Legislation to Grant Easier Access to Cannabis

New State Bill May Mandate Cannabis Retail

Based on the number of cannabis bills currently at play in Sacramento (see our previous blog for a run-down of some of the more pertinent ones), it seems as though California’s problem of over-regulation may be playing a part in the less than predicted cannabis market numbers. However, not all bills are adding road blocks.

Assembly Bill 1356, authored by Assembly member Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and Reginald Jones-Sawyer (D-South Los Angeles) seeks to widen accessibility. Many people who use cannabis, like caregivers and those who suffer from a variety of ailments like cancer, epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder among others, currently have to travel far to get it. In various blogs we have mentioned cannabis deserts within California where citizens are 30, 60, or more miles from the closest cannabis retail business. Something close to 76% of California cities and counties have banned cannabis retail businesses. AB 1356 will hopefully help make cannabis more accessible.

The proposed legislation requires some form of medicinal cannabis retail for any jurisdiction that voted 50% or more in favor of Prop 64 (2016 ballot initiative). The number of retail licenses must either be 25% of the number of liquor store licenses (1 cannabis retail license for every 4 liquor store licenses) or 1 to every 10,000 residents, whichever is greater.

If a jurisdiction wishes to not adhere to the above formula, the bill allows voters to reject the requirements on the next scheduled ballot.

In the words of our elected officials, “Banning and limiting access to cannabis in these jurisdictions only fuels the illicit market in our state,” and “Californians voted for Prop. 64 to replace the illicit market with a legal system that would grant Californians safe access to cannabis products… This bill will ensure the legal market can succeed.”

 

Full text of AB1356 HERE