Governor Signs Senator McGuire’s Historic Medical Marijuana Bill

October 9, 20115

Comprehensive bill package ushers in much-needed medical marijuana regulation

Sacramento, CA – With a historic and significant stroke of a pen, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the most comprehensive medical marijuana regulation legislation ever seen in the state of California.

North Coast Senator Mike McGuire worked to find common ground and build a strong coalition of support behind SB 643 – The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, signed into law today.

“From seed to sale, for the first time in our state’s history, medical marijuana will now be regulated across the state of California,” Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) said. “Voters passed Proposition 215 nearly twenty years ago and the promised rules and regulations from the legislature were never advanced and our communities and environment have been paying the price ever since. This is a historic day for our state and generations of Californians will benefit from these sweeping rules and regulations that will protect our neighborhoods, our environment and the safety of patients.”

SB 643 was part of a three-bill package that moved forward through the legislature together. Paired with AB 266 and AB 243, the three bills will change the face of a multi-billion dollar industry that has gone largely unregulated for almost 20 years.

“After the hard work of countless individuals over the last 20 years, we have finally been able to pass the strongest medical marijuana regulation package in the country. I want to thank our partners in the State Assembly, Governor Brown and the hundreds of folks who have put in thousands of hours over the past eight months to ensure this bill was signed into law.”

The new laws cover every aspect of the commercial medical marijuana industry which would be regulated and subject to licensure – both by the state and local authorities. The bills create a Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation under the Department of Consumer Affairs led by a Director who will be confirmed by the Senate. Cities and counties will be eligible for grants from the Marijuana Production and Environmental Mitigation Fund. These monies can be used for local law enforcement activities and environmental cleanup.

Key to SB 643 are provisions that will track and trace all marijuana products, and a provision that will once and for all make medical marijuana officially an agricultural product in California. Cultivators will have to abide by the same rules and regulations as all other agriculture, including water use, water discharge, pesticide and insecticide use and more. SB 643 also includes robust provisions governing indoor and outdoor cultivation standards for small, medium and large growers to ensure that best practices related to land conversion, grading and electricity usage are instituted. The bill makes sure that the environment is cared for and that the products are safe, while also mandating strict standards for transportation to ensure that no marijuana is diverted out of state for illegal use.

 “These regulations are long overdue and I’m thrilled that we were able to work together to find common ground on these historic medical marijuana regulations for our state,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “The time is now.”

Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) represents the North Coast of California, where the majority of marijuana is grown in the nation.