Federal vs State Laws and How Prop 64 Affects California

In the US, twenty-eight states have legalized medical marijuana and eight states have now legalized recreational marijuana for adult use. Despite marijuana allowance being a state voted choice, an overlapping federal law criminalizes cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, implying that it is as addictive as meth and heroine, and claiming that it has no medical benefits. As a patient or adult consumer of cannabis, you may have noticed that a majority of collectives and dispensaries operate as cash only businesses. This is due to the fact that banks are federally operated. This issue extends beyond the transaction experience in shops, and deep into the roots of these legally operating establishments.

Solutions are sparse amongst the cannabis community. States with any form of legalized marijuana, but especially those with recreational, are cultivating an extremely lucrative industry, off which the state and federal government are benefiting. The taxes levied on cannabis companies have greatly improved the financial standing of the states they are operating in. Unfortunately for them, they are being forced to haul mass amounts of cash when visiting tax collection offices or carrying out cash transactions. When millions need to be moved, it puts the transporter in a potentially dangerous situation. Businesses are also hitting walls when trying to obtain loans and credit lines with decent interest rates.

With our current government, the rescheduling of marijuana seems unlikely considering the republican pushback, but as this industry avalanches into higher profits, we are looking to them for help. If they can’t settle on changing the conflicting federal view of cannabis, than they need to create a credit or banking forum through which cannabis related businesses can operate. If we as an industry are being regulated and taxed like any other industry, then there needs to be a balance to allow normalized operation.

If you’re a patient of Universal Collective, you may have heard about our state’s own legalization efforts backed by a bill called Prop 64 (California, 2016). Have you looked for information, but couldn’t find anything conclusive about when Prop 64 would go take effect? We’re happy to let you know that Proposition 64 results have come out, and because of the voters’ will, you are now able to smoke marijuana and possess up to an ounce in this state.

As with any bill, there are benefits and downsides. We’ll tell you about some of Prop 64’s pros and cons here, so you can make your own informed decision about whether you support this new bill or not.

Those in favor of Prop 64 will tell you that it creates a comprehensive legal system for the adult use of marijuana, essentially decriminalizing its use in the state of California. It also generates tax revenue for our state, and assures that cannabis products are safely regulated and distributed for the benefits of adults as well as to protect children from exposure to cannabis in general.

Those against the bill are quick provide Prop 64 warnings by mentioning subjects such as how highway fatalities may likely double as a result of the passing of the bill, and that it may actually increase (not decrease) black market and drug cartel activity. These people will also argue the bill could roll back the prohibition of smoking ads on TV, thereby exposing children to cannabis and smoking as a whole.

Now that you know about how marijuana laws differ on a State and Federal Level, when does Proposition 64 go into effect, and some information from the two sides that support and are against Prop 64, let us know in the comments what you think about this new bill. Remember, there are plenty of resources online talking about the bill and why it’s beneficial or detrimental to California – so you can always do more research if you’re still unsure.