Sacramento — Today the Assembly Committee on Business and Professions on a bipartisan 12-0 vote passed Assembly Member Ken Cooley’s AB 266, taking action to help provide California with a long-overdue regulatory process for medical marijuana. California is the only state with medical marijuana access for patients that lacks a robust regulatory process. AB 266 aims to improve the current status quo by helping the exercise of Proposition 215 rights within local community norms.
Assembly Member Cooley, the California Police Chiefs Association and the League of California Cities would like to thank the committee for recognizing the importance of this measure. AB 266 embodies three fundamental priorities: protecting public safety, advancing local control and protecting public health by creating uniform health and safety standards to ensure the safe, lawful distribution to medical marijuana in those cities and counties in which it is authorized.
Upon the hearing’s conclusion, Assembly Member Cooley commended the committee’s work today. “For almost 20 years medical marijuana has had no standards at the state or local levels to ensure the safety of patients or the communities where this distribution takes place,” said Assembly Member Cooley. “The vote in Assembly Business and Professions Committee is an important step in California addressing this issue in a way that carefully balances patient’s rights and the community’s needs.”
California Police Chiefs Association President Chief David Bejarano added that “As police chiefs, our objective is to ensure that our communities, our youth, and our environment have the necessary regulations in place to keep them safe. The result of today’s hearing places us one step closer to obtaining that goal.”
League Executive Director Chris McKenzie expressed the League’s commitment to crafting legislation to fill this void. “AB 266 is a comprehensive approach to the regulation of medical marijuana ends the confusion and chaos that ensued with the passage of the Compassionate Use Act in 1996. This measure’s dual licensing framework involving both the state and local governments protects the interests of cities and law enforcement while ensuring patient access and public safety.”
Assembly Member Cooley also added, “The structure of my bill is such that it will improve outcomes for medical marijuana use in California while strengthening the accountability of entities providing oversight.”
Established in 1898, the League of California Cities is a nonprofit statewide association that advocates for cities with the state and federal governments and provides education and training services to elected and appointed city officials.