Cannabis Glossary: Adult Use of Marijuana Act
Welcome to the GreenRush cannabis glossary. Heard about the Adult Use of Marijuana Act but not sure what it's all about? Read on below for a quick guide to the AUMA and get up to speed.
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The Adult Use of Marijuana Act: What is it?
The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) refers to a 2016 initiative aiming to legalize marijuana in California. The full name of the measure is the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act.
The initiative aims to completely legalize marijuana for adults aged 21 years or over as well as regulate, control, and tax the cultivation, distribution, sale, and use of cannabis in California.
Who is behind AUMA?
AUMA is a voter initiative. However, the proposal to legalize, control, regulate, and tax marijuana in California is gaining support from the likes of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Facebook President Sean Parker, The California Medical Association, and various others activist groups and individuals.
Why is AUMA being proposed?
AUMA is being proposed for many reasons. Here are a few of them. For the full list, check out the full text of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act here.
- To create a legitimate industry for cannabis: The AUMA aims to move cannabis into a safe market and introduce laws to regulate cannabis businesses to hold them accountable to both local and state powers. These laws cover everything from packaging regulation on cannabis products to zoning restrictions.
- To incapacitate the black market: Marijuana in California is only legal for medical reasons, meaning recreational users rely on buying cannabis through an illegal, unregulated, potentially dangerous black market. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act aims to incapacitate this market by moving cannabis into a controlled environment.
- To boost tax revenue: Marijuana sales and growth are currently not being taxed in California. The state’s industry is estimated to be worth over $1 billion, while the national cannabis industry is labelled the fastest growing in the country. The AUMA is being proposed in order to capitalize on this huge potential revenue stream and use it to administer new laws, fund public health programs about marijuana education, train local law enforcement, and more.
How will the Adult Use of Marijuana Act affect California’s cannabis industry?
Since first legalizing medical cannabis in 1996, California has been at the forefront of cannabis reform. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act aims to update existing policies and pave the path for an effective alternative to prohibition.
The AUMA will build a comprehensive regulatory structure to oversee every aspect of the manufacture, distribution, sale, and use of cannabis in California. Here is an excerpt from the act that explains how it proposes to do so:
“The Bureau of Marijuana Control, housed in the Department of Consumer Affairs, will oversee the whole system and ensure a smooth transition to the legal market, with licenses issued beginning in 2018.
The Department of Consumer Affairs will also license and oversee marijuana retailers, distributors, and microbusinesses. The Department of Food and Agriculture will license and oversee marijuana cultivation, ensuring it is environmentally safe.
The Department of Public Health will license and oversee manufacturing and testing, ensuring consumers receive a safe product.The State Board of Equalization will collect the special marijuana taxes, and the Controller will allocate the revenue to administer the new law and provide the funds to critical investments.”
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