Earlier this fall, Gov. Jerry Brown signed three bills into law, collectively known as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act. The law goes into effect Jan. 1 and is an attempt to create guidelines for the industry nearly two decades after California voters legalized medical marijuana.
But there has been confusion at the local level about the potential impact ahead of the act’s implementation, including whether cities will lose local control if they don’t act by March 1.
The legislation will create a new state agency that will issue, suspend and remove licenses to dispensaries starting in 2018 and require the Medical Board of California to investigate doctors who recommend the drug excessively. It will also make it a misdemeanor for doctors to prescribe the drug when they have a financial interest in a licensed medical marijuana facility and crack down on marijuana farmers who pollute streams and rivers.