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California Announces Medical Marijuana Will be Legal in 2016

Posted in Change on the Horizon?,In The News,Legal Matters in the Community on September 14, 2015

In a huge win for users of medical marijuana here in the golden state, the California State Assembly, Senate, and the Governor’s Office have agreed to pass two laws which will make medical marijuana “100 percent legal[].”[1]

AB 266 deems all non-personal marijuana use “commercial,” setting forth requirements and regulations in order to oversee the new legal industry, clearly noting that as long as licensees are in compliance with the regulations, medicinal marijuana use is “not unlawful under state law and shall not be an offense subject to arrest, prosecution, or other sanction under state law, or be subject to a civil fine or be a basis for seizure or forfeiture of assets under state law,” as opposed merely having a defense before enactment of the bill. Licenses will be required for a wide range of activities, from small cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and transportation.

The Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation will be created via SB 643 to oversee the multi-agency licensing and regulatory effort.[2] The regulations will be promulgated by the Department of Consumer Affairs,[3] with input from the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Department of Public Health.[4]

It should be noted that AB 266 will still allow individual counties to ban medical marijuana activity.

These bills will allow growers and others in the industry to legally report profits from their businesses, growers to sue for trademark violations, and counties to impose taxes on medical cannabis.

For the text of AB 266 see here: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billCompareClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB266

For the text of SB 643 see here: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/15-16/bill/sen/sb_0601-0650/sb_643_bill_20150406_amended_sen_v98.htm

 

[1] D. Downs, Here’s What’s Inside California’s Historic Medical Cannabis Regulations – AB 266, East Bay Express (Sept. 11, 2015).

[2] S. Lee, Agreement reached on California medical marijuana bill, LGBT Weekly (Sept. 12, 2015).

[3] California Police Chiefs, Assembly Bill 266 (Cooley) Responsible Distribution of Medical Marijuana.

[4] S. Lee, Agreement reached on California medical marijuana bill, LGBT Weekly (Sept. 12, 2015).