Medical Marijuana

What is a “Distributor” Under the California Medical and Adult Use Regulation and Safety Act?

The governor of California’s trailer bill known as Senate Bill 94 passed, which married the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) and the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). The regulations under the MCRSA have been scrapped and state regulators are furiously trying to draft emergency regulations for the cannabis industry. State licensing is fast approaching, with regulators informing the public that they will be open for business by January 1, 2018. Things are complicated.
 

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California Cannabis Unions

The passage of California’s Senate Bill 643 established a comprehensive licensing and regulatory framework for the cultivation, manufacture, transportation, storage, distribution, and sale of medical cannabis.  The new law provides that all state commercial cannabis applicants or licensees with 20 employees or more (not counting some management) must operate under a Labor Peace Agreement (“LPA”).  This requirement includes all types of license classifications (cultivation, manufacturing, testing, dispensary, distributor, transporter), with limited exceptions. 
 

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State Withdraws MCRSA Regulations

As a result of the passage of the Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on June 27, 2017, the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Cannabis Control, Department of Public Health, and Department of Food and Agriculture withdrew the proposed regulations developed under the prior Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) and the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act that were noticed for public comment on April 28th and May 5th of this year. The withdrawal was effective July 27th.
 

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Recommending Medical Cannabis in California

The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 provided seriously ill Californians with the right to obtain and use cannabis for medical purposes when it has been recommended, under certain circumstances, by a physician who is the patient’s attending physician.  The recent passage of California’s Senate Bill 643 established a more comprehensive licensing and regulatory framework for the cultivation, manufacture, transportation, storage, distribution, and sale of medical cannabis.  With respect to physicians, the new law includes guidance and direction to the Medical Board of California (“MBC”).  

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Marijuana in the Workplace

With the passage of Proposition 64, the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act,” employers may have some concern about whether the new law affects their right to enforce drug-free workplace policies.  While employers should always make employment decisions with great care, the Act clearly preserves the rights of private employers to maintain drug free workplaces.  The actual language for that preservation of employer rights is currently found at California’s Health and Safety Code section 11362.45(f).  Nothing about California’s new recreational use law requires an employer to permit the use of marijuana

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Proposed Cannabis Regulations Released

On Friday, April 28th, the California Department of Food and Agriculture released the initial draft of its medical cannabis cultivation regulations. There will now be a 45-day comment period on the draft.
 
The proposed rules regulate how to apply for licenses to cultivate, the type of licenses that will be available, vertical integration, site requirements, cannabis waste management, cleanliness standards for cultivation sites, processing, records and reporting requirements, inspections, investigations, and audits, and enforcement.
 

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Planning and Building Department Letter

Happy New Year! The deadline to submit an application for the County of Humboldt Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance expired on December 31, 2016 at 4 pm. The planning department received 2,337 application packets and over 1500 were received in the last two weeks!
 
The County received over 2,000 incomplete applications, meaning that not all of the required documentation for a complete application packet was submitted. Recall that to accept an application, the County was only requiring a site plan, a completed application form, and the fee deposit.
 

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Prop 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, and (More) Criminal Justice Reform

In November 2014 California voters enacted a seismic shift in criminal penalties for nonviolent property and drug crimes, Proposition 47.  In a few weeks (or already, if one casts her or his ballot by mail), California voters will again decide whether to change the state’s approach to drug policy in a way that realistically pales in comparison to Prop 47 and 2011’s Criminal Justice Realignment, but is nevertheless on plenty of people’s minds in Humboldt County and across the state.
 

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City of Eureka Passes Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance

On September 20th, the Eureka City Council voted 3-2 to allow medical marijuana businesses to operate within the city limits. The California Coastal Commission must still approve the planned changes to the municipal code and the local coastal plan, with implementation expected by the middle of next year assuming it is approved.
 

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Court Hands Major Victory to the Medical Marijuana Industry

In a major victory for those distributing and cultivating medical marijuana, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in United States v McIntosh, et. al. (August 16, 2016) has held that, at least for the time being, those who comply with the medical marijuana laws of their state cannot be prosecuted by the Department of Justice for federal crimes.
 

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Marijuana Tax on Local Ballots This November

Earlier this week, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 in favor of placing a proposed marijuana tax measure on local ballots this November. The measure, if approved, would add ordinances to the Humboldt County Code effectuating a tax on commercial marijuana cultivation operations. The proposed tax due for each cultivation operation depends on the size of the grow site as well as whether plants are grown outdoors or inside. This week’s vote comes after discussion of similar proposals earlier this year and much discussion regarding the appropriate level of taxation.

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Permitting Existing Cultivation Sites Under Humboldt County’s Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance

Under Humboldt County’s Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance (MMLUO), existing cultivator sites can be permitted. The permit path for existing cultivation sites depends on two things: the size of the existing grow, and the evidence demonstrating the grow was in existence prior to January 1, 2016.

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Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation Informational Sessions May 11 in Arcata

Wednesday, May 11, the California Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation will offer two identical informational sessions at the D Street Neighborhood Center in Arcata, located at 1301 D Street.  Janssen Malloy LLP attorneys will be attending the first session, from 4:30-5:45 pm.  A second session will take place from 6:15-7:30 pm.  These informational sessions are open to the public and should provide the North Coast with its first opportunity to hear directly from state regulators how the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (“MMRSA”) will be implemented over the next few years.  Calle

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Janssen Malloy LLP Sponsors Cannabis Farmer's Workshop Series

Janssen Malloy LLP is proudly sponsoring the Mad River Alliance and EPIC's Cannabis Farmer's Workshop Series.  Together with Humboldt Green and California Grower's Association, the local organizations are bringing to Northern California a series of six Cannabis Farmers Compliance Workshops.  The workshops and companion notebook are designed to provide the necessary resources for regional farmers to implement steps to come into compliance with with state, regional, and local laws.  The five remaining workshops are being held as follows:

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New Environmental Regulations on Cannabis Cultivation

Are you growing cannabis? By February 15, 2016, cultivators with 2000 square feet or more of cultivated area are required to enroll in a new water quality regulatory program with the North Coast Water Quality Control Board (NCWQCB).
 
NCWQCB’s Order No. R1-2015-0023 (Order) includes enforceable requirements which cultivators need to become familiar with to ensure their operations do not impact water resources. The primary elements of the Order are listed below.
 
A Tiered Enrollment Structure
 

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Proposed Local Zoning Regulations Regarding Medical Marijuana: What’s Being Proposed?

Changes are coming to local regulation of the medical marijuana industry. Both the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and the Arcata City Council are both considering ordinances governing the cultivation, manufacturing, and retail distribution of medical marijuana here on the North Coast.
 
In response to the enactment of SB 643, AB 266, and AB 243, Humboldt County released a draft ordinance for the outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana in early October, 2015. The following are a few of the highlights from the draft ordinance: 

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Governor Signs Marijuana Regulation Bills

On October 9, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed a package of bills to regulate the medical marijuana industry in California:
  • AB 266 establishes the state medical marijuana bureau and gives it sole authority to issue, suspend or revoke licenses for the transportation, distribution and sale of the drug.
  • AB 243 requires marijuana farmers to obtain licenses through the state Department of Food and Agriculture, and gives the state the power to fine any grower that harms a river, stream or lake.

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