Pages tagged "California"

  • ASA has been working on state and local regulations for medical cannabis for years

    California voters adopted the Compassionate Use Act (CUA), known as Proposition 215, in 1996. That landmark voter initiative removed criminal penalties for most cannabis crimes for patients with a doctor’s recommendation for medical cannabis use and their designated primary caregiver. The CUA protects patients and caregivers from criminal prosecution for growing and using medical cannabis, but the law did not answer many questions about medical cannabis in California.

    How will law enforcement know who is legal? What makes someone a bona fide caregiver under the law? Is there any limit on how many plants a patient can grow or how much medicine a patient can possess? Where do patients who cannot or will not grow cannabis get the medicine they need? What exactly is legal under state law?

    The CUA calls on lawmakers “to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution” of medical cannabis. However, state lawmakers were initially reluctant to adopt statewide regulations for medical cannabis. In that vacuum, some cities and counties began to experiment with regulations for local access program to meet the needs of legal patients. ASA help create and adopt some of the earliest local medical cannabis ordinances in the San Francisco Bay Area and other places.

    Most of the early local ordinances regulating medical cannabis focused on safety, preventing diversion of medicine, and land use issues around local access points (often called dispensaries). Local lawmakers did not address issues regarding cultivation, manufacturing, or laboratory testing in these early ordinances. Many cities and counties remained ambivalent about licensing or regulating medical cannabis activity in the absence of clear guidance from the state.

    The state legislature adopted the Medical Marijuana Program Act (MMPA), known as SB 420 (Vasconcellos), in 2003. This bill provided some clarity as to what was legal in California, but there was not sufficient political will to include comprehensive regulations for the medical cannabis industry that was already emerging in the state. Among other provisions, the MMPA required each county to issue voluntary medical cannabis identification cards, set numeric limits on cultivation and possession, authorized primary caregivers to receive compensation for providing medicine to patients, and recognized the right of patients and caregivers to “associate… collectively or cooperatively to cultivate marijuana for medical purposes.”

    The California Attorney General published guidelines for interpreting the MMPA in 2008. ASA was deeply involved in the development of the document. The final version recognized that legally organized and operated cooperative or collective patients’ association could maintain a storefront for distributing the medical cannabis they cultivated to legal patient and caregiver members. The Attorney General’s guidelines and subsequent case law helped to solidify the definition of a member-supplied medical cannabis cooperative or collective association. Members grow and consume medicine in a cooperative or collective in a closed loop system, isolated from the illicit market in non-medical cannabis.

    The California Supreme Court ruled in People v. Kelly (2010) that the numeric limits on cultivating cannabis plants and possessing medical cannabis in the MMPA were unconstitutional amendments to the voter-approved CUA. The California constitution prohibits the state legislature from amending voter initiatives. However, the restrictions on cultivation and possession still apply to individual patients and caregivers who choose to obtain a voluntary medical cannabis identification card authorized under the MMPA.

    While the MMPA was step in the right direction, it offered little guidance to local lawmakers regarding commercial medical cannabis activity. ASA continued to work with lawmakers and organizers statewide to adopt local ordinances after the MMPA was adopted. We had many big wins. ASA was part of a coalition that overturned a ban on medical cannabis facilities in Los Angeles and subsequently adopted Measure D, a voter initiative that allowed for qualified patients' associations to remain open in that city.

    Since the CUA was adopted, cities and counties in California have adopted a patchwork of local ordinances to regulate or ban medial cannabis activity. Cities like San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Sebastopol, Sacramento, West Hollywood, Palm Springs, San Diego, and more give licenses to dispensaries. In Los Angeles, dispensaries that meet certain criteria have “limited immunity” from prosecution. Other cites and counties ban dispensaries outright, while many jurisdictions have simply done nothing about medical cannabis.

    Inconsistency and uncertainty about the law have stymied further progress at the local level. City Councils and County Boards of Supervisors are often unwilling to move forward with local ordinances without direction form the state. In the meantime, patients and provides must cope with rules that change from one jurisdiction to another.  Worse still, some local governments have banned medical cannabis activity altogether. Efforts to stop local bans in the courts have been unsuccessful so far.

    In response to growing political and public pressure, The California legislature adopted three bills, known collectively as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), to license and regulate commercial medical cannabis activity in 2015. When fully implemented, the bills will license and regulate the lawful cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, transportation, sales, and testing of medical cannabis in the state.

    ASA supported this effort and worked closely with lawmakers and other stakeholders to make important improvements to the MMRSA. ASA successfully advocated to exempt medical cannabis patients’ personal cultivation rights from commercial regulatory rules and to move regulatory oversight from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to the newly created Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, within the Department of Consumer Affairs.  ASA also successfully opposed a state-wide production tax on commercial cannabis cultivation.

    ASA objected to the requirement in the MMRSA that applicants for a state medical cannabis license also obtain a license, permit, or authorization from the city or county in which they operate or propose to operate. We failed to remove that requirement in its entirety. However, we did persuade the Authors to make two important concessions: (1) lawmakers added the word “authorization” to expand the types of local approval beyond actual local licenses or permits, and (2) lawmakers agreed that the state could license cultivation in any city that does not ban or authorize cultivation before March 1, 2016.

    ASA launched the Local Access Project to help support community organizers who want to adopt local licensing, permitting, or other authorization required for applicants seeking a state medical cannabis licensee under the MMRSA. Our goal is to help community organizers create opportunities for licensing in cities and counties where it is possible to adopt or amend medical cannabis laws or repeal local bans.

  • What do AB 243, AB 266, and SB 643 do

    Three separate bills comprise the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) – AB 243, AB 266, and SB 643. Each deals with different aspects of licensing and regulating commercial medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, transportation, sales, and testing. This is a brief summary of the bills, based on the digest prepared by the Legislative Counsel’s office. You may also want to review a summary of this legislation prepared by Dale Gieringer, Ph.D., from CA NORML.

    Be sure to check out the dates and deadlines in the MMRSA in the link below and to the right.

    Nothing on this page should be construed as legal, financial, or licensing advice.  This information is provided for educational purposes only. ASA strongly recommends that any applicant or potential applicant seek legal advice regarding your rights and responsibilities under the MMRSA and other local, state, and federal laws.  

    AB 243 (Wood)

    This bill would require the Department of Food and Agriculture, the Department of Pesticide Regulation, the State Department of Public Health, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the State Water Resources Control Board to promulgate regulations or standards relating to medical marijuana and its cultivation, as specified. The bill would also require various state agencies to take specified actions to mitigate the impact that marijuana cultivation has on the environment. By requiring cities, counties, and their local law enforcement agencies to coordinate with state agencies to enforce laws addressing the environmental impacts of medical marijuana cultivation, and by including medical marijuana within the Sherman Act, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

    This bill would require a state licensing authority to charge each licensee under the act a licensure and renewal fee, as applicable, and would further require the deposit of those collected fees into an account specific to that licensing authority in the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act Fund, which this bill would establish. This bill would impose certain fines and civil penalties for specified violations of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, and would require moneys collected as a result of these fines and civil penalties to be deposited into the Medical Cannabis Fines and Penalties Account, which this bill would establish within the fund. Moneys in the fund and each account of the fund would be available upon appropriation of the Legislature.

    This bill would authorize the Director of Finance to provide an initial operating loan from the General Fund to the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act Fund of up to $10,000,000, and would appropriate $10,000,000 from the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act Fund to the Department of Consumer Affairs to begin the activities of the bureau.

    AB 266 (Bonta)

    This bill, among other things, would enact the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act for the licensure and regulation of medical marijuana and would establish within the Department of Consumer Affairs the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, under the supervision and control of the Director of Consumer Affairs. The bill would require the director to administer and enforce the provisions of the act.

    This bill would also require the Board of Equalization, in consultation with the Department of Food and Agriculture, to adopt a system for reporting the movement of commercial cannabis and cannabis products.

    This bill would impose certain fines and civil penalties for specified violations of the act, and would require moneys collected as a result of these fines and civil penalties to be deposited into the Medical Cannabis Fines and Penalties Account.

    This bill would repeal these provisions upon the issuance of licenses by licensing authorities pursuant to the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, as specified, and would instead provide that actions of licensees with the relevant local permits, in accordance with the act and applicable local ordinances, are not offenses subject to arrest, prosecution, or other sanction under state law.

    SB 643 (McGuire)

    This bill would, among other things, set forth standards for a physician and surgeon prescribing medical cannabis and require the Medical Board of California to prioritize its investigative and prosecutorial resources to identify and discipline physicians and surgeons that have repeatedly recommended excessive cannabis to patients for medical purposes or repeatedly recommended cannabis to patients for medical purposes without a good faith examination, as specified. The bill would require the Bureau of Medical Marijuana to require an applicant to furnish a full set of fingerprints for the purposes of conducting criminal history record checks. The bill would prohibit a physician and surgeon who recommends cannabis to a patient for a medical purpose from accepting, soliciting, or offering any form of remuneration from a facility licensed under the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act. The bill would make a violation of this prohibition a misdemeanor, and by creating a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

    This bill would require the Governor, under the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, to appoint, subject to confirmation by the Senate, a chief of the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation. The act would require the Department of Consumer Affairs to have the sole authority to create, issue, renew, discipline, suspend, or revoke licenses for the transportation and storage, unrelated to manufacturing, of medical marijuana, and would authorize the department to collect fees for its regulatory activities and impose specified duties on this department in this regard.

    The act would require the Department of Food and Agriculture to administer the provisions of the act related to, and associated with, the cultivation, and transportation of, medical cannabis and would impose specified duties on this department in this regard. The act would require the State Department of Public Health to administer the provisions of the act related to, and associated with, the manufacturing and testing of medical cannabis and would impose specified duties on this department in this regard.

    This bill would authorize counties to impose a tax upon specified cannabis-related activity.

    This bill would require an applicant for a state license pursuant to the act to provide a statement signed by the applicant under penalty of perjury, thereby changing the scope of a crime and imposing a state-mandated local program.

    This bill would set forth standards for the licensed cultivation of medical cannabis, including, but not limited to, establishing duties relating to the environmental impact of cannabis and cannabis products. The bill would also establish state cultivator license types, as specified.

  • Information about medical and adult use cannabis legislation in California

    Note: More than fifty bills related to medical and adult use cannabis were introduced this session. This list does not include all of the bills. ASA will update this list after the June 2nd deadline for bills to be approved in their house of origin. We anticipate there will be many fewer bills to track at that time. Please check back for a complete list. You can get the latest news on California legislation and more by attending the California Citizen Lobby Day on Monday, June 5th, in Sacramento. 


     

    You can sign up for email alerts about cannabis and medical cannabis bills on the state's LegInfo website.

    Join the ASA California Camping for Safe Access email discussion list to talk about the bills and more with other stakeholders.

     

    AB 6 (Lackey) - Driving under the influence: drug testing.

    As amended February 22, this bill would require the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol to appoint, and serve as the chair of, a drugged driving task force, with specified membership, to develop recommendations for best practices, protocols, proposed legislation, and other policies that will address the issue of driving under the influence of drugs, including prescription drugs. The bill would also require the task force to examine the use of technology, including field testing technologies, to identify drivers under the influence of drugs, and would authorize the task force to conduct pilot programs using those technologies. The bill would require the task force to report to the Legislature its policy recommendations and the steps that state agencies are taking regarding drugged driving.

    AB 64 (Bonta) - Cannabis: medical and nonmedical: regulation and advertising.

    In its current form, this bill will clarify that medical cannabis licensees can operate in a nonprofit or for-profit manner, requires for-profit cooperatives and collective to have a CA Seller’s Permit, specifically allows medical and adult use retail licensees to operate non-storefront (delivery) businesses, restricts advertising for medical and adult use licensees and loans the CHP $3 million to research cannabis and DUID.

    AB 76 (Chau) - Adult-use marijuana: marketing.

    This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to introduce legislation relating to the prohibition of the marketing of adult-use marijuana to children.

    AB 171 (Lackey) – Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act: licensure: reporting.

    This bill requires each agency issuing a medical cannabis license to include all conditional licenses approved in its annual report.

    AB 175 (Chau) – Adult-use marijuana: marketing: packaging and labeling.

    This bill would require a manufacturer, prior to introducing an edible marijuana product into commerce in California, to submit the packaging and labeling to the bureau for approval and would require the bureau to determine whether the packaging and labeling are in compliance with the requirements of prescribed provisions of AUMA, including the requirements that the packaging be child resistant and not attractive to children, as specified. The bill would authorize the bureau to charge a manufacturer a fee for the determination, in an amount no greater than the amount required to cover the actual and reasonable costs of administering the approval program.

    AB 208 (Eggman) - Deferred entry of judgment: pretrial diversion.

    This bill changes the qualifications for pretrial diversion for defendants facing specified charges including cannabis-related offenses, including cannabis-related offense related to personal use and cultivation.

    AB-238 (Steinorth) - Medical cannabis: distributors: employment.

    This bill would prohibit a distributor Type 11 licensee from denying employment to any individual on the basis that he or she is or is not party to a collective bargaining agreement. The bill would also prohibit an applicant for a distributor Type 11 license from being denied a license on the basis that the applicant employs individuals who are or are not party to a collective bargaining agreement. The bill would make certain legislative findings and declarations.

    AB 285 (Melendez) - Drug and alcohol free residences.

    This bill defines a “drug and alcohol free residence” and authorizes a state-approved certification of residential recovery facilities as such. The bill requires that “[o]wners, managers, operators, and residents observe and promote a zero tolerance policy regarding the consumption or possession of alcohol or controlled substances or marijuana being used in any manner not consistent with a documented prescription [italics added]."

    AB 313 (Gray) – Water.

    This bill would make substantial changes in the way water use is regulated in the state, including some provisions related to medical cannabis cultivation license applications. Use the link to read the numerous provisions of the bill.

    AB 350 (Salas) - Marijuana edibles: appealing to children.

    This bill would specify that a marijuana product is deemed to be appealing to children or easily confused with commercially sold candy if it is in the shape of a person, animal, insect, fruit, or in another shape normally associated with candy, but would not prohibit a licensee from making an edible marijuana product in the shape of the licensee’s logo.

    AB 362 (Wood) - Forestry assistance program: loans.

    This bill would provide that assessments deposited into the existing Timber Regulation and Forest Restoration Fund, less amounts deducted for refunds and reimbursement be, upon appropriation by the Legislature, may be used for forest resources improvement grants, loans, and projects. Current law only allows from grants. Terms for the newly authorized loans would be negotiated by the Director of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, subject to certain criteria. The bill limits the amount of money that can be loaned to the Department of Fish and Wildlife for activities to address environmental damage occurring on forest lands resulting from cannabis cultivation to $500,000, until July 1, 2017 (the end of the current fiscal year). 

    AB 389 (Salas, Caballero, and Ridley-Thomas) - Marijuana: consumer guide.

    This bill would require the bureau, by July 1, 2018, to establish and make available on its Internet Web site a consumer guide to educate the public on the regulation of medical and nonmedical marijuana. The guide shall include, without limitation: (1) The difference between medical cannabis and nonmedical cannabis; (2) Where nonmedical cannabis may be legally purchased; (3) Rules on the public consumption of medical cannabis and nonmedical cannabis; (4) How much cannabis may be purchased at one time; (5) Penalties for violating cannabis laws; and (6) The process for reporting consumer concerns or complaints.

    AB 416 (Mathis) - Cannabis.

    This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation relating to CBD-enriched cannabis. There are no details in the introduced version.

    AB 420 (Wood) - Marijuana and medical cannabis: advertisements: license number disclosure.

    This bill would require an advertisement for the sale of medical cannabis or medical cannabis products to identify the MCRSA licensee responsible for its content by including, at a minimum, the license number of the MCRSA licensee. This bill would require an advertisement for the sale of nonmedical marijuana or nonmedical marijuana products to include, at a minimum, the license number of the AUMA licensee responsible for its content. 

    AB 702 (Lackey) - Driving under the influence: chemical tests.

    This bill would repeal the presumption that a person consents to submit to chemical testing of his or her blood or breath and would instead require a motor vehicle driver who is lawfully arrested for a specified DUI offense to submit to chemical testing of his or her blood or breath for the purpose of determining the alcoholic or drug content of his or her blood. The bill make other changes that could negatively affect a medical cannabis patient accused of driving while impaired by cannabis. 

    AB 729 (Gray) - Nonmedical marijuana: licensee regulation.

    This bill makes changes related to the enforcement of laws against selling adult use cannabis to persons under the age of 21. The bill would: (1) require a licensing authority to suspend a license for a 3rd or subsequent violation of the prohibition on engaging in non-medical marijuana commercial activities with a person under 21 years of age if the violation occurs within 36 months of the initial violation; (2) require a licensee to post a sign, visible from each public entrance, and a similar sign inside the premises that reads “No Person Under 21 Allowed” and would authorize a licensee that is also a licensed dispensary to include language on the sign that reads “without identification authorizing the purchase of medical cannabis;” (3) authorize a licensee or its agents or employees to refuse to sell marijuana to a person who is unable to produce adequate personal identification showing that he or she is 21 years of age or older and to seize forged ID; (4) prohibit the sale, offer for sale, or distribution of marijuana or marijuana products in a vending machine or appliance, or any other coin- or token-operated mechanical device designed or used for vending purposes; (5) allow for police compliance inspections; (6) prohibit a licensee from being located within a 600-foot radius of a playground, hospital, or church, as specified, unless a licensing authority or local agency specifies otherwise; (7) require those security measures also to include maintaining windows and transparent doors in a specified manner to ensure that law enforcement personnel have a clear and unobstructed view of the interior of the premises; and (8) authorize undercover investigations for age-related restrictions using under age buyers. 

    AB 844 (Burke) - California Marijuana Tax Fund: funding for support system navigation services: minimum performance standards.

    This bill would amend AUMA by requiring applicants for grants to support system navigation services, as described in AUMA, to meet specific minimum performance standards as a condition of grant eligibility, including, among other standards, operate 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

    AB 845 (Wood) - Cannabidiol.

    This bill would authorize, if federal law authorizes the prescription of a controlled substance containing cannabidiol (CBD), a physician to prescribe that substance in accordance with federal law. The bill would also provide that upon the enactment of federal law authorizing the prescription or the furnishing, transferring, possession, or use of a prescription for a controlled substance containing cannabidiol, notwithstanding any other state law, the prescription, furnishing, transferring, possession, or use of that controlled substance in accordance with federal law is for a legitimate medical purpose and is authorized pursuant to state law.

    AB 903 (Cunningham) - California Marijuana Tax Fund: California Highway Patrol.

    This bill would amend AUMA by requiring the Department of the California Highway Patrol to use its annual appropriation from the fund to study the viability of standards for marijuana impairment.

    AB 948 (Bonta) - Marijuana.

    This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation relating to marijuana.

    AB 963 (Gipson) - Taxation: marijuana.

    This bill would make numerous changes related to revoking cannabis licenses and to how and when sales and use tax is collected on cannabis. The bill would: (1) require a distributor, which this bill would define as a person that makes a distribution of marijuana or marijuana products to a retailer, to collect prepayments of both marijuana excise tax and sales tax on the marijuana or marijuana products distributed, as specified; (2) revise and recast that provision to exempt from sales and use taxes retail sales of medical cannabis, medical cannabis concentrate, edible medical cannabis products, or topical cannabis to persons with identification cards, as defined, or primary caregivers that provide the above-described identification; (3) establish within the team the Cannabis Criminal Enforcement Team for the purpose of combating criminal tax evasion associated with marijuana, marijuana products, and marijuana accessories; and more.

    AB 1002 (Cooley) - Center for Cannabis Research.

    This bill would rename the California Marijuana Research Program the Center for Cannabis Research and would expand the purview of the program to include the study of naturally occurring constituents of cannabis and synthetic compounds that have effects similar to naturally occurring cannabinoids. The bill would authorize the program to cultivate cannabis to be used exclusively for research purposes and to contract with a private entity to provide expertise in cultivating medical cannabis. The bill would also authorize the controlled clinical trials to focus on examining testing methods for detecting harmful contaminants in marijuana, including mold and bacteria.

    AB 1096 (Bonta) - Medical cannabis. (cultivation on tribal lands)

    This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to address state regulation of medical cannabis grown on, but transported out of, tribal lands.

    AB 1143 (Gray) - Outdoor advertising: prohibitions.

     The Outdoor Advertising Act regulates placement of advertising signs adjacent to and within specified distances of certain highways… This bill would also prohibit these advertising displays from advertising marijuana.

    AB 1244 (Voepel) - Marijuana: production of concentrated cannabis.

    This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation relating to the production of concentrated cannabis using butane.

    AB 1254 (Wood) - Production or cultivation of a controlled substance: civil penalties.

    Existing law, in certain circumstances, makes a person found to have violated specified provisions of law generally protecting fish and wildlife, water, or other natural resources in connection with the production or cultivation of a controlled substance liable for a civil penalty in addition to any penalties imposed by any other law. Existing law authorizes the Department of Fish and Wildlife to impose these civil penalties administratively in accordance with specified procedures. This bill would make non-substantive changes to this provision.

    AB 1420 (Aguiar-Curry) - Water rights: small irrigation use: lake or streambed alteration agreements.

    Among many other provisions in the bill, AB 1420 would exempt an entity cultivating medical cannabis from the requirement to enter into a lake or streambed alteration agreement with the department if the entity submits a board-approved registration or renewed or amended registration for water use to the department and the department determines certain requirements are met, including, the payment of a fee required for a lake or streambed alteration agreement and the submission of a copy of any department conditions imposed for the registration for water use. 

    AB 1443 (Levine) - Court records. (Cannabis)

    Among other provisions, this bill would delete a trial court’s authority to create, maintain, and preserve records according to standards and guidelines adopted by the American National Standards Institute or the Association for Information and Image Management, including certain cannabis cases. 

    AB 1410 (Wood) - Taxation: marijuana cultivation tax.

    This bill would, at the time of completion of all quality assurance, inspection, and testing or when that quality assurance, inspection, and testing should have been completed, instead require a person required to be licensed as a distributor under the act and the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act to collect the cultivation tax from the taxpayer and give to the taxpayer a receipt in the manner and form prescribed by the board, except as specified… This bill would provide that the tax required to be collected by the person required to be licensed as a distributor, and any amount unreturned to the taxpayer which is not a tax but was collected from the taxpayer under the representation by the person required to be licensed as a distributor that it was tax, constitute debts owed to the state by the person required to be licensed as a distributor. This bill would require the person required to be licensed as a distributor to file the tax return instead of the person required to be licensed for cultivation, except as specified. The bill would also require all persons required to be licensed as a distributor who are required to collect the tax to obtain a separate permit at no charge. The bill would provide that any person required to obtain this permit who engages in business as a distributor without a permit or after a permit has been canceled, suspended, or revoked, and each officer of any corporation that so engages in business, is guilty of a misdemeanor. 

    AB 1527 (Cooley) - State and local marijuana regulatory agencies: employees.

    This bill would prohibit a former employee of the bureau, a licensing authority, the panel, or a local jurisdiction who had specified regulatory or licensing responsibilities from being employed by a person or entity licensed under AUMA or MCRSA for a period of one year from the last date of employment by the bureau, licensing authority, panel, or local jurisdiction. The bill would prohibit a person or entity licensed under AUMA or MCRSA from employing a former employee of the bureau, a licensing authority, the panel, or a local jurisdiction who had specified regulatory or licensing responsibilities within one year of the last date of employment by the bureau, licensing authority, panel, or local jurisdiction. The bill would authorize the bureau or the licensing authority to suspend immediately the license of a licensee who violates this provision and to investigate and determine whether to revoke the license and whether to bar the licensee, or any person or entity acting as an agent of the licensee, from obtaining a license in the future. The bill would specify that a violation of these employment restrictions is not a crime.

    AB 1578 (Jones-Sawyer) - Marijuana and cannabis programs: cooperation with federal authorities.

    This bill would prohibit a state or local agency, as defined, from taking certain actions without a court order signed by a judge, including using agency money, facilities, property, equipment, or personnel to assist a federal agency to investigate, detain, detect, report, or arrest a person for commercial or noncommercial marijuana or medical cannabis activity that is authorized by law in the State of California and transferring an individual to federal law enforcement authorities for purposes of marijuana enforcement.

    AB 1606 (Cooper) - Edible marijuana products.

    This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation, consistent with AUMA, that would establish quality standards for edible marijuana products.

    AB 1627 (Cooley) - AUMA: testing laboratories.

    This bill would transfer the regulation of testing laboratories under AUMA from the State Department of Public Health to the Bureau of Marijuana Control in the Department of Consumer Affairs.

    SB 65 (Hill) - Vehicles: alcohol and marijuana: penalties.

    The bill would make driving or operating a vehicle, boat, vessel, or aircraft while drinking any alcoholic beverage or smoking or ingesting cannabis or cannabis products an offense punishable as an infraction or a misdemeanor. The bill would authorize a court to order a defendant to attend drug or alcohol education and counseling classes in addition to those penalties.

    SB 67 (Bates) - Sentencing: driving under the influence. 

    This bill would require the determination of whether an offense constitutes a separate violation or prior conviction under the driving-under-the-influence prohibition described above to be based on the date of the conviction of the separate or prior offense, and would specify that the determination is not affected by the sentence imposed or any subsequent action taken pursuant to the existing discretionary sentencing provisions.

    SB 148 (Wiener) – State Board of Equalization: counties: state agencies: collection of cash payments: cannabis-related businesses.

    This bill would enact the Cannabis State Payment Collection Law and would authorize the State Board of Equalization or a county to collect cash payments from cannabis-related businesses for a state agency that administers any fee, fine, penalty, or other charge payable by a cannabis-related business, if that state agency has entered into an agreement with the board or county. This bill would require a county to collect only if both the board of supervisors of the county and the county tax collector or county treasurer-tax collector approves of entering into an agreement with a state agency to make those collections. The bill would require the agreement to include specified provisions, including that the board or county transmit the collected moneys to the Treasurer to be deposited in the State Treasury to the credit of the funds or accounts in which the fees, fines, penalties, taxes, or other charges are otherwise required by law to be deposited, as specified... (Click the link above to see the full summary).

    SB 175 (McGuire) - Marijuana: county of origin: marketing.

    Both Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act and Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64) prohibit the use of the name of a California county in the labeling, marketing, or packaging of medical cannabis products or nonmedical cannabis products, unless the cannabis contained in the product was grown in that county. This bill would specify that those prohibitions include the use of any similar sounding name that is likely to mislead consumers as to the origin of the product.

    SB 311 (Pan) - Medical cannabis and nonmedical marijuana: testing by a licensee.

    This bill would authorize a licensee to perform testing on the licensee’s premises of cannabis or cannabis products obtained from another licensee for the purpose of quality assurance. The bill would specify that onsite testing does not exempt the licensee from the existing requirements of quality assurance testing by a distributor and testing laboratory.

    SB 506 (Nielsen) - Department of Fish and Wildlife: lake or streambed alteration agreements.

    This bill would limit the diversions and obstructions governed by these alteration agreement requirements to the diversions and obstructions that alter the bed, channel, or bank of a river, stream, or lake. The bill would exempt routine maintenance and repair of facilities for instream agricultural diversions from the alteration agreement requirements.

    SB 663 (Nielsen) - Packages and labels of marijuana or marijuana products: children.

    This bill would specify that a package or label of marijuana or marijuana products is deemed to be attractive to children if the package or label has specific characteristics, including, among others, resembling any candy, snack food, baked good, or beverage commercially sold without marijuana.

    SB 698 (Hill) - Driving under the influence: alcohol and marijuana.

    This bill would make it a crime for a person who has between 0.04% and 0.07%, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood and whose blood contains any controlled substance or 5 ng/ml or more of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol to drive a vehicle. The bill would also specify certain penalties.

    SJR 5 (Stone) - Federal rescheduling of marijuana from a Schedule I drug.

    This measure would request that the Congress of the United States pass a law to reschedule marijuana or cannabis and its derivatives from a Schedule I drug to an alternative schedule and that the President of the United States sign such legislation.

  • What California’s Legalization Initiative Says About Medical Cannabis

    California voters approved Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, on November 8, 2016. The initiative reduces or eliminates most penalties for the non-medical use, possession and cultivation of cannabis, within certain limits, by adults aged twenty-one and over. It also creates a state licensing and regulation program that is similar to the one that the state legislature adopted for medical cannabis in 2015.

    Our mission at Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is focused exclusively on medical cannabis; and therefore, the organization generally does not take positions of support or opposition regarding adult-use cannabis laws. However, Proposition 64 makes beneficial changes to the state’s medical cannabis laws related to personal cultivation, taxation, and patients’ rights. 

    1. Personal Cultivation – Proposition 64 prohibits cities and counties from banning personal indoor cultivation of up to six plants. This overrides existing bans on medical cannabis cultivation in many jurisdictions in California. Proposition 64 is the first real check on local authority to ban cultivation in California.
    2. Taxation – Proposition 64 exempts medical cannabis patients who have a Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC) issued by a county health department from sales tax. It also caps the cost of those cards at $100. Patients on MediCal can get a card for half price, and cards are for the indigent are free. That is good news for patients. Unlike prescription medicine, medical cannabis is currently subject to sales tax of 7.5% to 10%, depending on where you buy it. Unfortunately, the initiative imposes a new 15% excise tax on cannabis and medical cannabis beginning January 1, 2018. Taxation of medical cannabis will be lower than non-medical cannabis, which will still be subject to sales tax. However, the new excise tax will be an undue burden on some patients.
    3. Patient Privacy – Many patients are reluctant to obtain an MMIC because they fear legal, professional or other consequences for being identified as a medical cannabis patient in state records. Preposition 64 says that “No identification card application system or database… shall contain any personal information of any qualified patient, including but not limited to, the patient’s name, address, social security number, medical conditions, or the names of their primary caregivers.” In combination with the sales tax exemption and lower fees, this enhanced privacy will make it possible for many more patients to enjoy the legal protection offered by a MMIC.
    4. Parental Rights – The imitative will prevent discrimination in parental rights against patients. Proposition 64 says that no one can “restrict or abridge custodial or parental rights to minor children in any action or proceeding under the jurisdiction of family or juvenile court,” so long as the patient is in compliance with the Compassionate Use Act (Proposition 215). This is a huge step forward in protecting the rights of patients and something for which the state legislature has had no appetite.

    Some patients in California are worried about the effects of Proposition 64 on patients. The language of the initiative does not abridge any rights granted under the voter-approved Compassionate Use Act (Proposition 215). Patients and caregivers will still be immune from penalties and entitled to cultivate medicine for their own use, subject to the existing limitations in the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA). 

    Many of the provisions in Proposition 64 related to commercial licensing and regulation of adult use in cannabis are complicated. There is likely to be additional legislation related to the initiative and possible litigation. As always, there is the chance of unexpected and unintended consequences.

  • Your Weekly Source for Medical Cannabis News and Information

  • Hey California! We're Coming to a City Near You

    With the passage of Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), California’s medical cannabis industry is now moving into a state licensing program. Voters will also be deciding on yet another major regulatory bill, Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) in November. Both laws include robust product safety protocols as well as a new licensing program. 

    Patient Focused Certification, a project of Americans for Safe Access is hosting an educational tour for the California medical cannabis industry to help demystify the regulations that will come from Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation (BMMR) and give practical advice for business to meet and exceed these requirements.

    Our mission is to help companies surpass regulatory compliance. PFC staff have been working with governments for over 14 years to develop laws and regulations for the the medical cannabis industry. As well as with the American Herbal Products Association and the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia to create industry standards. Which have now been adopted in 16 states.

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  • Your Weekly Source for Medical Cannabis News and Information

    The California Weekly Roundup will be on summer vacation until Monday, August 15. In the meantime, look for important announcements about upcoming events in California and other news on this list.

    Get all the news, events, action alerts, & more...

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  • Your Weekly Source for Medical Cannabis News & Information

  • Your Weekly Source for Medical Cannabis News & Information

  • Your Weekly Source for Medical Cannabis News & Information