STATEMENT: Proposed Medical Marijuana Regulations

09-11-15

(Sacramento) - California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom released the following statement after the state Senate and Assembly announced a legislative agreement with the Governor's Office to regulate medical marijuana in California:

"Given the history and complexity of California's market, achieving the people's will and responsibly regulating marijuana will be a process that unfolds over many years, requiring sustained attention to implementation.

"That process begins with an accountable and regulated medical marijuana market for patients, and creating a compatible and regulated system of non-medical use for responsible adults. Without both, California cannot combat the illicit market that targets kids, abuses the environment, and is disproportionately harmful to California's minority communities.

"Thanks to the leadership of the Legislature and the Governor, we are now part of the way there. The new regulatory framework is effective 2017, giving California voters ample time to achieve the long-overdue second step next November. I have every hope and expectation that voters will strongly support a legal system of responsible adult use that improves the status quo by protecting children, improving public safety, and preventing further environmental degradation."

- BACKGROUND -

In July 2015, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy chaired by Lt. Governor Newsom released an extensive report detailing the complexities of marijuana regulation in California today.

The report includes fifty-eight recommendations for policy makers and the public to consider to promote public health and safety, protect youth, consumers, workers, the environment, and reduce the size of the illicit market. The report explores in great detail the complexity of moving a large, developed, and largely unregulated multi-billion-dollar industry out of the shadows and into a regulated mainstream to improve public health and safety, and protections for youth.

The Blue Ribbon Commission also highlights that legalization would not be an event that happens in one election but rather, it would be a process that unfolds over many years requiring sustained attention to implementation.

Yesterday, the state Assembly and Senate announced an agreement to move forward on a package that would create a framework for the medical cannabis industry in California. The Assembly and Senate have until midnight tonight to pass the three bills (AB 266, AB 243, and SB 643) that make up this year's regulatory package for medical marijuana, and send them to the Governor's office for approval.

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