Sacramento - Today AB 21, Assemblyman Wood's bill to remove the March 1 deadline from last year's Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), was unanimously passed by the Senate Government and Finance Committee.
Assemblyman Wood said, "Nobody intended to give local lawmakers such a short timeline to develop regulations for an industry as complex as medical cannabis."
Despite unanimous support, much of the conversation surrounded concern over another issue not included in AB21.
As part of the MMRSA cities and counties gained the authority to prevent medical cannabis patients from growing cannabis for their personal use.
Both the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) have formally opposed AB21 unless it includes language that precludes local jurisdictions from banning cannabis being grown for personal use.
"I am committed to working as hard as I can to resolve the personal use issue and I have gone on the record making that commitment," Wood said." Removing the March 1 deadline is not controversial and requires urgency legislation so we can assure communities they will have the time they need to develop regulations. The issue of growing cannabis for personal use while, critically important, is unfortunately not without some controversy. If these issues are combined into one bill it will result in the March 1 deadline remaining on the books for a longer period of time resulting in more bans. "
Hezekiah Allen from the California Growers Association said, “Cal Growers is firmly supportive of legislation to remove the March 1 deadline and legislation to protect patients’ rights. …. Every day that the March 1deadline remains in law, more cities and counties ban cultivation. With each ban, hundreds of family farms are re-criminalized and our membership’s ability to work toward collaborative implementation of the MMRSA is inhibited.”
AB 21 was scheduled to be heard in Senate Health Committee this afternoon but has been rescheduled for 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.