Friday, January 8, 2016 The CSAC Bulletin
Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources
For more information, contact Karen Keene at 916.650.8181, or Cara Martinson at 916.650.8113.
Medical Marijuana

AB 21 (Bonta, Cooley, Jones-Sawyer, Lackey and Wood) – Support
AB 1575 (Bonta, Cooley, Jones-Sawyer, Lackey and Wood) – Pending—Request Comments

AB 21 (Bonta, Cooley, Jones-Sawyer, Lackey and Wood) would strike a provision of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) that was inadvertently included in AB 243 (Wood), one of the three bills that together established MMRSA. Health and Safety Code Section 11362.777(c)(4), as enacted by AB 243, provides that if a local government does not have land use regulations, or ordinances regulating or prohibiting marijuana cultivation in place by March 1, 2016, the Department of Food and Agriculture will be the default licensing entity for all such jurisdictions. AB 21 would strike this section. Eliminating the deadline will allow counties to utilize existing approval processes and timelines when considering their own approach to regulating the cultivation of medical marijuana.

The bill is being heard by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on the morning of Wednesday, January 13 and by the Senate Health Committee in the afternoon on the same day.

AB 1575 (Bonta, Cooley, Jones-Sawyer, Lackey and Wood) is another clean-up measure to MMRSA. However this measures addresses a wide range of issues including provisions which clarify that medical marijuana businesses, including existing collectives may operate for-profit; establishes a license category for non-traditional dispensaries that operate without a storefront; requires the Board of Equalization to form an advisory group to address medical marijuana businesses access to banking, and, allows research institutions and businesses to access limited amounts of medical marijuana for research purposes.

AB 1575 will very likely be amended to include other clean-up to MMRSA. It has yet to be assigned to a legislative committee.