Recreational marijuana licensing workshops held in SoCal to educate potential growers

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- As recreational marijuana sales are about to become legal, state officials took new steps to educate anyone interested in getting into the green business.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture held a cultivation and licensing workshop in Santa Ana Tuesday.

"There are a lot of checks and balances to make sure that one, public safety is taken care of, environmental health is preserved," said Rebecca Foree, with the food and agriculture department.

Max Groso was just one of the people in a packed hotel meeting room who cannot wait for Jan. 1, when the sales become legal across the state. Groso said he is ready and waiting to begin growing in his space in Palm Springs. But first, he needs that license.

Part of the process is a track and trace system, which requires growers to track the cannabis from seed to sale. The other requirement is approval from your city, which may be tough because some local governments are still sorting out how to deal with the business.

The multi-billion dollar industry is what attracted farmer Armond Wilkerson. He said he is ready to expand his farm and start growing marijuana.

"The problem will be with the local municipalities. But they'll catch up though, once they see the money," Wilkerson said. "(It's) a cash crop unlike any other that I've ever grown. I'm just looking for the opportunity, see what it holds, play by the rules and have a little fun."

The state is holding two other workshops in Southern California - one in San Bernardino and another in Palm Desert. Both are already full.
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