California Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill which would have in time California's medical marijuana industry has died due to a lack of support in the state Senate.
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano called off a listed Senate commission vote on his medical marijuana regulation legislation on Monday, admitting that he was short on votes ahead of a July time limit, reports Torey Van Oot at the Sacramento Bee.
"Positively in with noses, the noses weren't there, even in commission," Ammiano (D-San Francisco) said of the Businesses, Professions, and Economic Development Committee. According to followers of Assembly Bill 2312, moderation are required to California's 16-year-old medical marijuana laws to defend legal growers, sellers and patients in the wake of federal raids and increased inquiry from local authorities.
Monday's decision, however, kills any probability for a decision this year, according to observers. Legislation which would have protected some marijuana distributors from trial died on the Senate floor earlier this year, and a drive to succeed a medical marijuana regulation program for the statewide ballot didn't draw the money it required to do well.
Ammiano said he's resolute to permit the commission to hold more
inquiries and issue a report after the legislative assembly suspends.
While the CA Medical Marijuana Regulation bill "represents my best
effort to regulate this industry that has existed in a patchwork of
regulations and laws for the past 15 years," Ammiano said, more study
could create an even better bill.
"There is no doubt that my colleagues understand the need for this legislation, and I have a lot of faith in this committee that we can hammer out a well-balanced regulatory policy during the fall to answer calls from local governments, law enforcement including our Attorney General, patients, and the public to enact a highly regulated system for medical marijuana and provide a clear set of rules for everybody," Ammiano said.
The CA medical marijuana regulation bill had made it out of the California Assembly earlier this month on a 41-28 vote. It would have created a state Bureau of Medical Marijuana Enforcement to provide omission of the medicinal cannabis industry.
It would also allow local governments to tax marijuana products, which made it unpopular with some medical marijuana dispensary owners.
Medical Marijuana advocates also didn't like the fact that late modifications were added to the CA medical marijuana regulation bill which would permit city councils and county boards of supervisors to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, reports David Downs of the East Bay Express. Medical marijuana Patient advocates in battlefield counties where safe access though medical marijuana dispensary storefront has been eliminated said that such bans are a deal-breaker.
Law enforcement types didn't like it either. State law enforcement associations opposite to the CA medical marijuana regulation bill claimed the measure was "really an oversize authorization slip for medical marijuana stores to control in a practical free manner."
Don Duncan, executive director at medical marijuana patient advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, said the CA medical marijuana regulation bill would be back in one form or another.
"Many good bills take more than a year to pass," Duncan wrote to ASA members. "We need to make sure that taxation, if necessary, is limited; and we need to make it difficult for cities and counties to ban patients' associations outright."
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