Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation

In 2015, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed into law three bills (Assembly Bills 243 and 266, and Senate Bill 643) that create a licensing and regulatory framework for commerical cannabis. It is anticipated that the regulations will be developed by January 1, 2018.

The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is in the early stages of establishing the Bureau of Cannabis Control and is not issuing licenses at this time. DCA recommends interested parties continue to work with their city or county governments to procure the local licenses and permits required to establish a medical cannabis business.

Website: http://www.bmcr.ca.gov/ 

Senate Bill 94 (State Law Governing Commercial Cannabis)

The California Governor Signed into law Senate Bill 94 repealing the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act ("MCRSA") and incorporating certain provisions of the MCRSA in the licensing provisions of the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act ("AUMA" aka Proposition 64).

The Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) authorizes a person who obtains both a state license under MCRSA and the relevant local license to engage in commercial medical cannabis activity pursuant to those licenses, as specified. AUMA authorizes a person who obtains a state license under AUMA to engage in commercial adult-use marijuana activity, which does not include commercial medical cannabis activity, pursuant to that license and applicable local ordinances. Both MCRSA and AUMA generally divide responsibility for state licensure and regulation between the Bureau of Marijuana Control (bureau) within the Department of Consumer Affairs, which serves as the lead state agency, the Department of Food and Agriculture, and the State Department of Public Health. AUMA requires the bureau to convene an advisory committee to advise these licensing authorities on the development of standards and regulations pursuant to the licensing provisions of AUMA, and requires the advisory committee members to include specified subject matter experts. AUMA requires the licensing authorities to begin issuing licenses to engage in commercial adult-use marijuana activity by January 1, 2018.

Senate Bill 94 repealed MCRSA and would include certain provisions of MCRSA in the licensing provisions of AUMA. Under the bill, these consolidated provisions would be known as the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA). MAUCRSA renamed the bureau the Bureau of Cannabis Control, and revised references to “marijuana” or “medical cannabis” in existing law to instead refer to “cannabis” or “medicinal cannabis,” respectively, and would apply a definition of “cannabis” similar to the definition used in MCRSA to MAUCRSA. The bill now imposes the same requirements on both commercial medicinal and commercial adult-use cannabis activities, with specific exceptions.

For a copy of SB 94 Click Here