] in November 2016).

“AUMA authorizes a person 21 years of age or older to possess and use up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and up to 8 grams of concentrated cannabis, and to possess up to 6 living marijuana plants and the marijuana produced by those plants, subject to certain restrictions, as specified.”  — California Senate Bill No. 94

Consultants like me are in a mad dash to integrate these complex regulations from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the Bureau of Cannabis Control, and the Department of Public Health into our workflows. Business plans, operations plans, and applications for cannabis permits and licenses for pot companies in California must all conform to these emerging standards of regulatory oversight.

As such, it’s a frenetic time in the cannabis industry, especially in California, where adult use cannabis becomes legal on January 1, 2018. With market leader Los Angeles having not even yet released applications—but the state having begun so in early December via a slick online portal—cannabis business owners and entrepreneurs in Southern California are understandably nervous.


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All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003-2017 Gooey Rabinski. All Rights Reserved.

Gooey Rabinski is a technical writer, photographer, and compliance documentation specialist for cannabis businesses who has contributed feature articles to magazines and media outlets such as High Times, CannaBiz Journal, MERRY JANEEmerald Magazine, Grow Magazine, Herb.coThe KindSkunk, Cannabis Culture, WhaxyHeads, Weed World, Green Flower MediaCannabis HBK11RenderHealth Journal, Green Thumb, and Treating Yourself.

He is the author of Understanding Medical Marijuana, available on Amazon Kindle.

His cannabis-related freelance photos, spanning back more than a decade, are available on Instagram and Flickr. He tweets from @GooeyRabinski.

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