A few weeks into 2016, a new wave of medical marijuana regulation in California is taking its first stumble steps. New sweeping MMJ laws were adopted by the California Senate in the eleventh hour of last year’s legislative session. Among the many provisions in the 70-page bill was one allowing the state to issue license to cannabis growers in jurisdictions which have no MMJ laws of their own as of March 1 of this year.
In order to keep state-granted licenses out of their areas, dozens of counties and municipalities in California are now rushing to ban cannabis cultivation before the looming deadline. Many of these bans are geared toward commercial growing. But some aim to put the kibosh on personal gardens, which means grows which have been more or less legal since the 1990’s would suddenly become criminal operations.
Now California lawmakers are trying to course correct this stampede of bans. “It is crucially important the deadline is repealed as soon as possible,” Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) told The Cannabist. Wood played a major role in the regulations passed in 2015 and introduced a new bill introduced this week which would curb the bans. “I am confident we will get this done soon,” he continued.
The Senate has approved the bill 35-3, and will send it next to the Assembly. The state senators who opposed the bill were all Republicans: Ted Gaines of Roseville, Mike Morrell of Rancho Cucamonga, and Jim Nelsen of Gerber. Nelsen told The Cannabist that his decision came from his reluctance to aid the medical marijuana business. “As a farmer, it’s hard for me … to legitimize medical marijuana by making it a bona fide agricultural endeavor,” he said.
Photo via THCFinder.com