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Putting Medical Marijuana Laws Into Action

Hearings are scheduled today and tomorrow in Sacramento to discuss this month’s rollout of new regulations on the cultivation and sale of medicinal marijuana in California. Many revisions are expected to be proposed to new laws that went into effect Jan. 1.

The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act  became law in the form of three laws passed by the Legislature last year (AB 243AB 266 and SB 643). A joint hearing in the Assembly today will go into the practical details of making those laws part of how California now does business.

AB 1575, a bill introduced earlier this month by Assembly member Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), is designed to “clarify and improve” licensing and regulation of marijuana in California..

Today’s hearing on implementation of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act  combines the Assembly’s Agriculture, Health and Business and Professions committees. The California Cannabis Industry Association is holding a roundtable discussion about the implementation in Sacramento this morning before the joint hearing.

“The shape and future of the cannabis industry in California begins in Sacramento [today],” said the announcement from the association.

Some of the proposed revisions to be heard tomorrow in Senate Health:

  • An advisory group formed by the Board of Equalization would look at ways of monitoring finances in the medical marijuana business, such as the use of automated kiosks or point-of-sale systems to track transactions;
  • Packaging standards for marijuana would be set by the state’s Department of Public Health;
  • The Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation would be responsible for how wholesale packaging and sealing will be done prior to testing or distribution;
  • The state would create a “virtual dispensary license”;
  • The license and renewal fees collected would be in addition to fees or taxes imposed by the city where the license is based; and
  • The Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation would be allowed to issue temporary permits for business events.

Another medical marijuana bill has been re-introduced in the Legislature, as well, which would give local jurisdictions more time to develop and implement regulations on businesses.  AB 21 by Assembly member Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) has already passed through the Senate Committee on Rules and the Senate Committee on Government and Finance, and is now waiting for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Health.

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