Ammiano Bill AB 473 Passes Appropriations Committee; Stalls on Assembly Floor

UPDATE May 31 - AB473 stalled on the Assembly floor. Rep. Ammiano has vowed to continue the fight.

SACRAMENTO, May 24 - The Assembly Appropriations Committee approved Tom Ammiano's medical marijuana regulation bill AB 473 with amendments. The amendments include an extensive new declaration of purposes, dubbing the bill the "Medical Marijuana Regulation and Control Act," and stating among other things that it is intended to fulfill the promise of Prop 215 to "implement a plan for the safe and affordable distribution of medical marijuana to all patients in medical need."

The amendments specifically reaffirm the Supreme Court's Riverside ruling, stating:

26010. This chapter does not prevent a city or county from doing any of the following:
(a) Adopting local ordinances that regulate the location, operation, or establishment of a medical cooperative or collective.
(b) The civil or criminal enforcement of the ordinances described in subdivision (a).
(c) Enacting other laws consistent with this chapter.

The new language also specifies that registration applicants should (1) conform with labeling requirements and (2) show that they have received local zoning approval and obtained a business license. Thus they cannot first obtain state registration, then shop around for a suitable location.

AB 473 was approved on an 11-6 vote; the aye votes came entirely from Democrats, while Committee Chair Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) joined 5 Republicans in voting no. AB 473 must next be approved by the full Assembly before moving on to the State Senate.

See full text of AB 473

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