Cannabis extraction has always been under a dark cloud. While possession and use of medical concentrates made with chemicals have been legal for years, manufacturing concentrates has been legally iffy at best. But that will all change once California Assembly Bill 2679 is put into effect. The bill was given the go-ahead by the Business, Professions & Economic Development Committee of the California on August 25, as reported by The Leaf Online.
AB 2679 will, for the first time in history, provide a pathway for state licensing to extraction labs. But there are quite a few hoops to jump through before a state extraction license can be obtained. You can check out the full bill here, but we’ll give you the basic rundown of what state compliance will look like:
- A lab needs to either use non-flammable, non-toxic solvents, or perform solvent extraction with a closed loop system.
- The extraction system needs to be fixed up so that it doesn’t either blow-up or emit off-gases into the atmosphere.
- A local fire official and a professional engineer need to sign off on the set-up.
- The facility has to meet the standards of many government authorities and standards, including the California Fire Code, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the International Building Code (IBC), and the International Fire Code (IFC).
- The facility has to have local certification.
A lot of paperwork and red tape, but it (arguably) beats never knowing whether the cops are going to bust down your fully compliant any day just because they feel like it.
The Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA), enacted last year, says that extraction facilities won’t be criminally prosecuted if they have both local and state licenses. The big catch is that the state will not issue any such licenses until 2018, which means that no matter how many I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed, no matter how compliant an extraction facility is, it is still subject to criminal prosecution under Health and Safety violations.
Several extraction labs were raided in the last year, regardless of their local licensing and compliance, because of this odd Catch 22 in the law.
AB 2679 was spearheaded by California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) in what the Leaf called the bill an “unprecedented consensus agreement reached between the cannabis industry, local governments and law enforcement that will provide critical protections to locally permitted manufacturers from prosecution under state law.”
“To all the policy makers, legislative staff and stakeholders that came together to make this bill possible, we wish to express our sincere gratitude,” said CCIA Director Nate Bradley. “We look forward to working with you to advance meaningful cannabis policy in the years to come.”