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California Launches New Department of Cannabis Control

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Jul 14, 2021   
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The three agencies that regulated legal cannabis in California are no more. In their stead, a single new agency, the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC), will oversee the licensing and regulation of all legal cannabis businesses in the state.

The new department was formally established on Monday, July 12, following Governor Gavin Newsom’s signing of Assembly Bill 141. The governor has also appointed his senior advisor on cannabis, Nicole Elliott, to lead the DCC as its director.

Previously, three agencies oversaw different aspects of the legal cannabis sector in California: the Bureau of Cannabis Control, the CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division, and the Department of Public Health’s Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch. All responsibilities of these three bodies have now been diverted to the DCC.

As such, the DCC will regulate all commercial cannabis cultivators, retailers, manufacturers, distributors, testing labs, microbusinesses, and industry event organizers. The DCC will also manage California’s track-and-trace system, which is used to track cannabis products within the legal supply chain.

“California has led the nation in progressive cannabis policies, beginning 25 years ago as the first state in the nation to legalize medicinal use of cannabis,” Governor Newsom said in a statement.

“We’ve taken another significant step forward to fulfill the opportunities of legalization and better serve all Californians. We will continue building upon our efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive industry, protect consumer and public safety, safeguard our environment and advance economic opportunity for small businesses.”


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