California Submits New Marijuana Bill

Nineteen years after the Golden State allowed state residents to use marijuana for medicinal purposes, legislation has finally been approved to regulate the California cannabis industry.  The top lawmakers from both chambers and the governor’s office agreed upon a package of deals that have finally been sent to Gov. Jerry Brown.

Nate Bradley, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association, stated, “I think it’s fair to say most players in the cannabis industry understand the need for regulation and are glad California has started the process."  If passed, the bills will do things such as create a new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation under the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs, giving the California Department of Food and Agriculture authority to regulate marijuana cultivation and allow marijuana businesses to operate as for-profit entities instead of nonprofits.  “The establishment of this comprehensive regulatory framework will benefit the patients, the environment, the economy, and all Californians for years to come," added Tim Schick, executive director of the Berkeley Patients Group, one of the oldest dispensaries in the state.

While the licensing rules will not go into effect until 2018, Californians are preparing a campaign initiative to legalize adult recreational marijuana that is expected to appear on next November’s ballot.