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California Farmers Trying to Adjust to New Marijuana Regulations

An unmistakeable scent, rotten-sweet and earthy, greets visitors to Basil McMahon’s pine and oak sheltered Nevada County farm.

It wafts from cannabis plants growing in a murky legal terrain between acceptance and prohibition.

Over the next few years that will change, as a sweeping new package of laws will reverse years of state silence by regulating and licensing every stage of the medical marijuana industry.

For consumers, the shift will mean more assurance that their medicine won’t be laden with pesticides and other impurities, but likely result in higher prices. For growers, the new regime will recognize cannabis as an agricultural product, conferring legitimacy and imposing new rules on farmers accustomed to tending their plants without a stamp of approval from the state.

“It means I’ll be able to do what I’m doing without fear of persecution for the first in my life, for the first time in generations,” McMahon said as workers trimmed buds from the fall harvest. “That’s exciting, but it also presents a lot of questions and challenges.” [Read more at the Sacramento Bee]

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