Pubdate: Sun, 02 Aug 2015
Source: Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA)
Copyright: 2015 Appeal-Democrat
Author: Eric Vodden


After earlier opposing a bill that would give the state more control 
over regulating medical marijuana, area Assemblyman James Gallagher 
said last week there might be need for state oversight.

Gallagher earlier opposed AB 266, which would create an Office of 
Marijuana Regulation within the governor's office, saying it would 
limit local control over marijuana cultivation in counties and 
cities. But last week he also referred to the phrase of a fellow 
assemblyman who termed the hodge-podge of local cannabis laws 
throughout the state as the "Wild West."

"There is probably going to be a need for a statewide framework," 
said Gallagher, R-Nicolaus.

AB 266 was approved by the Assembly and still must go before the 
state Senate. But it is expected to undergo a series of amendments 
before it gets to the Senate and will likely have to go back before 
the Assembly.

Gallagher said during a roundtable conference this week at The Appeal 
Democrat that he is "really thinking about" the issue.

Along with the creation of the new state office, AB 266 calls for 
criminal background checks on growers by the state Department of 
Justice and a review by the State Water Resources Control Board on 
whether wastewater standards are being met. It also specifies that 
local governments could still license or reject commercial co-ops.

Gallagher noted the likelihood of medical marijuana ballot measures in 2016.

"Long-term, it's going to require enforcement," he said. "There needs 
to be something statewide that will bring it together."

A third voter initiative is being proposed in Yuba County, this one 
dealing with whether medical marijuana dispensaries should be allowed.

Supporters of the proposed Patients Access to Regulated Medical 
Cannabis Act of 2015 presented paperwork to county election officials 
last week. The initiative has been forwarded to the county counsel's 
office for development of title and summary that would accompany petitions.

County supervisors earlier took no action on a request by advocates 
to approve the proposed ordinance contained in the initiative. It 
outlines criteria for allowing marijuana dispensaries in 
unincorporated Yuba County.

In a separate initiative, Yuba County election officials are awaiting 
proof of advertising on a separate initiative that would replace a 
new marijuana cultivation ordinance with less restrictive 
regulations. Once that is done, supporters will be cleared to start 
gathering signatures.

Petitions for an initiative that would prohibit the sale of 
groundwater outside the county have already been cleared for 
circulation. Supporters have a Nov. 17 deadline to gather enough 
signatures to force an election.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom