Governor Brown Signs AB 21, Gives Locals More Time for Medical Marijuana Regulation

Now put the ban hammer down…

Simply put, AB 21 fixes AB 243. AB 243, part of a three bill package dubbed the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), contained a drafting error that allowed for varied interpretation of the regulatory landscape for medical marijuana after March 1, 2016. Some assumed that the wording of the bill could be interpreted to mean that the Department of Food and Agriculture would take over local regulation indefinitely if the local government had no regulatory framework in place.

What is the easiest regulatory framework to pass on short notice, you ask? BAN IT!

Nearly 100 local governments passed bans in recent months because of the error in AB 243, sending medical marijuana advocates into a panic, even though groups such as the League of California Cities insisted they would be temporary bans.

AB 21 deletes the troublesome regulatory deadline on top of other clarifying language. It swept through Sacramento in less than a month. Some governments even had ‘sunset’ provisions included in their ban ordinances, so some of the bans have already lifted.

So now that this heart stopper of a Sacramento hiccup has mostly run its course, groups like NORML are calling for the repeal of the remaining bans around the state.

Next stop, regulation.

More on AB 21 and the MMRSA fiasco can be found here.