California Passes Bill to Fix Medical Cannabis Legislative Error


California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill that fixes an error in previous legislation that caused local governments in the state to move to ban medical marijuana production.

The emergency bill, AB21, was introduced by Assemblyman Jim Wood of Healdsburg, The Associated Press reports.

The legislation cuts a paragraph from the medical cannabis regulation passed by the state legislature in September. The removed paragraph would have given complete authority to license cannabis producers to the state in jurisdictions that did not explicitly endorse or ban marijuana cultivation by March 1.

This part of the bill moved many jurisdictions over the past several months to hurriedly ban cannabis cultivation in order to preserve their regulatory authority. The March 1 deadline was added to the final bill by mistake, said Assemblyman Wood, a Democrat. Now that the deadline has been eliminated, local officials have much more time to decide their jurisdictions’ position on cannabis cultivation: the state won’t start licensing growers until 2018, according to Wood.

“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 Wood.