Pages tagged "legislation"

  • The California legislature has a full plate this year when it comes to medical cannabis

    California Capitol BuildingThe California State Legislature will adjourn for their summer recess tomorrow, following a flurry of activity surrounding medical cannabis. Legislative policy committees have approved at least eight bills that touch on almost every aspect of the issue. These bills are both good and bad for patients, providers, and others. However, they all share one common trait: they are moving easily through the process. After failing to adopt a significant medical cannabis bill since the Medical Marijuana Program Act in 2003 (SB 420), lawmakers are determined to pass bills this year. Most of bills have passed easily through committee votes so far – some with no opposition at all.

    Lawmakers will have three weeks to get bills through the Appropriations Committees and to a final floor vote when they get back to Sacramento on August 17. Not every bill will make it. The Appropriations Committees are tasked with determining which policy decisions the state can afford. Many bills never make it out of these powerful committees. Bills that make it through Appropriations are likely to be adopted in a final floor vote before September 11. Governor Jerry Brown will then have until October 11 to sign or veto each bill. Things will move quickly between now and the end of the session. Patient advocates must stay alert and active to make a difference in the home stretch. 

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  • Medical cannabis news and events from around the state

    CA SenateThe California legislative calendar is filling up, as lawmakers get ready for the summer recess on July 17. Four medical cannabis bills had committee hearings last week, and there are four more scheduled for this week. Lawmakers seem determined to pass medical cannabis bills this year. Both good and bad bills are being approved by healthy margins. Look for votes on commercial licensing and regulation, cultivation, and manufacturing butane hash oil this week. Get more information about this week’s hearings below, and read about all of the medical cannabis bills at


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  • Federal progress, more scrutiny, & raids in CA all call for sensible medical cannabis regulations

    President ObamaFederal momentum behind medical cannabis reform continues to build. Last week, the White House lifted bureaucratic hurdles to scientific research. But with progress comes more scrutiny. One national study spotlighted serious inconsistencies in the way edibles are labeled for potency in California and Washington, and a second review of the scientific literature showed mixed results when it comes to the efficacy of medical cannabis for certain conditions.

    Here in California, the state legislature seems determined to adopt some kind of medical cannabis regulations. Bills dealing with commercial licensing, environmental standards for cultivation, and manufacturing concentrates all have committee hearings soon. Meanwhile, local law enforcement raided numerous cannabis gardens in the Island Mountain area of the Emerald Triangle. Law enforcement spokespeople say more raids are coming, in part, because of illegal water diversion and other harmful cultivation practices.

    Poor labeling, questions about efficacy, rules for cultivation, and more – it all points to the need for sensible regulations. ASA calls on local and state lawmakers to finish the long overdue work of fully implementing Proposition 215 by adopting guidelines that protect patients, providers, communities, and ecosystems. Read about all the medical cannabis news, events, action alerts, and more in this week’s California Weekly Roundup. 

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  • Lobby day next week, live Google Hangout tomorrow, and the petition for AB 258 today…

    CA Lobby Day banner

    The California Citizen Lobby Day is just one week away! That means it is time for you to get signed up on the event web page at using your home address, so that we have time to schedule a meeting for you with your state Assembly Member and Senator. You will have a lot to talk to them about. There are bills on licensing, regulation, penalties for making concentrates, environmental standards for cultivation, and more.

    How will you get your medicine? Who will be allowed to grow it and where? Can you use a vape pen or concentrates? Will you face discrimination because of your medical cannabis use? Which bills pass or don’t pass will matter to every stakeholder – including you.

    Learn more about the California Citizen Lobby Day and why it matters in my live online broadcast at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, June 9. Log on to There are more details below.

    We are going to provide lobby day participants with a briefing and fact sheets on all the bills in Sacramento next Monday, but I need your help to protect medical cannabis patients from discrimination in the organ transplant process today. The Assembly Health Committee will hear testimony on AB 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act, on Wednesday. That’s when I will tell members how many people have signed the petition in support of the bill. If you have not done so, sign today. If you have, get someone else to join you -

    You will see in the news section below that it has been a busy week for medical cannabis. There was another big vote in the US House of Representatives, the bills are advancing in the California legislature, and cities and voters are making decisions about medical cannabis. Get medical cannabis news, events, court support dates, action alerts, and more in the California Weekly Roundup for Monday, June 8, 2015.

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  • Only two weeks left until the California Citizen Lobby Day in Sacramento!

    Lobby day participantsYou have a chance to shape the future of medical cannabis in California in just two weeks. That’s when hundreds of patients and advocates will be in Sacramento to talk with their lawmakers about more than a dozen bills touching almost every aspect medical cannabis – commercial licensing and regulation, penalties for manufacturing concentrates, environmental standards for cultivation, patients’ rights, and more. What happens (or does not happen) with these bills will affect you in some way.

    Get registered for the California Citizen Lobby Day today, so that ASA has time to make appointments for you with your state Assembly Member and Senator on June 15.

    • Workshops on regulating medical cannabis cultivation and using the voter initiative process in your hometown
    • Special briefing on the exciting developments with more than a dozen bills
    • ASA’s signature Citizen Lobbyist Training and insider’s information about your lawmakers
    • Face-to-face meetings with lawmakers and staff
    • Press conference, pictures, and videos about your participation
    • A free VIP reception with lawmakers and other advocates
    • A great comedy show with comedian, journalist, and cannabis personality Ngaio Bealum

    Want fliers to help promote the event? Email [email protected] or call (916) 449-3975. 

    Want to know more about the bills? Sign up for the ASA-CCSA email discussion list here:

    See you in Sacramento June 14 and 15!

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  • Get registered for the biggest and most important medical cannabis lobby day yet

    Lobby Day Banner

    I want to invite you to get registered for the California Citizen Lobby Day on June 15 in Sacramento. Our fourth annual medical cannabis lobby day will be the biggest and most important one yet. We need hundreds of patients, advocates, industry workers, and other stakeholders in the Capitol this year to make a grassroots showing of strength and unity.

    Click here to get registered today. ASA will make an appointment for you to meet with your state Assembly Member and Senator when you do.

    Your participation matters this year because more than a dozen bills in the state legislature touch on every aspect of medical cannabis –licensing and regulations, manufacturing concentrates, cultivation, vaporizers, organ transplant discrimination and more.  The decisions that lawmakers make this year will affect how patients get medicine for years to come. Which bills are adopted or rejected will also set the political stage for an anticipated vote on legalizing cannabis for adult use in 2016.

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  • Medical cannabis news and events form around California

    Google Hangout Banner

    Voters legalized medical cannabis in California when they approved the Compassionate Use Act (Proposition 215) in 1996.  That was a milestone for patients, but only the beginning of a long campaign to fully implement medical cannabis laws at he local and state level. ASA is bringing hundreds of patients and advocates to Sacramento June 14-15 for our annual California Citizen Lobby Day to keep pushing that campaign forward.

    So what dies implementation look like at the local and state level? What do more than a dozen pending bills touching medical cannabis really do? How does an anticipated vote on legalization affect medical cannabis law? And how can you best participate in implementation?

    I am hosting a live Google Hangout from the Sacramento ASA chapter meeting this Thursday, May 28. The broadcast is entitled “Legislating Compassion: Passing and Implementing Good Medical Cannabis Laws.” Join us in person in Sacramento at 6:00 PM or online from anywhere at 7:00 PM to be part of the conversation. Scroll down to the events section for all the details.

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  • Medical cannabis news and events form around California

    CA Citizen Lobby Day

    ASA believes that good public policy is created when those who are most affected by laws and regulations have a seat at the table. That is why it is so important that California lawmakers hear your voice this year – before they vote on more than a dozen medical cannabis bills. Do you have something to say about patients’ rights, licensing and regulating commercial medical cannabis activity, environmental standards for cultivation, penalties for manufacturing concentrates, and more? If so, you need to be at the California Citizen Lobby Day June 15-15 in Sacramento.

    ASA is bringing 300 patients, doctors, researchers, industry workers, and other stakeholders to the Capitol to talk with lawmakers and staff from every legislative district in the state. But before we do, we are going to have a special insider’s legislative briefing about the most important bills for participants. You will get expert fact sheets on legislation and information about your lawmakers, including their priorities and major campaign donors. This year, the fact sheets will have a place for you to add your own comments and suggestions about pending legislation.

    What happens in the state legislature this year is going to affect medical cannabis for years to come. It will also determine the political landscape for an anticipated vote on legalizing adult use of cannabis in 2016. Don’t miss your chance to be a par of it. Register for the California Citizen Lobby Day today!

    Scroll down for all the medical cannabis news, events, action alerts, court support, and chapter meetings. 

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  • Do you want to talk about medical cannabis in CA?

    People talking graphicDo you want to talk to other patients, advocates, and professionals about medical cannabis in California? There is a lot to talk about! The campaign to pass the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act is underway, and lawmakers in Sacramento have introduced eleven other bills related to cannabis and medical cannabis this year. There are bills to regulate and license commercial medical cannabis activity, increase penalties against cultivators, regulate vape pens, and more. And that is not including local efforts to regulate or ban medical cannabis.

    Join the ASA California Campaign for Safe Access (CCSA) email discussion list to be a part of the important conversation about medical cannabis issues at the local, state, and federal level.

    The ASA-CCSA mailing list is a members-only discussion list where you can share your thoughts on medical cannabis and hear from leading advocates, grassroots volunteers, doctors, lobbyists, patients, and industry workers. The list is moderated to prevent spam. You can decide how often you get messages from ASA-CCSA, or just go online to read messages at your convenience. Join the conversation today!

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  • 2015 Legislation

    CA Capitol BuildingASA’s California Campaign for Safe Access tracks state legislation related to medical cannabis. You can use the links below to see the current text and amendments using the state’s LegInfo website. You may also use that site to communicate with the authors about the bills. ASA will also publish position letters and other relevant documents here. Bookmark this page and check back often. 


    Bill:  AB 26 – Medical cannabis regulations and licensing

    Author:  Jones-Sawyer (San Diego)

    Status:  INACTIVE

    This bill has merged with AB 34 (Bonta). There will not be a vote on AB 26 this year)

     Bill:  AB 34 – Medical cannabis regulation

    Author:  Cooley (Rancho Cordova)

    Status:  INACTIVE

    This bill would create and designate regulatory agencies to license and regulate commercial medical cannabis activity. The bill also makes it “unprofessional conduct” for a doctor to recommend medical cannabis without a good faith examination and authorizes additional local taxation of medical cannabis. The bill was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee and will not be adopted this year.

    Bill:  AB 243 - Indoor and outdoor medical cannabis cultivation

    Author:  Wood (Santa Rosa)

    ASA Position:  OPPOSE

    This bill would establish the Division of Medical Cannabis Cultivation in the Department of Food and Agriculture. The bill would authorize a county, city, or city and county to issue or deny a conditional permit to cultivate medical marijuana and would require an applicant to obtain both a conditional permit from the county, city, or city and county and a state medical marijuana cultivation license from the division prior to cultivation occurring.The licensing provision take effect immediately upon adoption. The bill would also require the division to implement an identification program for medical marijuana in consultation with the State Water Resources Control Board and the Department of Fish and Wildlife. AB 243 imposes a $50 per plant tax on medical cannabis. Individual patients and primary caregivers serving five or fewer patients are exempt from the bill.  

    Download a copy of ASA's lobby day fact sheet AB 243 here.

    Download a copy of ASA's letter of opposition for the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.

    Bill:  AB 258 - Medical cannabis and organ transplants 

    Author:  Levine (San Rafael), Leno (San Francisco)

    ASA Position:  SUPPORT

    Status: Signed by the Governor on July 6, 2015

    The bill will prohibit a hospital, physician, or any participant in the organ transplant process from using a patient’s use of medical cannabis as the sole reason in denying his or her eligibility as an organ recipient, except when medical cannabis use is clinically significant to that decision. ASA is proud to sponsor this legislation. 

    Download a copy of ASA's letter of support for AB 258 here.

    Download a copy of ASA's Assembly Floor Alert about AB 258 here.

    Bill:  AB 266 - Medical cannabis regulation and licensing

    Author:  Bonta (Oakland), Jones-Sawyer (San Diego), and Cooley (Rancho Cordova)


    This bill will establish the Governor's Office of Marijuana Regulation to coordinate various agencies and oversee licensing for commercial medical cannabis activity. The bill will also create the Division of Medical Cannabis Regulation inside the Board of Equalization to act in concert with other state agencies to write and enforce state regulations for commercial medical cannabis enforcement and to issue provisional licenses for medical cannabis organizations, which are contingent on local licensing approval. The bill also prioritizes enforcement against doctors who are accused of writing inappropriate medical cannabis recommendations, creates an apprenticeship program for the medical cannabis industry, authorizes additional local taxation, and more.

    Download a copy of ASA's lobby day fact sheet on AB 266. 

    Download a copy of ASA's letter of support and suggested changes for the Senate Health Committee here.

     Download a copy of ASA's memo regarding suggested changes to AB 266 here.

    Bill:  AB 821 - Sales tax exemption for terminally-ill patients

    Author:  Gipson (D-Carson)

    ASA Position:  SUPPORT

    Status: INACTIVE

    This bill would exempt from sales and use taxes the gross receipts from the sale of, and the storage, use, or other consumption of, medical cannabis for consumption by a terminally ill patient, and would require the purchaser to provide an exemption certificate as provided.

    Download a copy of ASA's letter of support for AB 821 here.

    Bill: AB 849 - Cannabinoid extraction and explosions

    Author: Bonilla (D-Concord)

    This bill would provide that a person who extracts, or attempts to extract, Tetrahydrocannabinol or other cannabinoids by means of solvent extraction from marijuana leaves, flowers, or stalks, and causes an explosion that damages property would be guilty of a misdemeanor, as specified. The bill would provide that if the explosion damages a structure or forest land the offense would be punishable by a misdemeanor or felony with specified penalties. The bill would provide for increased misdemeanor and felony penalties if the explosion damages an inhabited structure or causes great bodily injury. By creating new crimes, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

    Download a copy of ASA's fact sheet on AB 849 here.

    Bill:  SB 140 - Electronic cigarettes

    Author:  Leno (D-San Francisco)

    Status: INACTIVE

    This bill changes the definition of tobacco products to include "an electronic device that delivers nicotine or other substances to the person inhaling from the device..." The phrase "other substance" can be read as to further regulate and restrict the sale and use of medical cannabis vaporizers, vape pens, etc.

    Download a copy of ASA's fact sheet on AB 140 here.

    Bill:  SB 165 - Cvil penalties related to cultivation

    Author:  Mooning (San Luis Obispo)


    Status: Signed by the Governor on August 7, 2015

    This bill adds new and substantial civil penalties under state law for activities associated with illegal medical cannabis cultivation on public and private lands. The penalties relate to dumping waste, dumping hazardous materials, illegally timber harvesting, and violations related to water use.

    Download a copy of ASA's lobby day fact sheet on SB 165 here.

    Download a copy of ASA's letter of opposition for the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee here.

    Bill:  SB 212 - Manufacturing concentrated cannabis

    Author:  Mendoza (Artesia)

    ASA Position: OPPOSE

    Status: Signed by the Governor on August 7, 2015

    The bill would also require the sentencing court to consider the fact that a violation of laws involving the use of a volatile solvent to chemically extract concentrated cannabis occurred within 300 feet of an occupied residence as a factor in aggravation. This bill could inadvertently target private conduct by legal patients acing in good faith. ASA prefers comprehensive safety regulations for manufacturing certain concentrates of cannabis. 

    Download a copy of ASA's lobby day fact sheet on SB 212 here.

    Download a copy of ASA's letter of opposition for the Assembly Public Safety Committee here.

    Bill: SB 303 - Destruction of seized cannabis and cannabis plants

    Author:  Hueso (San Diego)

    This bill would change existing requirement for handling cannabis or cannabis plants seized a evidence. The bill would reduce the amount of cannabis required to be kept as evidence from ten pounds to two pounds and make other simplifications to the evidence handling process.

    Download a copy of ASA's fact sheet on SB 303 here.

     Bill: SB 305 - Enhanced sentences for manufacturing concentrated cannabis

    Author:  Bates (Laguna Niguel)

    ASA Position:  OPPOSE

    This bill would authorize enhanced sentences for manufacturing concentrated cannabis in a structure where a child under the age of 16 is present or where a child under the age of 16 is injured as a result of the manufacturing. CA Health and Safety Code Section 11006.5 defines "concentrated cannabis" as resin (crude or purified) separated from the cannabis plant. This could include hash, kerf, honey oil, butane extractions, carbon dioxide extractions, etc.

    Download a copy of ASA's lobby day fact sheet on SB 305 here.

     Bill: SB 443 - Forfeiture: controlled substances.

    Author: Mitchell (Culver City)

    ASA Position: SUPPORT

    This bill would require a state prosecuting agency to seek or obtain a criminal conviction for the unlawful cultivation of cannabis (and other drug offenses) prior to an entry of judgment for recovery of expenses related to the alleged offense. The bill would prohibit maintaining an action for recovery of expenses against a person who has been acquitted of the underlying criminal charges. The bill would prohibit state or local law enforcement agencies from transferring seized property to a federal agency and make other changes to the asset forfeiture laws.

    Download a copy of ASA's letter of support for SB 443 here.

     Bill: SB 643 - Medical cannabis regulation

    Author: McGuire (Healdsburg)


    This bill would establish within the Bureau Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency the Office of Medical Marijuana Regulation, under the supervision and control of the Chief of the Office of Medical Marijuana Regulation, and, beginning no later than July 1, 2018, would require the bureau office to license and regulate dispensing facilities, cultivation sites, transporters, and manufacturers of medical marijuana and medical marijuana products, subject to local ordinances. The bill would make conditional licenses subject to the restrictions of the local jurisdiction in which the facility operates or proposes to operate. The bill would authorize a facility or entity that is operating in conformance with local zoning ordinances and other state and local requirements on January 1, 2016, to continue its operations until its application for conditional licensure is approved or denied. SB 643 has other provisions, including some related to the conduct of doctors who recommend medical cannabis.

     Documents coming soon.