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There have been numerous changes in the US since California legalized medicinal marijuana in 1996. Some cities and counties have pressed on to change the boundaries that define the proliferation of dispensaries, growers, caregivers and enacted laws that limit the access of marijuana to the patients. Initially, it was Governor Jerry Brown who signed the Medical Marijuana Regulations and Safety Act (MMRSA) in 2015 that created the regulatory framework and licensing of using, cultivating, transporting, selling, testing, and delivery of medicinal marijuana in California.
With this backdrop, there are numerous changes and proposed changes, and therefore, the regulations are changing as so often as new laws are enacted, and some are changed or modified. In Los Angeles there has been a struggle over the regulations of medicinal marijuana ever since and in 2013, voters passed Proposition D, which proscribed the medicinal marijuana Business operations or establishments including working for, renting, and using any vehicle for related activities. Proposition D further provides some protection to Medical Cannabis Businesses that comply with the strict rules. Since the prohibition was enacted in 2013, more than 500 marijuana dispensaries have been shut down in Los Angeles.
In January 2016, Los Angeles city implemented a ban on any registration of new dispensaries. The council voted 12 – 0 for the motion which prohibits any issuance of new certificates for any medicinal marijuana business activity. In February 2016, the county of Los Angeles put in place regulations to temporarily suspend cultivation of cannabis plants in unincorporated parts of the county and to study a possible permanent ban. In March 2016, the County Board in Los Angeles voted 4 – 0 to crack down on all illicit cannabis in unincorporated areas of the county.
The New MMRSA created the most comprehensive system of licensing by the State on commercial cultivation, distribution, sale, manufacture and transportation of medical marijuana and all the necessary permits have to be approved by the local governments. Although the law came into force in 2016, the state has indicated that it requires until 2018 to put up all the necessary agencies and regulations to begin the issuance of licenses, and the information systems. Meanwhile, the local government could choose to adopt new rules to license local businesses in readiness for the State licensing. Facilities presently operating in-line with the local and state laws may continue until their licenses are approved or denied. On the other hand, the prospective applicants are advised to apply to the State Board of Equalization for a Resale Permit and seek approval from the local government.
Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA)
The AUMA is a suggestion to legalize marijuana, and it has been proposed for November 2016 ballot. The Act is an elaborate idea with new provisions into the state law, and it aims to:
Allow all adults above 21 years to possess up to one ounce of cannabis and permit the cultivation of a maximum of six plants only for personal use;
Regulate and tax the manufacture, production, and sale of marijuana for use by the adults.
To re-write new criminal penalties to reduce the typical marijuana felonies to a misdemeanor and allow second-time and subsequent offenders to appeal for reduced charges.
The AUMA will not be the last attempt to reform medical marijuana use; more changes are expected in the future in both the federal and the state law in attempt to guarantees affordable access to medical marijuana
We are a legal firm with an in-depth understanding of all the rules and ordinances governing virtually all aspects of Marijuana from cultivation, distribution, sale, manufacture, sale, transporting and testing. Contact us for any legal advice touching on medical marijuana.