California Medical Marijuana Moving Forward

California’s cannabis community has for years widely opposed statewide regulation of its medical marijuana system.

That attitude is no longer.

The market behavior around medical marijuana in California has gotten so bad that local authorities and law enforcement now agree that some form of unified regulation needs to be implemented for the cultivation, processing, transportation, and sale of medical marijuana in California, and, as a result, a regulation bill is finally achieving momentum in Sacramento. And realizing that such a measure will help keep the feds at bay, the cannabis community is, for the most part anyway, going along with this.

SB 1262 will soon be heading to the State legislature’s Appropriations Committee (to be voted on as early as this coming Friday), with backing by the League of California Cities and the California Police Chiefs Association (an Association which never really cared much for the legitimacy of medical pot). And though this bill was at first viewed by many medical marijuana advocates as somewhat of an anti-pot Trojan horse, that view too is definitely softening for the greater good.

This bill will create for California a relatively robust regulatory regime. Among other things, it will set rules for manufacturing edibles and requirements for labeling pot and it will also establish a state agency, to police retailers. The bill will create a bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation under the Department of Consumer Affairs.

SB 1262 will, however, continue to ensure that medical marijuana regulation will mostly be subject to local control. Essentially, no state operational license would issue from the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation unless the Bureau first receives evidence of the applicant’s compliance with local ordinances and regulations.

California’s marijuana regime has been plagued by conflicting authorities, regulatory uncertainty, and gray-market/criminal behavior, all of which has caused far too many federal enforcement actions. Senate Bill 1262 (heck, any decently written bill at this point) will establish a much needed regulatory framework for medical marijuana for California to move forward with a stricter, more organized MMJ program.

If you want to read more on California’s marijuana regime, check out the following: