Calif. Legislative Committees Advance Medical Marijuana Bills
Details of SB 643
The Assembly Committee on Business and Professions approved SB 643, by state Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg), which would develop a framework for governing the medical marijuana industry (Johnson, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 7/8).
The bill, called the Medical Marijuana Public Safety and Environmental Protection Act, would create a new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation and allow counties to levy a tax on those who grow and sell medical marijuana (California Healthline, 5/5).
The California Senate approved the measure in June, and it heads to the Assembly Committee on Health next week.
Details of AB 243
Meanwhile, the state Senate Governance and Finance Committee voted 5-0 to advance AB 243, which would give water agencies some regulatory control over the medical marijuana industry, the Press Democrat reports (Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 7/8).
The bill, by Assembly member Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), would direct state agencies -- such as the Water Resources Control Board -- to review the environmental effects of cultivating marijuana and establish rules to diminish those effects (California Healthline, 5/5).
In addition, the bill would levy a $50 fee on each legal medical marijuana plant, with proceeds going toward:
- Environmental mitigation and restoration initiatives; and
- Enforcement efforts.
Wood said, "When you look at the amount of money cultivators are making on a single plant … and pair it with how much environmental destruction is taking place on the North Coast, ensuring the industry pays for environmental enforcement and cleanup should be a no-brainer" (Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 7/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.