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Potential Changes to California Medical Marijuana Dispensary Regulations

Apr 21 2015, by Jessica McElfresh in Medical Marijuana

If you know anything about medical marijuana dispensary regulations in California, you probably are aware of how patchwork the current local regulations are. The rules governing a provider of medical marijuana in one jurisdiction may be very different than the rules in another just a few blocks away. Proposed legislation in the California Assembly would change this.

Assembly Bill 266, proposed by Assemblyman Ken Cooley, a Democrat from Rancho Cordova, intends to create a statewide regulatory scheme for medical marijuana dispensaries. Under the proposed scheme, requirements and regulations for dispensaries would be clearer and more unified across California, but local jurisdictions would still have the final word on whether specific medical marijuana growers and dispensaries could be licensed.

Since many other crops are much more heavily regulated than marijuana, it may be time for the changes propose by Cooley. He thinks the state needs to be more involved in ensuring the safety, care, and quality of medical marijuana. The proposed bill creates a two-tiered system in which the state would issue a conditional license to growers, transporters, and dispensaries, dependent on passing a background test, living up to statewide requirements for marijuana businesses, and paying a fee, but the actual licenses needed to operate would then have to be issued by local governments. The bill would also set minimum standards for quality of cannabis and testing to ensure sold products lived up to the mandates.

Will the Bill Pass?

Assembly Bill 266 is just one of many such bills that have been proposed over the years to regulate medical marijuana in California. While none have thus far been successful, proponents of the bill hope that 266 may end the perennial debate. Some have suggested that this bill balanced to the concerns of many disparate groups within the state would be preferable to risking having the rules determined through a legalization measure on the ballot in 2016.

The bill proposes a framework that still allows local governments a part of the control while getting the state involved more significantly, which appeals to many. Plus this bill has the support of the California Police Chiefs Association and the League of California Cities, which had previously been withheld from many similar bills over fears that regulation would further legitimize marijuana. With such widespread support, Assembly Bill 266 may just pass, but we will have to wait and see.

In the meantime, local San Diego marijuana laws remain complex and ever-changing. Those arrested for marijuana-related crimes should take the charges seriously, as it can be difficult to predict the outcome unless you have extensive, up-to-date legal knowledge about marijuana legislation in California. If you are arrested for a marijuana-related offense in the San Diego area, call experienced San Diego marijuana lawyers at McElfresh Law today at . Criminal defense attorney Jessica McElfresh and her team will fight for your rights to ensure that your case gets the best outcome possible.

California marijuana laws change frequently. For updated information, see the following pages: Medicinal Uses of Marijuana and Recreational Marijuana Business