Busy Day at the California Assembly

The California state Assembly today passed legislation relating to the cannabis industry. All three now go to the state Senate for consideration.

First, the Assembly passed the AB2243. It would tax medical cannabis at $9.75 per ounce for flowers, $2.75 per ounce for leaves, and $1.25 per immature plant. The tax is levied on distributors which, under MMRSA, are required to have a role between growers and dispensaries.

Second, the Assembly passed AB2516. It creates the "speciality cottage" small grow cultivate license, which we've previously discussed.

Third, the Assembly passed AB1575. It would work a number of changes and clarifications to MMRSA. The key changes are:

  • Replacing the word "marijuana" with the word "cannabis" in the MMRSA, including changing the name of the regulating Bureau to the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation (BMCR). Some folks currently call the BMMR the "bummer," and we await someone's witty ideas about how to pronounce BMCR.

  • Requiring state-wide regulations on packaging, and prohibits local jurisdictions from imposing different packaging requirements.

  • Eliminating the requirement that a distributor be involved in a transaction a grower and a manufacturer, and requires state-wide regulations on packing, quality asurance, and testing at the wholesale level.

  • Grandfathering vertically integrated licensees where local jurisdictions required vertical integration and the business was in operation prior to July 1, 2015.

  • Allowing nurserys to transport live plants.

  • Requiring additional security measures for dispensaries.

  • Allowing laboratory certifications using a broader array of methods than MMRSA allowed.

  • Prohibiting certain advertisements by unlicensed dispensaries.