New Rules for Medical Cannabis Could Come Soon to California

California Governor Jerry Brown is expected to sign a package of three bills that would institute statewide rules for the marijuana industry.

AB 266 would create an oversight agency for the industry, the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, and would allow local governments to institute their own stricter rules.

AB 243 is intended to reduce the environmental impact of the marijuana industry.

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) called on Brown to sign the bills into law on Sep. 30th.

“California has needed to provide clear direction on how to move forward on medical marijuana, and now I think we’ve achieved that goal. That’s because we’ve had hundreds of meetings,” said Atkins. “All the stakeholders came to the table — law enforcement, local agencies, patient advocates, medical marijuana businesses, and even Governor Jerry Brown’s staff participated in helping to create what we have before him to sign, hopefully in the next few days.”

Some in the industry are worried that the new bills could in fact shut down much of the medical marijuana industry in Los Angeles. The new rules would require businesses to obtain both state and city permits, and currently, Los Angeles doesn’t offer such permits.

The voter-approved proposition D provides only “limited immunity from…  enforcement” to 135 Los Angeles pot shops that were established before a 2007 local “interim control ordinance” was instituted.

Others, such as president and founder of the Greater Los Angeles Collective Alliance (GLACA), Yami Bolanos, says that the new rules are a good thing, and that the industry won’t be shut down.

“It’s better to deal with it and regulate it,” Bolanos said. “Changes and amendments need to be made.”

Dale Gieringer, state coordinator of California NORML, said that the rules represent “an accomplishment … keeping everybody on board.”

“Not everybody’s happy. But there are plenty of industry people praising it.”

Bolanos said that those who are unhappy with the rules should have spent time giving input while the proposals were being crafted.

“Welcome to the adult world where you have to follow the law and regulations,” she said. “That’s what we’ve been begging for for years. Give us rules so we can be respected.”

The dispensary rules are scheduled to go into effect in 2018.


Photo Credit: Håkan Dahlström


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