New medical marijuana regulations in California are certainly shaking up the industry there. From new licenses and agencies to growing bans being passed all over the state, the California government is certainly making its presence known within the industry.
One of the more interesting side stories the new regulations are generating concerns Steve DeAngelo, entrepreneur and operator of the famed Harborside Health Center, often called the largest medical marijuana dispensary in the world.
According to Buzzfeed, sources are claiming that a new bill currently sitting in the California assembly is specifically aimed at helping Steve secure licenses under the new rules.
In a nutshell, Steve was convicted on felony marijuana charges in Maryland about 15 years ago. He received probation and a suspended sentence. These things could be problematic for him in the coming years when it comes to getting licenses in the state.
In February, CA Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) introduced a bill that would allow felons to get cannabis licenses, but only if they met three specific criteria: 1) the conviction must have occurred out of state, 2) the conviction must not have resulted in jail time, and 3) the felon must also be approved by a local licensing body.
Steve meets all three criteria, but he seems to be about the only one. This has caused others in the community to cry foul.
For his part, Steve denies that he had anything to do with the bill.
“I don’t want a Steve DeAngelo clause,” he told BuzzFeed. “They may have thought by crafting something like this that it would win my support, but we are not backing this approach.”
In any case, there is little hope for the bill making its way through the California legislature.
Something that would allow cannabis felons entry into the legal industry is definitely worth looking at. Barring people with expertise because they committed a non-violent crime relating to marijuana in the past will leave out a lot of knowledgeable people; people who can help grow the industry into its full potential.