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State legislation

Chaptered legislation

In October 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Medical Marijuana Regulatory and Safety Act (MMRSA) of 2015, comprised of a trio of bills aimed at regulating the medical marijuana industry, and providing licensing and operating rules for cultivators. A key component in the package of the bills that established the MMRSA is the authority granted to local agencies to use existing or future land use regulations and ordinances to set policies addressing the cultivation of Medical Marijuana. Local permits issued at the city, county or city and county levels are required to apply for a State license. The package of bills comprising the MMRSA include:

AB 266 (Chapter 689, Statutes of 2015)

Established a comprehensive licensing and regulatory framework for the cultivation, manufacture, transportation, storage, distribution and sale of medical marijuana, to be administered by the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), and Department of Public Health. AB 266 also authorized a city, county, or city and county to adopt ordinances that establish additional standards for local licenses and permits for commercial cannabis activity.

AB 243 (Chapter 688, Statutes of 2015)

Established a regulatory program, with the California Department of Food and Agriculture as lead agency in regulating the cultivation of medical cannabis, as part of the Medical Marijuana and Safety Act (MMRSA).  It also addressed the environmental impacts to water quality and fish and wildlife associated with marijuana cultivation. AB 243 also gave cities, counties, or cities and counties through land use regulations and ordinance, to issue or deny permits that allow the cultivation of medical marijuana.

SB 643 (Chapter 719, Statutes of 2015)

SB 643 sought to resolve many of the issues created by the enactment of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and subsequent legislation pertaining to use of Medical Marijuana, specifically the oversight of the cultivation, processing, manufacturing, transportation, and the prescribing and sale of Medical Marijuana. Specifically, the bill established a “track and trace” program for reporting the movement of medical marijuana items throughout the distribution chain.