CALIFORNIA – Governor Gavin Newsom recently approved the Cannabis Licensing Reform Act, sponsored by Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, to aid struggling small cannabis farmers in California, according to the Cannabis Business Times.
Scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2024, Senate Bill 833 allows cultivators the option to pause license fees and maintain inactive licenses or reduce fees based on crop size, reported Lake County News.
McGuire emphasized the challenges faced by small cannabis farmers amidst market volatility, where annual license renewal fees, often in the tens of thousands, burden growers even during unproductive years.
“S.B. 833 is all about common sense,” McGuire said in an interview with Lake County News. “Just like with other agricultural crops, cannabis farmers shouldn’t go under from one bad season, whether it’s from a tough market, drought, or even a wildfire.”
McGuire asserted the legislation’s common-sense approach, stating that in unpredictable markets, farmers should have flexibility—paying less when they grow less.
“Right now, cannabis farmers must pay their state license fees regardless—or forfeit them all together. This is nuts and that’s why we advanced this legislation. Farmers need flexibility in this erratic market and if they grow less, they should pay less. It’s that simple.”