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State May Finally Get Medical Marijuana Regulations

Jeff Chiu / File / AP

This Feb. 1, 2011 file photo shows medical marijuana clone plants at a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, Calif.

Jeff Chiu / File / AP

California voters approved medical marijuana nearly 20 years ago. But the state has never implemented industry rules. This legislation would establish the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation. It would also put in place licensing and cultivation rules.

Michael Vitiello is a professor at McGeorge School of Law. He says the bills take a good overall approach.

"If we’re going to do medical marijuana it’s sensible not to try to micromanage it at the legislative level," he says, "but to do what this bill does and that is to get on-the-ground agencies with responsibility for implementation to develop the regulations."

But the rules would take awhile to implement. And California voters may legalize recreational marijuana in 2016. Still, Vitiello says the medical marijuana regulations could provide a framework for overseeing the recreational industry.