By Fiona Ma
When we think about cannabis, we think of the dispensaries where it is sold, or the fields where it is grown. But more attention should be paid to the often overlooked middle step — transporting cannabis to the consumer.
I recently convened a Cannabis Transportation Stakeholder Discussion to discuss the myriad of technical, legal and logistical challenges facing the Medical Cannabis Industry when it comes to transporting cannabis from where it is grown to where it is consumed.
This is something that the cannabis industry and government needs to carefully consider as we contemplate the new set of laws California Gov. Jerry Brown just approved. At my stakeholders meeting, law enforcement, private sector labor leaders, industry officials, insurance industry officials, and delivery startups were all on hand to lend their perspective. There were a number of crucial takeaways from our lively and informative discussion, all which centered around public safety.
As conversations continue on the regulation of California’s existing Cannabis Industry, the safe transportation of medical cannabis will have to be a priority. Even though the federal government continues to classify cannabis as a Schedule 1 substance, the reality is it is currently moving on federal highways, state freeways, and on our local streets and roads, and it will continue to do so.
As a state, we need to be more proactive about addressing current problems that will only get magnified as this industry gets regulated and grows. A clear road map for success would ensure that law enforcement, drivers, technology and banking all have clear standards and rules that prioritize the public safety of all Californians.
To view the Cannabis Transportation Discussion, please visit my website here.
About Fiona Ma, CPA, State Board of Equalization
Assembly Speaker pro Tempore Emeritus Fiona Ma was elected to the State Board of Equalization (SBOE) on November 5, 2014 and represents close to 10 million people in 23 counties from the Oregon border to Santa Barbara County. The 5,000 person tax agency affects every taxpayer in California and has broad regulatory and adjudicatory powers and is the only elected tax board in America.
Ms. Ma was elected to represent the 12th Assembly District from November 2006 to November 2012 (after serving the maximum three terms). She was the #112 woman to ever be elected to the California Legislature and the first Asian woman to ever serve as Speaker pro Tempore since 1850 (first Legislature). Ms. Ma first became interested in politics as a small business owner advocating on behalf of other small businesses. She was an elected delegate to the 1995 White House Conference on Small Business under President Bill Clinton and later was elected a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 2002-2006.
In the Assembly, Ms. Ma authored groundbreaking legislation to protect consumers, prevent the spread of Hepatitis B, and increase access to quality healthcare. As a joint author of Proposition 1-A (Nov 2008), she was the legislature’s leading advocate to bring high-speed trains to California. Additionally, Ms. Ma has been and continues to be a leader in promoting trade and fostering relationships between California and Asia.
Ms. Ma received her B.S. from the Rochester Institute of Technology (NY), her M.S. in Taxation from Golden Gate University (SF), and an MBA from Pepperdine University. She has been licensed in California as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) since 1992. Fiona can be reached at [email protected]
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