Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, 13th Assembly District AB 2312 – Medical Marijuana Regulation and Control

IN BRIEF AB 2312 creates the Board of Medical Marijuana Enforcement within the California Department of Consumer Affairs to oversee and regulate the medical marijuana industry in California. It would also authorize local governments to impose an excise tax. THE ISSUE Despite the passage of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and the Medical Marijuana Program Act (SB 420, Vasconcellos, Chapter 875, Statutes of 2003), because there is no effective statewide system for regulating and controlling medical marijuana, local governments have been confronted with uncertainty about the legality of some medical marijuana cultivation and distribution activities, and many cities and counties have passed local ordinances that in some cases ban the cultivation or distribution of medical marijuana. THE SOLUTION Pursuant to the powers reserved to the State of California under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, AB 2312 provides clarification and a comprehensive system of regulation of medical marijuana in California through the creation of the Board of Medical Marijuana Enforcement in the California Department of Consumer Affairs that will:  Approve or deny mandatory registration for cultivation, processing, manufacturing, testing, transportation, distribution, and sales  Suspend, fine, restrict, or revoke registration upon a violation of this act  Impose any penalty authorized by this act  Adopt, amend, and rescind regulations, special rulings, and findings for regulation and governance  Hear and determine appeals at public hearings of application denials and complaints  Administer oaths and issue subpoenas of records necessary to make determinations  Maintain the confidentiality relative to HIIPPA and CA Medical Information Privacy Act  Develop forms, identification cards, and applications necessary to conduct business  Oversee the Medical Marijuana Fund  Establish fees for direct and indirect costs for regulation  Develop zoning standards for unincorporated and otherwise non-zoned areas AB 2312 also authorizes local governments to enact reasonable taxes, as well as reasonable zoning regulations and other restrictions to cultivation and distribution based on local needs. BACKGROUND In 1996, the people of the State of California overwhelmingly enacted the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. The people declared that their purpose in enacting the measure was, among other things, “[to] ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use medical marijuana for medical purposes where that medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person’s health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.” The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 called on state government to implement a plan for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana. In 2003, the Legislature enacted the Medical Marijuana Program Act (MMPA). Under the guidance of the MMPA, approximately 60 California cities and counties have created medical marijuana access ordinances that can act as a guide for the state. However, many other cities and counties are calling for more guidance and regulation from the state and have passed bans or moratoria on medical marijuana cultivation and distribution while awaiting such guidance. Greater certainty and uniformity are urgently needed regarding the rights and obligations of medical marijuana facilities, and for the imposition and enforcement of regulations to prevent unlawful cultivation and the diversion of marijuana to nonmedical use. SUPPORT TBD FOR MORE INFORMATION Curtis Notsinneh Office of Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (916) 319-2013

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