California MMJ Laws Ammended
California was once threatened with the ban of medical marijuana cultivation due to a drafting error on their medical marijuna bill. Dozens of cities in the state chose to ban all commercial cannabis-growing within their borders during the last few months out of fear that they will lose power to set policy.
Democratic Assemblyman Jim Wood of Healdsburg submitted legislation, AB21, amends the comprehensive medical marijuana regulations that were passed in September. The legislature removes the paragraph which gives the state the authority to license pot growers in jurisdictions that did not have laws on the books by March 1, specifically allowing or outlawing cultivation. The new bill gained Gov. Jerry Brown's signature on Wednesday.
Local officials now have plenty of time to decide where they stand. The state is not expected to start licensing commercial marijuana grows until 2018. "Now that we have given local officials the time to take a thoughtful approach to regulating medical marijuana, I hope they will maximize that time by engaging with the public and having thorough discussions," Wood said.
Medical cannabis has been legal in the state of California since 1996 however, it was just last year that lawmakers endorsed a framework that sets statewide licensing and operating rules for marijuana dispensaries, product manufacturers, growers and every other aspect of the state's sprawling pot industry. While the California departments of agriculture, health and consumer affairs begin drafting regulations, voters in the state are expected to see a ballot initiative to legalize recreational cannabis in November of this year.