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Marijuana regulation bill passes Public Safety Committee

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SACRAMENTO - AB 1894, a bill for comprehensive regulation of medical marijuana, passed Assembly Public Safety Committee today. The bill by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano includes a regulatory structure for medical cannabis ranging from growing site to retail sales. It also provides for stricter control of medical recommendations.

"This is the way we need to go," Ammiano said. "Cities and patients are tired of the chaos from inadequate regulation. This will give patients safe access and allow for public safety as well."

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan spoke in favor of the bill, saying, "It allows us to keep our local control. It also allows cities that don't want to have a dispensary to say no."

The Ammiano bill would:

  • Regulate the entire industry from growers to dispensaries, including environmental concerns, testing for safety, transportation and sales.
  • Clearly recognize local jurisdictions' rights to establish local restrictions or bans on medical marijuana businesses.
  • Establish a division under Alcoholic Beverage Control to handle key aspects of regulation, recognizing the department's expertise in preventing juvenile access to restricted products and in preventing criminal organization of businesses.
  • Task the California Medical Board with discipline of doctors who abuse their power to make recommendations for use of medical cannabis.
  • Provide the ability for localities to tax medical cannabis.

California voters approved legalization of medical cannabis by passing Prop. 215 in 1996. Subsequent regulations to implement that law have been inadequate or unsuccessful. AB 1894 would remedy the shortcomings of the existing situation, clarifying rules for cities, patients and businesses, while providing law enforcement with tools to track the legitimacy of operations.

The bill now moves to Assembly Appropriations Committee.

For additional information: Carlos Alcalá, Communications Director, (916) 319-2017

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