Lawmakers Reach Agreement on Medical Marijuana Regulations
On Thursday, lawmakers announced that they have reached a deal on legislation aimed at establishing statewide medical marijuana regulations, the Los Angeles Times' "PolitiCal" reports (McGreevy, "PolitiCal," Los Angeles Times, 9/10).
California lawmakers have been considering several bills to regulate the medical marijuana industry.
Last week, lawmakers confirmed that officials from Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) administration would help combine the policies outlined in various Assembly and Senate bills and negotiate disagreements between the authors (California Healthline, 9/10).
Details of Deal
The regulations will be contained in three bills, which are set to be released Friday (Cadelago/Koseff, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 9/10).
The bills include:
- SB 643, by state Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg), which would develop a framework for governing the medical marijuana industry; and
- AB 243, by Assembly member Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), which would give water agencies some regulatory control over the medical marijuana industry (California Healthline, 9/10); and
- A measure, by Assembly member Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), which would require state and local licenses for medical marijuana businesses.
The package of bills also includes provisions that would:
- Allow cities and counties to levy fees to recoup regulation costs and place taxes for cultivation and retail sale of medical marijuana on the state ballot, in addition to sales taxes;
- Create a new state Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation to oversee multiagency licensing and regulatory efforts an involve the departments of Food and Agriculture and Public Health;
- Make localities eligible for grants from a production and mitigation fund to support law enforcement and cleanup efforts; and
- Require mandatory testing of products to ensure patient safety ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 9/10).
Wood said the compromise package abandoned a proposed excise tax to raise $60 million for policing and environmental protection ("PolitiCal," Los Angeles Times, 9/10).
Still, Wood said, "I think good progress has been made and I have educated a number of my colleagues which is a great place to be as I plan to pursue the tax next year" ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 9/10).
Bonta said the overall package "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" ("PolitiCal," Los Angeles Times, 9/10).
McGuire said SB 643 will be amended with the new language in the Assembly Committee on Business and Professions. It then will go to the full Assembly for a vote before returning to the state Senate.
Meanwhile, the two Assembly bills will be amended in the state Senate Rules Committee before heading to final votes in the Legislature.
The Legislature faces a midnight deadline on Friday to pass the measures ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 9/10).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.