As the fight for the legalization of recreational marijuana in California reached its apex with the Prop 64 bill, new steps have been taken to ensure that patients who require and use medical marijuana have a way of ensuring that the cannabis they receive comes from where it was supposed to and that it has not been compromised by black market sources who may replace authentic strains of medical marijuana with something less pure and significantly less safe.
Such a widespread operation costs a significant amount for any regulatory body involved so certain plans have been put into place to ensure that such life-saving measures are put into place. On August 9, the County Board of Supervisors unanimously placed Measure S on the November 8 ballot. If voters give a nod to Measure S, it would tax commercial marijuana growers at a rate of one to three dollars per square foot, depending on the type of cannabis cultivated. These local tax revenues would fund environmental restoration and public services, such as rural ambulances and mental health care, as well as ensuring the safety of medical marijuana users.
For this action to proceed, The California Department of Food and Agriculture needed to put into place a working system to track and trace the medical cannabis on a state level, and is developing those regulations now. Specifically, California’s Humboldt County has teamed up with SICPA LLC, a Swiss multinational security firm that is to provide them with a system for tracking and ensuring the safety of all cannabis grown in the state. SICPA’s trademark product tracing system, which makes use of specialized stamps that are attached to each pack of medical marijuana that has been harvested and is then monitored with encrypted, cloud-based security systems, allows medical marijuana patients to verify that what they bought originated in Humboldt County. Buyers will be able to use their smart phones to scan a proof of origin stamp on their weedpurchases.
A target date for the new regulatory framework is January 1, 2018.