On Wednesday, State Assemblyman Jim Wood announced that Assembly Bill 21 was signed by Governor Jerry Brown. The bill repeals a March 1 deadline that was mistakenly included in the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act has been removed 26 days before it would have gone into effect.
Due to the March 1 deadline included in the original bill, California Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, cities rushed to push for local ordinances that banned medical marijuana cultivation outright due to fear of the state providing control and policy.
In total, more than 180 entities had considered or passed regulations before the deadline became law including Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, Livermore, San Ramon and Contra Costa County.
With the signing of AB 21 the March 1st deadline is repealed effective immediately. Cities and counties will now be able to develop their own rules and regulations for the medical marijuana industry indefinitely.
“Now that we have given local officials the time to take a thoughtful approach to regulating medical marijuana, I hope they will maximize that time by engaging with the public and having thorough discussions,” said Assemblyman Wood. “In 1996 the people of California voted to have a medical marijuana industry, but, frankly, state representatives dropped the ball. Years of apathy led to black markets, unsafe neighborhoods, environmental damage, and a culture of criminality. The historic regulations we passed last year put us on the path to fixing that and pushing the medical marijuana industry into the light. But to succeed, we need our local elected officials—both those who voted for outright bans because of deadline pressure, and those who are just now looking at the issue—to deliver solid policies that make sense for their communities.”
The State Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation is scheduled to come on-line January 1st 2018.