Nearly 20 years after California legalized doctors prescribing marijuana in California for nearly any ailment, the state is finally creating and staffing an office to create and enforce statewide regulations now that recreational use may be legal after a planned November 2016 ballot initiative. Prior to now there has been no formal regulatory system in California establishing rules and guidelines for growing and distributing marijuana.
In July, the state Assembly approved a comprehensive licensing and oversight scheme on a bipartisan 62-8 vote. A compromise measure to create the Governor’s Office of Medical Cannabis Regulation, AB 266, is endorsed by both the California Cannabis Industry Association and the California Police Chiefs Association. This trend toward improving state regulation of the vast and rapidly growing marijuana industry is occuring all over the US.