It goes without saying, but 2020 was a pretty wild year for the California cannabis and hemp industries. We think 2021 will be a pretty active year and want to list out some things to watch out for as we kick off the new year.
Agency Consolidation: It was announced in January 2020 that California’s three cannabis agencies’ regulatory authority would be consolidated into a single, new agency, the Department of Cannabis Control. We expect that there will be significant efforts in 2021 to make this happen, which will be a big shake-up for California’s regulated cannabis industry.
Hemp Production Plan Adoption: California submitted a hemp production plan to the U.S. Department for Agriculture recently, and it’s still under review. The plan will eventually be approved (though USDA may require some changes) in early 2021, necessitating changes for the regulation of California’s hemp industry.
Enforcement: We predicted at the end of 2019 that 2020 would be the year where California’s cannabis agencies began enforcement actions and efforts in earnest. In large part, that was delayed due to COVID-19, but we still saw some enforcement efforts (i.e., the BCC’s lawsuit for civil penalties). We expect that enforcement efforts and actions will