California State Marijuana Bills for 2016

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Reps. Woods, Cooley, Jones-Sawyer, Lackey and Bonta have introduced an urgency measure, AB 21, which repeals the March 1 deadline for local action in MMRSA, the 2015 law that regulates medical marijuana. The repeal is supported by the League of Cities, CSAC, and the RCRC. It is heading to a January 20 hearing in Senate Health Committee at 1:30 PM in room 4203 of the State Capitol Building.

A "clean up bill" on MMRSA, AB 1575, has also been introduced, with new regulations on "virtual dispensaries" (delivery services). The bill as written ends the 2026 sunset on 10A licensees holding multiple licenses and leaves it up to the bureau to review by 2025; it amends rules on testing and residual levels of volatile solvents; it clarifies that cities and counties can add fees and taxes on top of state fees; it clarifies that a collective "may operate for profit, not for profit, or any combination thereof"; and it clarifies (in three places) that certain criminal statutes do not apply to licensees under the new law.

On January 19, there will be a Joint Hearing of the Assembly Business and Professions, Agriculture, and Health Committees to discuss MMRSA implementation at 1:30 PM in room 4202 in the State Capitol Building.

Other bills that are in the works:

AB 26 (Jones-Sawyer) would require a state licensee to institute and maintain a training program for the licensee’s agents and employees regarding compliance with MMRSA. It is heading for a January 21 hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee..

AB 821 (Gipson) - would end penalties for paying taxes in cash. This bill is heading for a January 21 hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Read Cal NORML's letter in support of AB 821.

AB 1548 (Wood) - imposes cultivation tax on medical marijuana. It was referred to the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation late last year; no hearing date has been set.

AB 261 - prohibits selling drug paraphernalia, except as authorized by law.

AB 21 deadline

To the commenter who asked about the March deadline: sorry, that comment got deleted along with hundreds of junk comments we got after people complained about our CAPTCHA system and we changed it.

We are tracking over 180 localities where cultivation bans have passed or been proposed, and assisting locals in contacting their officials. Arguably these are “placeholder” bills retaining locals rights to license and regulate once the state MMRSA regulations are written. We’re recommending adding a “sunset” clause like they did in Alameda county to sunset the bans should the March 1 deadline be dropped, or to make them a moratorium instead with a stated sunset date.

ACLU thinks the bans are a result not just of the deadline in the MMRSA section, but rather the last sentence that section, Health & Safety Code Section 11362.777 (g), which permits cities to ban everything. The latest version of AB 21 would both repeal the March 1 deadline and that sentence.

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