California’s greatest hope of getting legalized recreational cannabis just got a little greater. Though the Adult Use of Marijuana Act was expected to meet the quota of signatures required to get on November’s ballot, AUMA spectacularly exceeded those requirements.

The act only needed to collect 365,000 signatures by July 5, but it’s already landed 600,000, according to the Associated Press.

Though there are other initiatives to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana in the Golden State, AUMA is the one you’re most likely to have heard of. Napster creator, former Facebook guy, and all around celebrity tech rich dude Sean Parker has sponsored the act, along with NORML, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and many others. Since the initiative launched last year, it has gained serious momentum in its funding and support.

Getting more than enough signatures way ahead of schedule is a good omen for the initiative’s future and so is the fact that supporters including Newsom are already launching a campaign aimed at voters, beginning this week in San Francisco.

But there is opposition to the ballot. Not just from straight-edge anti-weed people, but also, of course, from cannabis industry insiders.

The California Growers Association has argued against the initiative’s lack of provisions that would protect small farmers from big business after legalization. “The ‘Type 5’ cultivation license would allow for unlimited cultivation by a single licensed operator,” the CGA says on its website. “The challenge facing the authors of any initiative is how to develop a policy that guards against domination by large players and monopolies while still attracting financial support to qualify for the ballot and win the election.”

The group goes on to suggest caps on the number of large cultivation licenses and enabling co-operatives of small growers in order to compete with big companies or even corporate interests.

AUMA will appear on California’s ballot this November and, if it passes, legalized cannabis will be enjoyed by the state as soon as next year.


Photo via Flickr user Martijn