- An error in new California state regulations for medical marijuana set a March 1, 2016 deadline on local jurisdictions that has cities scrambling to ban or restrict dispensaries.
- So far dispensaries have been banned in 19 cities and dozens of other cities are considering new bans or restrictions, causing panic among medical marijuana supporters.
- Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) said he plans emergency legislation next month to have the deadline removed from the law. Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) office supports the legislative fix.
According to the Los Angeles Times, California approved a ballot measure 20 years ago to legalize the sale of medical marijuana, but Gov. Brown didn't sign legislation creating state regulations for its growth, transport, and sale until October 9 of this year. The law allows local cities and counties to adopt their own rules, and Los Angeles approved a measure in 2013 that dramatically reduced the number of dispensaries and taxes of legal operators.
Wood told the Los Angeles Times he hopes to have the emergency legislation signed and implemented before March 1, 2016. Industry officials support the idea of removing the deadline so cities have more time to weigh various regulatory plans. "When localities rush to ban cannabis activity, they not only deny their patient residents access to compassionate care, they also lose critical tax revenues and open the door for dangerous illicit activity to take root in their communities," said Keith McCarty, chief executive of Eaze Solutions, a firm that assists medical marijuana patients.