UPDATE 5/30 – Assemblyman Ting could not muster the two-thirds vote of the Assembly required to alter the voter-approved initiative to prevent cities and counties from banning pot shops. He plans to try again with the bill next year, a representative told the LA Times.
Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, earned more than 57% of the vote in the November 2016 election and passed in 2/3 of California counties. Yet 75% of California cities and counties have banned retail cannabis businesses within their borders. Consequently, many Californians, including those with serious illnesses, are unable to safely access cannabis.
AB 1356 (Ting) would require cities and counties where a majority of citizens voted in favor of Prop. 64 to issue one cannabis retail license for every six existing onsite liquor consumption licenses, or one cannabis shop for every 15,000 residents (whichever is less). AB 1356 also allows local jurisdictions that don’t want to meet the licensing ratio to put the matter to voters at the next scheduled election.
AB 1356 would result in reduced barriers to licensure by existing operators who have not been able to meet local requirements. It would increase tax income for both the state and local governments, which could be put towards needed public services.
The bill has passed the Assembly Appropriations committee and is headed to the floor, where it needs a 2/3 majority to pass.
Photo Credit: David Horemans