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Historic Medical Marijuana bill approved by California legislature

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Historic Medical Marijuana bill approved by California legislature

Comprehensive bill package passes in both Senate and Assembly on final day of 2015 session

Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg), the author of SB 643 – The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act – is pleased to announce that a historic package of legislation was approved by the legislature and sent to the Governor late this evening. This package will change the face of a multi-billion dollar industry that has gone largely unregulated for almost 20 years.

“From seed to sale, medical marijuana is one step closer to being regulated across the state of California,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “SB 643 is the bill we began working on the day I was sworn into the Senate. It has been a productive nine months working with our partners in the Assembly and of course, with Governor Brown’s office. The hard work of countless individuals over the last 20 years has paid off and we are now sending the Governor one of the strongest Medical Marijuana Regulation packages in the country!” 

SB 643 was approved in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee this afternoon and received overwhelming bipartisan support on both the Assembly and Senate floors as votes were cast late into the night on Friday.

“After two decades of no regulation, we will finally have a comprehensive regulatory framework for medical marijuana,” Senator McGuire said.

The three historic marijuana bills, headlined by Senator McGuire’s SB 643 – cover every aspect of the commercial medical marijuana industry would be regulated and subject to licensure – both by the state and local authorities. The bills create a Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation under the Department of Consumer Affairs led by a Director who will be confirmed by the Senate. Cities and counties will be eligible for grants from the Marijuana Production and Environmental Mitigation Fund. These monies can be used for local law enforcement activities and environmental cleanup.

Key to SB 643 are provisions that will track and trace all marijuana products, and a provision that will once and for all make medical marijuana officially an agricultural product in California. Cultivators will have to abide by the same rules and regulations as all other agriculture, including water use, water discharge, pesticide and insecticide use and more. SB 643 also includes robust provisions governing indoor and outdoor cultivation standards for small, medium and large growers to ensure that best practices related to land conversion, grading and electricity usage are instituted. The bill makes sure that the environment is cared for and that the products are safe, while also mandating strict standards for transportation to ensure that no marijuana is diverted out of state for illegal use.

 “These regulations are long overdue and I’m thrilled that we were able to work together to find common ground on these historic medical marijuana regulations for our state,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “The time is now. Our environment and our communities have been paying the price for the state’s lack of action over the past 20 years and this package of legislation will advance sweeping regulations and desperately needed resources that are necessary to address the impacts of this multi-billion dollar industry.”

Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) represents the North Coast of California, where the majority of marijuana is grown in the nation.