California legislature passes medical cannabis regulation package

Posted on September 14th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

CaliforniaOn Sept. 11, the California state legislature approved a trio of bills to establish comprehensive regulation and licensing of medical cannabis. Assembly Bills 243 and 266 and Senate Bill 643 were all passed, and will delegate regulation of commercial medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, transportation, and distribution to various state agencies as well as create a state-level licensing system. Gov. Jerry Brown is widely expected to sign all three pieces of legislation. "We're glad the legislature has finally been able to move forward on regulations," said Don Duncan, California direcotr of Americans for Safe Access (ASA). "History has shown that regulation can improve community outcomes while still preserving patient access. Passing medical cannabis regulation before the state moves forward with a potential adult-use recreational system next year is extremely important for the preservation of the medical cannabis program.”

ASA successfully lobbied to exempt patients' personal cultivation rights from regulatory rules, and to move regulatory oversight from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to the newly created Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, within the Department of Consumer Affairs. ASA also successfully opposed a state-wide production tax on commercial cannabis cultivation.

"Licensing and regulation will also ensure higher quality standards and increased product safety, legally protect industry workers, and help reduce public ambivalence about the medical cannabis program," said Kristin Nevedal, director of the Patient Focused Certification program. "While we were able to keep out several bad legislative proposals, there are still several aspects of the bill that are of concern. We're encouraging legislators to be open to additional changes in the event some of the regulations prove inflexible or overly burdensome."

ASA opposes a last-minute alteration to the bill that creates a 100-square-foot maximum amount of medical cannabis patient personal cultivation that was added so late that few were aware of it at the time of the vote. ASA has also expressed concerns about vertical integration limits creating undue obstacles to legitimate.

Earlier this year California AB 258, the ASA-sponsored Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act was signed into law by Gov. Brown. The law will prevent anyone from being denied an organ transplant based only on legal medical cannabis use. The adoption of the bill makes California the seventh state to protect patients in jeopardy of being denied a potentially life-saving transplant. ASA is currently monitoring and communicating with California's hospital systems to ensure compliance with the new law. (ASA via The Weed Blog, Sept. 14)

Graphic by Global Ganja Report 



Gov. Brown signs medical marijuana package

Global Ganja Report's picture

Nearly 20 years after voters made California the first state in the nation to legalize the medical use of marijuana, Gov. Jerry Brown on Oct. 9 signed a package of bills to regulate the multibillion dollar medicinal cannabis industry. The stringent and comprehensive regulations create an enforceable framework for governing virtually every aspect of the business in California — from licensing and taxation to quality control, shipping, packaging and pesticide standards. (SF Chronicle)

Comment by Global Ganja Report on Oct 9th, 2015 at 6:40 pm

Help wanted: California medical marijuana chief

Bill Weinberg's picture

The Jerry Brown administration has posted a job opening for the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, which will set standards for California’s cannabis industry by 2018. (SacBee, Nov. 9) Ironically, this institutionalization of the industry coomes as advocates are calling for the resignation of acting DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg, who told reporters: "What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal—because it's not. We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether we should legalize something that is bad and dangerous, but don't call it medicine—that is a joke." (WaPo, Nov. 10)

Comment by Bill Weinberg on Nov 10th, 2015 at 7:46 pm

California enacts emergency bill to fix marijuana regulations

Global Ganja Report's picture An emergency bill to fix a legislative drafting error that had local governments in California racing to ban medical marijuana cultivation won Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature on Feb. 3. The legislation, AB21, by Democratic Assemblyman Jim Wood of Healdsburg amends the comprehensive medical marijuana regulations the Legislature passed in September to eliminate a paragraph giving the state alone authority to license pot growers in jurisdictions that did not have laws on the books by March 1 specifically allowing or outlawing cultivation. Fearful of losing their power to set policy to the state, dozens of municipalities chose to ban all commercial growing over the last three months. Some also prohibited authorized users from growing their own. Dozens more were scheduled to consider the issue in the next few weeks. (AP)
Comment by Global Ganja Report on Feb 19th, 2016 at 4:39 pm

New California regs 'all about the money'

Bill Weinberg's picture VICE runs an interview with Oakland's medical marijuana magnate Steve DeAngelo, whose comments are paraphrased by The Leaf Onlne:
What has DeAngelo most worried is the pending implementation of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), a trio of bills passed by the state legislature which promise to radically transform the state’s current loose and vague medical laws into a more tightly regulated system. While he doesn’t oppose MMRSA in its entirety, DeAngelo is quick to sound the alarm on some of its provisions, especially the laws’ mandatory three-tier distribution system, modeled on similar laws for alcohol which require an independent licensed distributor operating at arm’s length between the producers who brew the alcohol and the retailers (or bars, or restaurants) who sell it to consumers. The purpose of such systems are to facilitate the collection of taxes (which are often high), to increase the cost of the alcohol sold (which increases the tax base) and to “encourage temperance” (a euphemism for keeping the price elevated so it’s more expensive to drink yourself silly). So, in essence, these laws are all about the money — and in DeAngelo’s view, they create strong incentives for the liquor distributors to lobby for changes in the law which allow them to increase their own profits — like MMRSA — at the expense of consumers.
Comment by Bill Weinberg on Mar 30th, 2016 at 2:34 pm

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