Sen. Lou Correa’s medical marijuana regulatory bill, SB 1262, backed by the League of California Cities and the California Police Chiefs Association, did not advance out of committee in the Assembly and is now dead. The bill was revised many times, and while it was significantly improved during the course of the session, the legislation would have been harmful to patients and businesses that serve them in a number of ways. MPP and many other groups believe clear legal protections and regulations are long overdue in California and expect the legislature to continue debating a regulatory measure next year.
Although California became the first medical marijuana state back in 1996, it
has lagged far behind other states by failing to set up a statewide system of regulation for medical marijuana businesses. There is much to consider in crafting such a system, which requires a concerted effort on the part of many – not the least of which is the agency that would oversee the program. Unfortunately, indications were that the agency named in SB 1262 was not interested or capable of managing the complicated task, and many, including MPP, believe its lack of participation was the primary reason the bill did not move forward. In the meantime, several cities are going through the process of fine-tuning, or in some instances completely transforming, their current regulatory systems for local businesses.
While the state and local communities deliberate medical cannabis regulations, a majority of California voters now also support legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use. MPP and our allies intend to put forth a voter initiative in November 2016 that would legalize marijuana for adults 21 and over and establish a system that would tax and regulate it similarly to alcohol.