Business Law

Business Law News 2017, ISSUE 4

The California Marijuana Gold Rush: A Review of the History and Future of Cannabis Regulation in California

Sean T. McAllister

Sean T. McAllister, Esq. specializes in cannabis business law, including regulatory compliance, business transaction, licensing, and administrative law. He is licensed as an attorney in California and Colorado. His firm, McAllister Garfield, P.C., has twenty-one lawyers working in Colorado, California, Oregon, and Florida. The firm has lawyers and offices in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. For more information on Sean, visit

This article provides an overview of the history of cannabis (more commonly known as marijuana) legalization in California, along with a summary of the new statutory scheme regulating medical and adult use (recreational) of cannabis. First, the article discusses the history of cannabis legalization leading up to full regulation, which begins in 2018. Next, the article discusses the new Medical and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, which is the unified law now regulating medical and adult use cannabis. Finally, this article discusses some of the difficulties that operators will face in transi-tioning to full regulation in 2018.

I. A Brief History of Cannabis in California Prior to Full Regulation

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