Sacramento Today – Assemblymember Jim Wood presented the Marijuana Watershed Protection Act (AB 243) for the first time following recent amendments that added a funding source to deal with the illegal cultivation of marijuana. In order to help committee members, most of whom have never seen a real live marijuana plant, understand the size and value of medical marijuana farms, Assemblyman Wood brought a live marijuana plant to the committee hearing in the Capitol.
Assemblyman Wood said, “When you look at the amount of money cultivators are making on a single plant (roughly $1,200 - $2,600 per plant) and pair it with how much environmental destruction is taking place on the North Coast, ensuring the industry pays for environmental enforcement and cleanup should be a no brainer.”
AB 243 creates regulations that would ensure cultivation of medical marijuana is done sustainably. The bill also places a $50 fee on each legal plant. The revenue generated from this fee would go to environmental mitigation and restoration, as well as enhanced law enforcements required to assure legitimate cultivation efforts are encouraged and public safety is assured.
The bill unanimously passed Senate Governance and Finance Committee today by a vote of 5-0.
AB 243 will be heard next Senate Environmental Quality Committee on Wednesday next week.
Elected in 2014, Assemblymember Jim Wood (D- Healdsburg) represents the 2nd Assembly District, which includes all of Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt and Mendocino counties, plus northern and coastal Sonoma County, including the northern half of Santa Rosa.