Ban the Bans: Getting Active Locally

Download a flyer on the bans with background, talking points, and sample language.

See Cal NORML’s talking points on medical marijuana bans.

Cal City and County Ban Watch Facebook Page

UPDATE Feb. 3, 2016 – The governor has signed AB 21 removing the March 1 deadline in MMRSA for local governments to enact medical marijuana cultivation regulations. The bill also eliminates an objectionable clause that explicitly authorized local governments to prohibit the cultivation, storage, manufacture, trasnport, provision or other activity by patients and caregivers otherwise exempt from state regulation.

January 21, 2016 – Cal NORML is tracking bans or proposed bans on medical marijuana cultivation and delivery in over 200 locations across California. The bans are the result of what Rep. Wood has called a “drafting error” in MMRSA, the set of bills that passed last year in the state to regulate medical marijuana. Those regulations won’t be fully enacted until at least January 1, 2018; yet there was a provision in MMRSA saying:

In cities and counties without cultivation regulations of their own, the state shall be the sole licensing authority as of March 1, 2016.

The League of Cities advised any locality that did not have a medical marijuana ordinance to ban cultivation in order to protect their land use authority. (They have now said this is because meaningful land use regulations take time to write and there simply wasn’t time before the deadline.)

A few locales are opting to regulate instead of ban, and some excluding personal use cultivation from the ordinance, but others are banning all cultivation and deliveries too. Even though some are now calling the bans “temporary,” it’s important to start gathering forces to push for repealing the bans in place of meaningful regulation at all local levels.

CAL NORML NEEDS YOUR HELP TO ALERT US TO PENDING BANS IN CITIES AND COUNTIES WE HAVE NOT HAD REPORTS ON. There are 58 counties and 482 cities and towns in California. If your city and/or county is not on the list posted at and you can provide information on ordinances that have passed or are pending where you live, please respond ASAP.

You can:
– check your city council or board of supervisor’s website for upcoming meeting agendas, and search for marijuana. Report back when a marijuana ordinance is on an agenda, with the URL to the agenda and the agenda packet (with proposed ordinance)
– follow local press accounts and send in URLs
– correct errors or provide missing data for the spreadsheet at, such as dates bans passed or will be heard

If you can check on other cities in your county, contact us for a list of those in your area.

If you are facing a ban in your area, start reaching out to your local elected officials and let them know you oppose the ban and why. Talk to your friends and neighbors and get them involved, and write letters to the editor of local newspapers.

We have developed some talking points on the topic.

Also see:

Cal NORML’s summary of the MMRSA Act:

LA NORML’s Bruce Margolin & Damian Martin: Erroneous Bans Must Stop Daily Journal, 1/20/16

Governor Brown Supports Fix to MMRSA Deadline

Stay Informed! Join California NORML’s Email Alert List