Proposed California Law Would Regulate Medical Marijuana Industry

By Shawn Dwyer 03/11/14

After fighting the legitimization of the pot industry, the California Police Chiefs Association and the League of California Cities have joined hands in co-sponsoring legislation.

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A new bill introduced by state Sen. Lou Correa (D-34) will seek to impose regulations on the medical marijuana industry in California, which has remained virtually without oversight since voters approved legal pot in 1996.

Correa’s bill, SB1262, would require the Department of Public Health to license growers and dispensaries, while also prohibiting non-organic pesticides, mandating strict security measures for grow houses and pot shops, and instituting a system of quality assurance standards.

SB1262 is co-sponsored by the California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA) and the League of California Cities (LCC), a surprising move given how both groups vehemently opposed any sort of legitimization of California’s medical marijuana industry in the past.

"This legislation seems counterintuitive, but we polled our membership and over 90 percent of the chiefs felt that, regardless of how you felt about the marijuana issue itself, there needed to be a responsible public safety approach to this," said Covina police Chief Kim Raney, president of the CPCA.

Though the bill will broaden the state’s oversight of the industry, the sponsors have stated that the current patchwork of rules will remain in place. “We’re not changing the patchwork. We’re protecting local control,” said Tim Cromartie, a lobbyist for the LCC.

That means certain areas like Sacramento County would be able to keep their ban on pot dispensaries, while cities such as Sacramento could retain their stringent application process, which includes a one-time fee of $12,600.

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Shawn Dwyer is a writer, editor and content producer living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Linkedin.