At a time when cities and counties in California are banning or threatening to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, the Second District Court of Appeal in California came down with a landmark published decision yesterday in County of Los Angeles v. Alternative Medicinal Cannabis Collective (AMCC), which clarified the legislative intent of SB420, now codified in California Health and Safety Code Sections 11362.7 et seq. The Appellate court clearly affirms the legality of medical marijuana dispensaries under state law, and rejected bans imposed by municipalities. This is extremely timely as the city of Los Angeles, Long Beach and other surrounding cities and municipalities are contemplating outright banning medical marijuana dispensaries in their communities.
The moratorium that delayed new businesses from entering the medical-marijuana industry for two years was lifted Sunday. Yet, officials say Coloradans shouldn't expect centers to open up at an exponential rate.
The regulation was passed in 2010 with the intention of giving the state more time to figure out how to police the then-flourishing quantity of applicants. Originally, the moratorium was set to last only a year, but in February 2011 the ordinance was extended until Sunday.
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.
In New Jersey, the Mount Laurel Township Council heard a proposal to open a medical marijuana distribution center in the town. The proposal did not receive a explicit vote by the council, but it did move for more research to be done before the matter reconvenes at a later date.