Greg Felix, Accela’s vice president of strategic solutions, talks about tips and trends for cannabis regulation at CannaWest 2018
There are a lot of unknowns in the emerging world of legalized marijuana as governments try to identify their biggest challenges, decide state and local roles, and understand how technology will support regulation.
To provide insights on these pressing questions, on Thursday Accela’s Vice President of Strategic Solutions Greg Felix spoke to the Stratton Report at CannaWest, the annual conference dedicated to solutions in cannabis compliance, testing and product safety. With Accela’s pioneering efforts to enable cannabis permitting and licensing in California, Colorado and Michigan, Felix offered insights on key issues affecting the industry and how governments might overcome obstacles.
“The greatest challenge right now is for governments to address this rapidly expanding legalization of cannabis across the country,” Felix told the Stratton Report. “This is causing government agencies to scramble as they set up their regulatory frameworks and it’s very difficult for governments. It’s difficult for citizens, lawmakers, legislators and businesses alike.”
Felix said roughly 60 percent of the U.S. population lives within the 30 states that have some form of legalized marijuana regulation and the regulatory process is difficult due to the fast passage of cannabis legislation coupled with short implementation times for state and local agencies. High tax revenues and sales are likely drivers for legalized cannabis with BDS Analytics, a cannabis research firm, estimating national marijuana sales at $11 billion by the end of 2018 and $21 billion by the end of 2021.
“This creates a lot of problems for both the agencies, but also it’s a challenge to vendors who are not prepared to install systems that quickly.” Felix said. “So the challenges are indeed really, really problematic, but when the right tools are placed in the hands of these governments they can address these challenges … and they can support all the things necessary to ensure that the workflow is optimized, and that the interagency communication and interagency collaboration is working at optimal measures.”
For more details on how agencies can effectively manage cannabis, visit Accela’s Cannabis Regulation for Local Governments.