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Brown Approves Statewide Regulation Of Medical Marijuana

Brett Levin, flickr
 

Brett Levin, flickr

California will replace its patchwork, local regulation of medical marijuana with a new, statewide oversight system.

Governor Jerry Brown signed three bills today that will create regulation, licenses, and environmental standards.

Ever since voters approved medical marijuana in 1996, lawmakers have failed repeatedly to regulate it. This time, the effort won support from cities, police chiefs, and labor groups, plus a late rewrite from the Brown administration to push through.

The new system won’t go into effect until 2018. Then, growers, nurseries, processors, testing labs, and vendors will be required to obtain state licenses. They’ll be overseen by a new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation. The law classifies cannabis as an official agricultural product of California and imposes environmental standards similar to other crops.

The state will track and test cannabis as its produced and sold to patients, while local governments can still block the medical marijuana industry.