WTF Is Going On with Medical Marijuana in California? An Explainer

WTF Is Going On with Medical Marijuana in California? An Explainer

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California’s new adult-use and medical cannabis market launched a week ago , and nobody knows what’s going on. Lawyers are in disagreement over how to interpret not only the new laws, but how they interact with the old ones, while layfolk are vulnerable to straight-up false information being disseminated online ( #RIPProp215 , for example). There’s been some confusion — especially on social media — about the status of medical marijuana now that California is implementing its recreational cannabis market. So the point of this article is to clarify, to the best of our ability, what’s going on. While this is not legal advice, we’ll present the opinions of legal experts to help you make sense of the new and old laws. The vague nature of California’s old cannabis legal system has been a major problem to begin with. Twenty-two years ago, the state passed Proposition 215 — a.k.a. the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 — which legalized medical marijuana, allowing patients and caregivers to possess, cultivate, and transport cannabis "based on their current medical needs." Then in 2003, the state passed Senate Bill 420 , authorizing patients to provide patients with medical marijuana on a nonprofit basis. Since 2004, when SB 420 went into effect, the idea has been that every cultivation facility, dispensary, and other canna-business theoretically functions as a patients cooperative or collective. In practice, there’s been a great deal of debate about defining profit and what constitutes a reasonable amount of cannabis . In 2016, California passed Proposition 64 to legalize recreational cannabis. Since then, policymakers have struggled through the unwieldy process of crafting regulations to dictate parallel adult-use and medical cannabis markets — a structure outlined by state Senate Bill 94 , a.k.a. the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) , […]

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