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California To Finally Regulate MMJ

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In the nearly two decades since the voters of California said yes to the Compassionate Use Act, the medical marijuana industry there has thrived, but done so in a flustered state of perpetual legal ambiguity. In hindsight, many argue that though the initiative was revolutionary and decades ahead of its time, it lacked clarity in its language. Consequently, California was gifted with a semi-rogue market embroiled in mass confusion and unnecessary arrests.

Now, with less than 48 hours left to go in this year’s session, California’s legislature is set to finally tackle the issue. Exact details at this point are few and much of what is being said is speculation, but we do know that there are three proposals on the board, all vying to be the overdue solution to the longstanding problem. Those are Asm. Rob Bonta’s AB 266, Sen. Mike McGuire’s SB 643, and Asm. Jim Wood’s AB 243.

“In late August, the governor signaled an interest in refining the various approaches,” the Marijuana Policy Project stated on their website, “and we now expect one of these bills will be revised and presented for a vote before the legislature recesses.”

As of this morning, the Press Telegram is reporting that the issue is still being debated “between leaders of the Assembly, the state Senator, and the governor.”

Though the measure is something the California MMJ industry needs, many are concerned with the few pieces of information that have been leaked. One specific example, reported by the Press Telegram, is that all three proposals “have been updated with language that would require the state Medical Board to give a high priority to investigations of doctors suspected of over-prescribing marijuana.” Considering that many Californians are very content with their current “de-facto legalization” status, a provision such as the one discussed could ruffle more than a few feathers. On the upside, it could finally motivate the citizens to push for full recreational next election cycle. All will be revealed in a very short time, as the legislative session ends tomorrow afternoon.