The deadline for the end of the cannabis industry’s transitional period ends on the first day of July, which will be when the Cannabis Phase II Regulations come into immediate effect.
In June of 2017, when the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) was executed, it merged the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) and the Adult-Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) into a single regulatory set of rules. Under this new regime, there are three state agencies that are responsible for regulating and licensing businesses directly related to cannabis:
- (CDFA) The California Department of Food and Agriculture which is responsible for regulating cultivators, processors, and nurseries.
- (CDPH) The California Department of Public Health which regulates cannabis manufacturers through its cannabis safety branch.
- (BCC) Bureau of Cannabis Control which regulates distributors, delivery-only retailers, retailers, microbusinesses, laboratories and temporary cannabis events.
Together, these three agencies created the regulations that were introduced in November of last year with the purpose of ensuring more quality and safety standards for consumers of medical and recreational marijuana.
Phase II testing will be active from July 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018. Labs will have to test everything from Phase I and the additional items from Phase II, which includes 6 more types of residual solvents.
Since the end of last year, the California government also set an estimated time frame called the ‘transitional period’, intended to provide cannabis businesses, growers, laboratories, dispensaries, and even customers with more time to re-adapt and comply with the newly established regulations.
This transitional period permitted exceptions from certain regulatory provisions so that companies could become compliant while allowing them to sell the products that were still in their inventory. The deadline for the end of this period is the first day of July when the Cannabis Phase II Regulations go into effect.
Laboratory Testing Requirements
- Beginning July 1, 2018, a licensee may only sell cannabis goods that have been tested and passed all testing requirements in effect at the time of testing.
- Untested cannabis goods cannot be sold by a retailer and must be destroyed. A retailer may not send cannabis goods to a distributor for testing.
- Untested cannabis goods manufactured or harvested before January 1, 2018, in possession of a distributor that is owned by the distributor must be destroyed.
- Untested cannabis goods manufactured or harvested before January 1, 2018, in the possession of a distributor owned by a manufacturer or cultivator may be returned to the licensee who owns the cannabis goods. If a cultivator or manufacturer chooses to sell the returned cannabis goods, the cannabis goods must be sent to a distributor for testing and must meet all of the testing requirements in effect at the time of testing before transported to a retailer for sale.
Packaging and Labeling Requirements
- Beginning July 1, 2018, all packaging and labeling must be performed prior to cannabis goods being transported to a retailer.
- A retailer shall not accept cannabis goods that are not properly packaged and labeled. A retailer shall not package or label cannabis goods, even if the cannabis goods were in inventory before July 1, 2018. However, for medicinal sales, retailers will place a sticker on cannabis goods stating, “FOR MEDICAL USE ONLY” upon sale to a qualified medicinal consumer, unless the statement is already printed on the package.
- A retailer may not send unpackaged cannabis goods to another licensee for packaging or labeling. Cannabis goods in possession of a retailer that does not meet packaging and labeling requirements must be destroyed.
- Exit packaging is not required to be child-resistant and can no longer be used to satisfy the child-resistant packaging requirements. All cannabis goods must be in child-resistant packaging prior to delivery to a retailer.
THC Limits for Edible Cannabis Products
- Beginning July 1, 2018, edible cannabis goods may not exceed 10 milligrams of THC per serving and may not exceed 100 milligrams of THC per package.
THC Limits for Non-Edible Cannabis Products
- Beginning July 1, 2018, non-edible cannabis products must meet package THC restrictions.
- Non-edible cannabis products shall not contain more than 1,000 milligrams of THC per package if intended for sale only in the adult-use market.
- Non-edible cannabis products shall not contain more than 2,000 milligrams of THC per package if intended for sale only in the medicinal market.
Ingredients and Appearance of Cannabis Products
- Beginning July 1, 2018, a retailer may only sell cannabis products that meet the requirements set by the California Department of Public Health for ingredients or appearance.
With the stricter monitoring of cannabis, consumers can feel more secure in buying products available on the market. This vast shift in regulations will increase the standards of all businesses, resulting in higher quality products. Companies that do not yet comply with the new rules must quickly organize to fit the new market policies so as not to risk losing their licenses and ultimately their market share in this burgeoning space.
About BAS Research
BAS Research helps brands with labeling, packaging, and ingredients compliance while ensuring products entering the market are safe for consumers, including having the proper licensing to sell in California.
BAS Research is California’s first licensed cannabis manufacturing company developing advanced science-driven cannabis oil and extraction services. We provide a variety of services to clients, including compliance, product development, formulation, extraction, contract manufacturing, and fulfillment. Founded by veterans of the cannabis, pharmaceutical, and technology industries, the company manufactures high-quality cannabis products with a focus on superior innovation, integrity, and socially responsible production processes. For more information about BAS Research or BASInfused products, visit our website or follow us on Facebook @basresearch, Twitter @bas_research, Instagram @basresearch, or LinkedIn @bas-research.