Looking into the ‘Sunset’ Provision in Alameda County’s Marijuana Ban

The drafting error has been made out to be a doomsday scenario for the marijuana landscape in California, with dozens of new cultivation bans popping up all around the state.

But are they paranoid or pragmatic? That should be assessed on a case by case basis, but Alameda County has taken the pragmatic approach.

Local control is playing a role in the issue as the troublesome part of the Medical Marijuana Regulatory and Safety Act can be interpreted as having a state agency running local regulations if the local government has none in place by the March 1, 2016 deadline.

While AB 21 is already primed to fix the situation, the bans are a fascinating response to the legislation.

The League of California Cities voiced support for the bans with League spokesman Tim Cromartie saying, “We knew promulgating bans was controversial, but developing meaningful regulation takes time… The bans will be temporary.”

That temporary nature is present in Alameda County’s ban. Recommended by county lawyers on January 6, it was a response to the MMRSA. Looking into the ordinance passed by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors on January 26, there is a severability clause stating:

SECTION 2. This Ordinance shall be repealed by its own terms upon the adoption of state legislation repealing or eliminating the March 1, 2016 deadline in Health and Safety Code section 11362.777(c)(4).

More on Alameda County’s ban can be found here.

Image Credit: "BerkeleyAndBayAtNight" by Dan Lorca - Dan Lorca. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BerkeleyAndBayAtNight.jpg#/media/File:BerkeleyAndBayAtNight.jpg