Thursday, March 21, 2013

New California Marijuana Bill Attempts to Regulate Medical Pot

A new bill has recently been introduced in California that would impose state control over their medical marijuana industry, which has been unregulated since 1996. Assembly Bill 473 was introduced by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano and it would create a new agency inside of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control that would help to regulate medical marijuana. This new department, known as the Division of Medical Cannabis Regulation and Enforcement, would be responsible for regulating the growth, supply, and sale of medical marijuana throughout the State of California.

At the present moment hundreds of thousands of legal medical marijuana patients depend largely on the rules and regulations of each city and county in California. This creates confusion since what is tolerated in San Diego is not necessarily tolerated in Los Angeles, etc. There are currently more than 50 local ordinances and a variety of laws throughout those ordinances. State regulation would bring continuity to the medical marijuana business and prevent confusion for law enforcement officials and patients who require specific strains of medical marijuana. It would also set up a structure for statewide licensing fees.

“California has been in chaos for way too long. Cities have been looking for state guidance, dispensaries feel at the mercy of changing rules and patients who need medical cannabis are uncertain about how their legitimate medical needs will be filled.
                                                Tom Ammiano, California Assemblyman

Ammiano is no stranger to the medical marijuana issues that California faces. He proposed a similar bill last year that passed in the House but eventually stalled in the Senate. His last bill, Assembly Bill 2312 had full support from medical marijuana patients, dispensaries, and advocates.

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