Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who had authored Assembly Bill 2312, pulled his bill yesterday from the Senate vote. AB 2312 would have regulated and taxed medical marijuana in California. Ammiano believes that there should be more committee meetings and a detailed report on the issue before a more comprehensive bill is created for the legislature to adopt in the new session next fall.
Bob Selan, an attorney who represents collectives throughout California, commented that, "Although statewide regulation may not be possible this year, between the voter initiative that did not make the ballot and the AB 2312 legislative effort, the medical marijuana movement showed great promise forming a strong unification amongst ASA, Cal NORML, UFCW, collectives and growers."
While the Assembly voted 41-28 on AB 2312, legislation that would create a state Bureau of Medical Marijuana Enforcement to provide oversight of many aspects of the medical marijuana industry. It would also allow local governments to tax marijuana products.
At a time when cities throughout California are struggling on how to regulate medical marijuana in their municipalities, or are banning all medical marijuana businesses in their communities, medical marijuana supporters, growers, collective owners and activists were hoping the state legislature would shed some guidance on how cities can move forward on this topical issue.
The Ammiano bill which incorporated many provisions of Colorado Medical Marijuana laws and in many aspects included provisions of a voter based initiative that failed to secure the necessary funding needed to be on the November 2012 ballot, may have only been a temporary solution. Marijuana which is still illegal and is a Schedule 1 drug, is the topic of numerous court cases now pending before the California Supreme Court. Until the court or legislature speaks, cities are left with no roadmap on how to regulate medical marijuana.