February 20, 2015 - A number of bills have been introduced in the Legislature concerning marijuana over the past several weeks. Two weeks ago, Assembly Bill 243 was introduced by Assemblymember Wood (D-Healdsburg) to specifically address environmental enforcement associated with marijuana cultivation. RCRC will support this bill, and it is expected to move through the legislative process. Last week, Assemblymember Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) introduced Assembly Bill 266, a bill which is sponsored by the League of California Cities and the California Police Chief’s Association which is similar to last year’s Senate Bill 1262 (Correa). The introduction of AB 266 follows Assembly Bill 26, introduced by Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), and Assembly Bill 34, introduced by Assemblymember Bonta (D-Oakland), both introduced several weeks ago. All three bills attempt to create a regulatory framework for medical marijuana. It is expected that AB 26 and AB 34 will be merged together in the coming weeks, but it will appear much like last year’s Assembly Bill 1894 (Ammiano). RCRC staff has provided both authors with a set of amendments to improve this approach for the benefit of counties. It is likely many of those suggestions will be incorporated into a revised version of AB 26/AB 34.
The biggest difference between AB26/AB 34 and AB 266 is the dual licensing scheme – a conditional license would be issued by the State Department of Consumer Affairs, but the operating license issued by the locality in accordance with any adopted rules. RCRC is in the process of preparing suggested amendments to AB 266 as well.
While the above-mentioned measures are likely to receive significant attention, there could be a handful of other marijuana-related bills introduced before the February 27, 2015 bill introduction deadline.
In addition to legislation, the Governor’s proposed 2015-16 Budget allots $1.5 million from the General Fund to the State Water Board to create the Marijuana Cultivation Enforcement Team to regulate and enforce waste discharge requirements on marijuana cultivation activities. These funds could ultimately tie into implementing AB 243 should it become law.
The text of AB 266 can be accessed here.
The text of AB 26 can be accessed here.
The text of AB 34 can be accessed here.
The text of Ab 243 can be accessed here.
Source: Rural County Representatives of California
Rural County Representatives of California Provides an Update on Current Marijuana Legislation in the Legislature