By Steve Elliott
The California Legislature on Friday passed a series of bills that would establish comprehensive regulation and licensing of medical cannabis, in a multi-tiered licensing system being praised by some organizations, while other activists are calling the proposed rules "convoluted" and even "treacherous."
Assembly Bills 243 and 266 as well as Senate Bill 643 were all approved and will delegate regulation of commercial medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, transportation, and distribution to various state agencies as well as create a state-level licensing system for the first time in the history of the state’s medical cannabis program. Governor Jerry Brown is widely expected to sign all three pieces of legislation.
"I am pleased that the California legislature has taken an important step by passing a comprehensive regulatory framework to improve patient care, provide greater certainty for the industry and protect our environment," said Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland). "In Congress, I intend to continue working toward federal government policies that respect state marijuana laws.
"The federal government should not come between patients and their medicine," Rep. Lee said. "That is why I have introduced the States Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act (H.R. 262) and am a proud cosponsor of other legislation including the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act (H.R. 1013), Respect State Marijuana Laws Act (H.R. 1940) and the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act (H.R. 2076)."