America’s state legal cannabis sector has seen major growth in the past few years as more states have legalized cannabis. California, which legalized recreational marijuana five years ago, has since sold $4.4 billion worth of cannabis, making its cannabis sector one of, if not the most,  successful cannabis markets in America. Now in a move that is meant to simplify how California regulates its massive and swiftly growing cannabis space, Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a law creating a single agency to regulate cannabis.

The policy, which Newsom first proposed in January 2020, will consolidate licensing authority from the three departments responsible for regulating California’s cannabis space: the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch under the Department of Health, the Bureau of Cannabis Control under the Department of Consumer Affairs, and CalCannabis under the Department of Food and Agriculture. Under the new law, a single Department of Cannabis Control will now handle the licensing, enforcement and environmental oversight duties that these three department were previously tasked with.

According to the budget summary for Newsom’s 2020–2021 budget plan where he introduced the new policy, a single department for cannabis regulation that would “centralize and align critical regulatory functions.” Additionally, it would create a single point of contact for individuals within the cannabis space as well as local governments rather than three different departments. The Department of Cannabis Control (“DCC”), which is under the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, will also be in charge of California’s track and trace system, which follows cannabis and cannabis products through the state’s legal supply chain.

Lindsey Robison, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association, which represents more than 400 licensed cannabis enterprises, has applauded the new law. She says navigating three agencies with different protocols and processes has often been a bone of contention for many cannabis businesses, and having all their functions housed under a single agency will help with communication, transparency and, hopefully, process times for applications.

According to the acting deputy director of the DCC Christina Dempsey, Newsom’s administration wants to make the legal market more attractive than the illicit market. Despite having one of the largest cannabis industries in the country, California is still plagued by the cannabis black market. Not only do illegal cannabis grows deprive the state of tax revenue, but they also steal tons of water and electricity and are responsible for violence, forced labor and the destruction of the ecosystem.

Employees of the three agencies will continue using their offices until further notice. In addition, because existing licenses will be transferred to the DCC, cannabis businesses will not need to apply for new licenses until existing licenses expire. Furthermore, law enforcement and local government will continue working with their existing contacts, and policies for grant funding for researchers will remain the same. The Department of Cannabis Control will reside at 2920 Kilgore Road in Rancho Cordova.

It remains to be seen how the new agency will make it easier for cannabis companies in California, such as Grapefruit USA Inc. (OTCQB: GPFT), to interact with regulators and comply with all the existing laws governing the industry.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Grapefruit USA Inc. (OTCQB: GPFT) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://cnw.fm/GPFT

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