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Marijuana Legislation Proposed

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Sacramento, CA — Recent proposed legislation aims to regulate medical marijuana through licensing and civil fines. The 34th California State Senate representative, Senator Lou Correa (Anaheim, Santa Ana), introduced the legislation. The proposal could add to the State’s Business and Professions Code and Health and Safety Code.

The new proposed legislation would require the State Department of Public Health to license dispensing facilities and medical marijuana cultivation sites. The business licenses would be subject to local jurisdiction. The bill would require the department of Public Health to establish standards for quality assurance testing of medical marijuana and would prohibit the use of nonorganic pesticides.

The bill would require the facilities and licensed cultivation sites to have security measures to deter and prevent theft and unauthorized entrance into limited access areas containing marijuana.  Facilities would be required to notify law enforcement authorities within 24 hours after discovering breaches in security. If passed, county and state health departments would be responsible for enforcing the new regulations. Violations would be punishable by a civil fine of up to $35,000 for each violation. The bill would expand the duties of local health officers, and impose a state-mandated local program.

Physicians and surgeons who recommend medical marijuana would follow prescribed procedures and record keeping requirements. The bill would require doctors to report how many recommendations they issue and allows for an audit of those who recommend medical marijuana more than 100 times in a year. The bill also requires a detailed reason for any younger patient being prescribed medical marijuana. If they are found in violation, there would be a civil fine of up to $5,000.

In 1996 the Compassionate Use Act, the initiative measure Prop 215, was passed in the statewide general election. Since then several court cases and various local regulations have attempted to manage the legal use of marijuana. A summary of this newly proposed bill says it allows for local governments’ to ban dispensaries and all related facilities.

The legislation, SB 1262, is sponsored by the California Police Chiefs Association and the League of California Cities. The full text of the proposed bill is here.

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