Marijuana: 4 things to watch for in California in 2021

New laws, lower taxes, and using “Humboldt” as a marketing term could boost the industry.

Making predictions about California’s marijuana industry was a challenge even before a global pandemic changed everything.

It’s not just that the legal cannabis market, which launched three years ago in California, is so new. It’s also the singularity of an industry in which licensed, legal operators still compete against a much larger illicit market, even as the industry’s core consumer product — which is medicine for some people — remains illegal at the federal level.

Some of the trends that were expected to shake up California’s marijuana industry at the start of 2020 were overshadowed or fully sidelined by the coronavirus. Still, California’s marijuana businesses fared better than some other sectors thanks to their “essential” designation, which allowed retailers and others in the supply chain to stay open and generate revenue during lockdowns.

Will that growth continue in 2021? Experts point to four changes that figure to affect the state’s cannabis industry in the coming year.

Streamline state oversight

State regulators who oversee California’s cannabis industry are gearing up for major changes in the year to come.

In January 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s draft budget called for collapsing the three state departments that currently oversee the marijuana industry – the Bureau of Cannabis Control for retailers, distributors and testing labs; the Department of Food and Agriculture for cultivators; and the Department of Public Health for product manufacturers – into one new Department of Cannabis Control. [Read More @ East Bay Times]

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