MJBizMag January 2021 - 52

New Year, New Opportunities
based Harvest Health & Recreation,
Terra Tech Corp. in Irvine and MedMen
Enterprises in Los Angeles-as well as
an array of mom-and-pop startups and
family-run companies, plus small farms
and independent retailers.
Big Picture: The merging of three state
agencies that oversee cannabis regulation
means that, for businesses, regulatory
issues will become much simpler to
navigate. That will likely come as a relief
for cannabis business owners because a
common complaint has been conflicting
answers to policy questions and interpretations
of state rules from different
agency officials.
In addition, the merger will likely
lead to a simplification of the complex
licensing process, particularly for vertically
integrated companies that currently
must deal with all three agencies.
Finally, the consolidation will likely
mean a more centralized effort at cracking
down on the unlicensed cannabis
market, which remains the biggest
competitor for legal marijuana companies
in California. To date, enforcement
efforts have included a patchwork of
raids, arrests, inspections, citations and
lawsuits from officials at the local, state
and federal levels.
While it's unclear whether this will be
a primary focus of the new department,
it certainly will be part of its jurisdiction,
so increased enforcement could be on
the way in 2021.
Key Details: Since 2017, the state
Department of Food and Agriculture has
overseen growers and the Department
of Public Health has overseen
manufacturers. The Bureau of Cannabis
Control has jurisdiction over all other
plant-touching business types, including
storefront retailers, testing labs,
distributors and others.
The new agency will be called the
Department of Cannabis Control,
and the merger was originally slated
to be completed by July 2021. But the
coronavirus pandemic threw that timeline
out the window, so it's unclear when the
consolidation might be finished.
- John Schroyer
SOUTH DAKOTA
Business-Friendliness Score:
2 out of 5 leaves
With fewer than 1 million residents and
a governor who is outspoken against
marijuana legalization, South Dakota may
initially present an uphill battle for cannabis
businesses. Unlike other recreational
marijuana markets that launch years after
medical cannabis has been established,
South Dakota's will be starting from
scratch. But many unknown factors such
as licensing structure and application fees
could work in favor of new businesses and
increase this score over time.
Milestone: South Dakota was the first
state in the country to simultaneously
legalize medical and adult-use marijuana
in the November election.
Initiatives: Measure 26 (medical
marijuana) passed by a margin of 69.9%
to 30.1%.
Amendment A (adult use) passed by a
vote of 54.2% to 45.8%.
Market Data: Marijuana Business
Daily projects the medical cannabis
market will generate $10 million to
$12 million in annual sales by 2024.
MJBizDaily has yet to project the
recreational marijuana market's size.
Companies in the Market: None yet.
Big Picture: The fact that residents of
a deeply conservative state would pass
both medical and recreational cannabis
might foreshadow how federal marijuana
52 Marijuana Business Magazine | January 2021
reform could eventually play out in the
more conservative U.S. Senate.
However, South Dakota Gov. Kristi
Noem is not a cannabis advocate, saying
that support of marijuana is a " wrong
choice " for the state, its communities and
its families.
Noem, a Republican, vetoed the state
Legislature's attempt to legalize indus

MJBizMag January 2021

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