Almost 20 years after voters enacted Proposition 215 giving patients access to medical marijuana, California finally has a strong regulatory framework that upholds local control, protects public safety, and enhances patient safety. Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature today on the three bills that comprise the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act is historic and culminates an effort led by a broad coalition that includes the League of California Cities, the California Police Chiefs Association, labor groups, patient advocates and portions of the cannabis industry. The bills are AB 266 (Bonta, Cooley, Jones-Sawyer, Lackey, Wood), AB 243 (Wood) and SB 643 (McGuire). Licensing will begin in 2018 at the earliest.
“The Governor’s signature on this trio of bills represents a major victory for California cities,” said League Executive Director Chris McKenzie. “The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act establishes a different regulatory model for medical marijuana through the dual licensing requirement that is paramount to ensure that local jurisdictions have local control over the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana within their communities.”
The legislators who crafted these bills showed exemplary leadership through months of work and negotiations. The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act also represents a major accomplishment for the state-local partnership, which is critical to establishing a robust regulatory and enforcement structure for this product in California.
“We thank all of the bill authors who worked together to craft this comprehensive package of bills that bring much needed clarity to this industry, provides strong local control, and protects patients,” said McKenzie.
The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act is significant for California cities because it:
- Protects local control by requiring that all marijuana businesses must have a local permit or license in addition to a state license in order to operate in California.
- Protects public safety by providing uniform security requirements, and specifying criteria for state licensing, including disqualifying felonies;
- Protects public health with uniform health and safety standards; and
- Ensures patient safety with quality assurance protocols requiring random sample testing by certified laboratories for all medical marijuana sold in California.
The League has prepared a summary of the three bills that is available at www.cacities.org/MarijuanaLegislation
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.