Is pot the cherry on top for alcohol distributors?

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s new landmark medical cannabis laws create a new kind of private business that will play a central role regulating the state’s $1.3 billion pot industry: a licensed distribution scheme that appears to favor alcohol wholesalers.

By 2017, all cannabis authorized to be grown, processed and sold in California must pass inspection by licensed distributors that will charge fees for quality assurance, lab testing, and transportation by Teamster drivers.

Nearly 20 years into a heretofore unregulated medical cannabis market, California adopted a layer of bureaucracy that some growers and artisan producers say potentially threatens the integrity of their products and will certainly raise consumer prices. Continue reading

Alcohol distributors as marijuana middlemen

Beer, wine and liquor distributors — long-time big-money backers of cannabis prohibition — stand to gain from new regulations governing California’s $1.3 billion medical cannabis industry.

One of the landmark laws Gov. Jerry Brown signed Oct. 9 calls for the creation of a new kind of business to regulate the flow of all cannabis products in California, essentially middlemen like beer, wine and liquor distributors but with authority over quality assurance and product testing.
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