Late last night, Assemblymembers Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) and Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) announced that a deal has been reached to create a regulatory framework for California’s medical marijuana industry. That framework will be spelled out in three bills — North Coast Senator Mike McGuire’s SB 643, North Coast Assemblyman Jim Wood’s AB 243 and the multi-authored AB 266 — which will be released as a package later today and must be voted on before the end of the day.
Bonta said the latter measure will require state and local licenses for medical marijuana businesses and create a new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation to oversee the licensing regulation, according to the Sacramento Bee. The new bureau will involve both the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Department of Public Health.
Local jurisdictions will be able to vote on tax measures for the cultivation and sales of medical marijuana, State Senator Mike McGuire told the Bee.
The three bills must be approved together before they can be sent to the governor’s desk.
Here’s the press release from Assemblyman Rob Bonta’s office:
Today the California State Assembly reached a historic agreement on a comprehensive regulatory framework for the state’s billion dollar medical cannabis industry that will be placed in AB 266 and AB 243. AB 266 is authored by Assemblymembers Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova), Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), and Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), while AB 243 is authored by Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg).
This is the first time in the history of California that a medical marijuana regulatory framework has been agreed to by the California State Assembly, the California State Senate, and the Governor’s Office.
“AB 266 is the result of an unprecedented stakeholder process in which my colleagues and I brought everyone to the table, from medical marijuana businesses to law enforcement and patient advocates, to create a comprehensive regulatory framework for the state’s billion dollar medical marijuana industry, explained lead author Assemblymember Bonta. “My office and the offices of my joint authors have spent thousands of hours holding stakeholder meetings to refine the bill and incorporate recommendations from stakeholders as well as Assembly leadership and the administration.”
Bonta concluded, “On the first day of [the] session, the Assembly sent a clear message that this would be the year to regulate medical marijuana. Today we fulfilled that promise. I am honored to be a part of this bipartisan legislative collaboration making California once again a leader for our patients.”