Protecting Craft Cannabis Cultivators

For decades, California has been the center of the cannabis universe, but less so in recent years. It is time for California to once again lead the cannabis movement by legalizing cannabis for adults in 2016. This visionary voter initiative would regulate the responsible use and cultivation of cannabis by adults, establish official appellations, and create a genetic repository including a standardized nomenclature for the myriad strains of cannabis based on plant genetics. This initiative has been crafted in consultation with the Office of Legislative Counsel, which provides expert legal guidance to the California Legislature throughout the delicate process of writing legislation. We thank the amazing attorneys at the Office of Legislative Counsel for their collaboration!

Co-authors, freedom lawyers, and California residents Omar Figueroa and Heather L. Burke invite you to consider The California Craft Cannabis Act, a proposed initiative to re-legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis in California in 2016. ​ Purposed to re-establish California as a world leader in the cannabis movement, this initiative would:​

        (1) Protect and incentivize "craft" or small farm cannabis cultivators and "cottage" cannabis producers;

        (2) Recognize and protect California’s world-famous cannabis appellations and cultivars, while also establishing a voluntary organic and "best-practices" certification program pursuant to existing California law;

        (3) Establish The California Cannabis Genetic Repository to promote diversity of the cannabis plant, which includes developing a standardized nomenclature for the description of various strains of cannabis based on plant genetics;

        (4) Require promulgation of reasonable regulatory oversight by a newly created, elected, and highly transparent governmental agency subject to term limitations, the California Cannabis Commission, with the dual requirements to facilitate the safe access of medical cannabis for seriously ill Californians and also to ensure that Californians 21 years of age or older have access to cannabis for responsible adult use from open, transparent, and highly reliable sources.  This includes a generous personal cultivation allotment and, as noted above, various novel incentives for craft ("mom'n'pop") cultivators.

        (5) Create no new crimes, but rather declare all cannabis-related crimes to be of no further force or effect for adults ages 21 and over.

​        (6) Create an evidentiary privilege for applicants when licensing information is sought by the federal government to investigate or prosecute violations of federal marijuana prohibitions.

        As this initiative is intended to ignite conversation about memes the above-named co-authors feel are critical to a transformative initiative in 2016, the foremost of which is to protect craft cannabis cultivators, this document is offered to invite dialogue about the themes we address, and is not positioned to take away support from other legalization initiatives.  Vote for all of reasonable decriminalization and legalization initiatives, we say!