27 May 2016

They wrote 8 May.

This is a little late to report but the search for consensus ahead of November appears to be on the rise.

Don’t hide from reality of legal marijuana

Orange County cities need to get their acts together on medical marijuana and the potential legalization of recreational pot. So far, only Santa Ana has been trying to sensibly grapple with the situation. If other cities have any doubt about what needs to be done, they should look at all the billboards sprouting up like tall cannabis plants alongside county freeways.

It took 20 years after voters passed Proposition 215, which legalized medical marijuana, for the California Legislature to follow that measure’s instructions to establish sensible statewide regulations. This editorial page backed Prop. 215 and continually has urged the Legislature to enact the will of the voters. But as the Register reported, the state “only now is confronting the full complexity of regulating consumer safety and business practices in an industry that’s ballooned to an estimated $2.7 billion annually.”

Regulation involves “a dozen state agencies” and on Jan. 1, 2018, “thousands of cannabis businesses – from growers to distributors, testing labs to retail shops” – will start applying for one of 17 types of licenses. “Three agencies will actually issue licenses. Nine more have been charged with various oversight and review responsibilities.” The main regulator will be the new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, created as part of the Department of Consumer Affairs.

But cities also will have to act. The wrong way is with outright bans, as in Newport Beach, Fountain Valley and other cities. But it’s also a mistake for cities to just do nothing but wait for events to develop. That’s because more than 600,000 signatures were submitted Wednesday to put a marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot, 200,000 more than necessary. It should muster approval with the Secretary of State’s Office.

Full Article at