Background: California became the first U.S. state to legalize medical cannabis after Proposition 215, the California Compassionate Use Act, was approved by voters in 1996.
The Medical Marijuana Program Act was enacted in 2003 through Senate Bill 420; the Act permitted the medical cannabis industry to organize as collectives and cooperatives.
Later, in 2015, the Medical Cannabis Safety and Regulation Act (MCRSA) was enacted through the combination of Assembly Bill 266, Assembly Bill 243, and Senate Bill 643.
The MCRSA established California’s first regulatory framework for medical cannabis.
It was later revised in 2016 through Assembly Bill 2516 and Senate Bill 837, which together made changes to implement the Act and create a new cottage cultivation license. Proposition 64, the AUMA, was approved by voters in 2016.
As enacted, the AUMA created a regulatory framework for recreational cannabis use modeled in some respects on the framework created by the MCRSA as approved in 2015, though it contained policy differences and also did not reflect legislative amendments made to the MCRSA prior to the AUMA’s approval.
Section 10 of the AUMA permits Legislative amendments that are “consistent with and further the purposes and intent of [the] Act.” The AUMA directs state agencies to begin issuing licenses for cultivation, manufacturing, testing, distribution, and transportation of cannabis by the beginning of 2018, leaving the state less than a year (as of the writing of this paper) to implement the regulations and reconcile major conflicts.
SUMMARY OF PUBLIC COMMENTS REGARDING MEDICAL CANNABIS REGULATION AND SAFETY ACT PROPOSED REGULATIONS: Bureau of Cannabis Control MCRSA Public Comments Bureau of Cannabis Control MCRSA Testing Lab Public Comments CA Department of Food and Agriculture MCRSA Public Comments CA Department of Public Health MCRSA Public Comments.
The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) creates the general framework for the regulation of commercial medicinal and adult-use cannabis in California.
The text of MAUCRSA is available on the California Legislative Information website. The three licensing authorities are currently working to draft regulations to clarify the requirements in MAUCRSA. Current and past regulatory actions by the Bureau are available below, along with other resources and information.
In 2015, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed into law three bills (Assembly Bills 243 and 266, and Senate Bill 643) that create a licensing and regulatory framework for medical cannabis through the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act.
This legislation created the Bureau of Cannabis Control within the Department of Consumer Affairs. It also divided the responsibility for state licensing between three state entities – the CA Department of Food and Agriculture, the CA Department of Public Health and the Bureau of Cannabis Control, with the Bureau designated as the lead agency in regulating the cannabis industry in California.
In June 2017, the California State Legislature passed a budget trailer bill, Senate Bill 94 (Chapter 27), that integrated MCRSA with AUMA to create the Medicinal and Adult‐Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) contained in division 10 of the Business and Professions Code (§26000 et seq.). Under MAUCRSA, a single regulatory system governs the medical and adult use cannabis industry in California.
Cannabis Legislation Documents:
Assembly Bill No. 133 Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) Proposition 64: “Adult Use of Marijuana Act” Proposition 64: Official Title and Summary Previous Cannabis Legislation Documents: Senate Bill 94, Senate Bill 643, Assembly Bill 266 & Assembly Bill 243
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