New Attempt to Regulate California Medical Marijuana Industry

Marijuana LeafA bill to further reform /  regulate the California medical marijuana industry, AB 473 introduced by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco has been approved by the Assembly Public Safety Commission and now moves on to hearings in the Assembly Appropriations Committee before being voted on by the full Assembly. AB 473  which can be read here, would put the medical marijuana industry under a division of the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). Its namesake, The Division of Medical Cannabis Regulation, would establish consistent standards and charge fees in regard to how medical cannabis is grown, transported, sold and taxed.

According to a statement made by Assemblyman Ammiano:  “This is a concrete plan that will keep medical marijuana safe. We will get it into the right hands and keep it out of the wrong hands.”  Some question, whose hands are the “right” hands and whose hands are the “wrong” hands.

Opponents to AB473 state that this bill is another way to repress and tax honest “grassroots” growers to their breaking point so that they will not be able to financially survive, thus allowing major corporations and illegal traffickers to monopolize the industry in California.  It is a fear that many small towns in Northern California will possibly go bust, as their major industry is the farming, production and transport of medical marijuana.

It is unknown at this time what the taxes, regulations and standards will be.  According to Dan Rush, a spokesman for a reform group, Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana:  “Having a division that’s part of a state agency promulgate and enforce uniform regulation is a good idea.”

Law makers say they would model Bill AB 473 after Colorado’s statewide regulations regarding medical marijuana use in what they call “from seed to transport to sale.”  It is possible that more regulation may be beneficial to patients because at this time, local and state rules regarding possession, transport and the growing of medicine are inconsistent and contradictory; and, sometimes very sick patients find great difficulty seeking medicine in the appropriate legal ways.

Medical Marijuana dispensaries are often targets of law enforcement. It is unknown exactly how many operate at any given time in the state of California.  Medical cannabis is a major industry for California and estimated by the state Board of Equalization to  generates 1.3 billion in sales and $105 million in tax revenues annually.  Obviously, this is a very good source of tax revenue for the state.  However, with regulations, the price of medical marijuana will become competitive with other pharmaceuticals and may become unaffordable for some patients.

Regulate California Medical Marijuana Industry

Below is an excerpt of AB 473 which can be read in full here.

“This bill would create the Division of Medical Cannabis Regulation and Enforcement within the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The bill would grant the division all power necessary to, among other things; establish statewide standards for the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, transportation, distribution, and sales of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products and a statewide fee scale in relation to these activities. The bill would require the division to assist in the development of uniform policies for the taxation of medical cannabis businesses and establish a licensing structure, as specified, which would include an identification card program. The bill would require the division to work in conjunction with law enforcement entities throughout the state to implement and enforce the rules and regulations regarding medical cannabis and to take appropriate action against businesses and individuals who fail to comply with the law.”
The medical marijuana attorneys at Beck Law P.C. remain informed on the state of medical marijuana legislation in the country and in particular the status of medical marijuana legislation in the California counties of Lake County, Mendocino County and Sonoma County. For more information on medical marijuana and issues that may affect those desiring to start non-profits, collectives and such please contact Beck Law P.C. to schedule a one hour appointment. There will be a $400 fee for the appointment and those concerned must posses a current California Medical Marijuana Identification Card.


The information on this website should not be considered to be legal advice, nor construed to be the formation of any manner of attorney client relationship. Prior to taking any form of legal action, please consult with an attorney experienced in the appropriate area of law germane to your situation. Case results and any blogs, reviews, news or testimonials presented on or any of its related websites are germane to the facts present for each individual case and is not a promise of similar outcomes for any other cases. This website is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of California.