The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: California’s Legal Cannabis Industry So Far

January seemed to drag on but California has survived its first month after legalizing Adult-Use cannabis. There has to be a trophy for that, right? The cannabis industry is evolving fast. It can change for the better or it can change for the worse, but it will all be necessary to advance cannabis culture. With so much going on it’s hard to stay up to date with cannabis related news, so let me help you catch up on the biggest changes that have happened so far in 2018.


The Good

The legalization of Adult-Use cannabis means new products, new regulations, and a new narrative for cannabis culture. Your everyday stoner isn’t a couch potato anymore, they’re businessmen and college students. Definitely hit a milestone there but it is still one of the smaller achievements when considering all the change that has affected the cannabis industry so far.

In 2018, defendants who were convicted of cannabis drug-related charges will now have their sentencing retried and, in most cases, dropped. In addition, they will be given opportunities to start their own dispensary or cultivation; which could mean a shot at a new life for many. Dena Takruri goes over this and more over at AJ+ and describes how these people were treated unfairly and the steps they are taking in order to start their lives over again as “potrepeneurs”.

On the flip side, dispensaries and cultivators that were operating illegally are now pressured to comply to state laws or face legal repercussions. Many people might find that as a negative, the “Man” coming to steal your plants, but regulation is necessary for industries like cannabis. This kind of regulation is necessary in cultivation, for example, where it’s common for growers to put potentially harmful pesticides and other chemicals in cannabis products. Matt Simon over at Wired goes into more detail on this subject and describes how it is being changed.


The Bad

The bad part - cannabis is only legal on the state level. Any cannabis entrepreneurs wanting to take part in cultivating, distributing, or selling this product will have a problem when they try to take their business and finances to a federally owned bank. Since government reform is slow and tedious cannabis businesses are stuck with no sign of an immediate solution. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean you can’t find your own solution somewhere else; Pot coin, a cryptocurrency specifically for the sale and purchase of marijuana, could be something to consider. For most of 2018, however, businesses should expect to continue handling their business in cash until a viable solution is found.


The Ugly

Up until this point, many cannabis businesses operated on an unstable legal foundation - a gray area for legal operations. Now, the laws are black and white and compliance to these laws is absolutely necessary to exist in the industry.

Though keeping up with ever changing laws and regulations can be tough, innovations in the cannabis industry is making this arduous task easier. Companies like WebJoint, an all-in-one compliance software company, and many others make it so easy to comply to state taxes and laws.


Adult-use legalization means the cannabis community is growing everyday. Even so, it is just as easy to be labeled as the stoner stereotype: lazy, apathetic and absent-minded. This is all the more reason to fight against it in 2018. It's a brave new world and stoners are coming in all shapes and sizes now in order to rewrite the narrative. Are you gonna sit around and watch Disjointed on Netflix all day, or figure out your role in this cannabis movement?

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