The Local Ballot Initiative as a Tool for Licensing

Under California's MMRSA and the likely-to-be-passed AUMA, a license from the local jurisdiction, such a city or (for unincorporated areas) the county, will be necessary in order to obtain a license from the state.  A large number of California'a cities and counties have outright banned all medical cannabis operations, which means that, absent a change, no one in those locations will be able to obtain state licenses.

In some areas, there is hope that local officials can be persuaded to follow in the footsteps of leaders like Oakland and Richmond in enacting licensing for medical cannabis operations.  But that may not be possible everywhere.

California's county and city ballot initiative processes may prove to be a valuable tool in the campaign to bring California' cannabis industry out of the shadows and into the light.  For example, the San Bernardino Sun reported today that a local ballot measure aims to open up to five dispensary licenses in San Bernardino County, and already has 6,000 signatures.  

We'll keep our eyes out for the local campaigns.  We'd love to hear from you if you are aware of a local initiative in your area.  Just email us at info at