On November 6, 1996, Proposition 215, the “Compassionate Use Act of 1996” (“CUA”) became effective by popular vote at a general election. This act acted as a criminal defense to prosecution for the cultivation and use of marijuana when necessary for medical purposes when the patient, over the age of 18, has the recommendation or approval of a physician to use marijuana; and the marijuana is cultivated and/or possessed for the “personal medical purposes of the patient in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.
On January 1, 2004, Senate Bill 420, the “Medical Marijuana Program Act” was enacted by the California Legislature which fine-tuned and defined some of the provisions and terms of Proposition 215, and to clarify the scope of the application of the Compassionate Use Act for consistent application within the state.
On October 9, 2015, Assembly Bill 243, Assembly Bill 266, and Senate Bill 643, the “Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act” were enacted by the California Legislature, effective January 1, 2016, regulating the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, distribution, transportation, and dispensing of medical cannabis in the State of California. The state commercial cannabis medical license application process is set to start January 1, 2018. A condition for a state license is having a license, permit, or other authorization from the local jurisdiction where the commercial cannabis activity will take place. On June 27, 2016, Senate Bill 837, was enacted by the California Legislature, which amended and change the name of the “Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act” to the “Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act”.
On November 8, 2016, Proposition 64, the became effective by popular vote at a general election, which permits adults, 21 years of age or older, to legally possess, transport, purchase, consume, or share up to one ounce (≤ 28.5g) of marijuana, and up to 8 grams of marijuana concentrates. The state commercial cannabis adult-use license application process is set to start January 1, 2018.
On June 15, 2017, Senate Bill 94, the “Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act”, was enacted by the California Legislature, which repealed and replaced the “Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act” and amended the “Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act”. The purpose and intent of “Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act” is to establish a comprehensive system to control and regulate the cultivation, distribution, transport, storage, manufacturing, processing, and sale of both of the following: (1) Medicinal cannabis and medicinal cannabis products for patients with valid physician’s recommendations; and (2) Adult-use cannabis and adult-use cannabis products for adults 21 years of age and over.
The “Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act” allows for state licensed commercial cannabis activity in twenty (20) different license classifications covering the cultivation, possession, manufacture, distribution, processing, storing, laboratory testing, packaging, labeling, transportation, delivery or sale of cannabis and cannabis products.