California rushes to prepare for legal marijuana sales

With four months left until full legalization, the apparatus to regulate commercial cannabis sales in California is being built on the fly.

Up to 82 people must be hired. Software must be written to accept applications of thousands of entrepreneurs hoping to legally sell marijuana. Regulations governing sales aren’t fully cooked.

Welcome to Lori Ajax’s world. She is the director of the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (formerly the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation aka BMCR or, colloquially, “Bummer”), having worked 22 years at the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

She readily acknowledged during a meeting with The Sacramento Bee editorial board that California’s regulatory scheme is a work in progress.

That’s to be expected, though it’s also a cause for concern. Voters approved Proposition 64, the legalization initiative, in November 2016 and set an ambitious deadline of January 2018 for retail sales to begin.

Like most initiatives, the...

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