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California Adult Use Of Marijuana Act Amended To ‘Encourage Small Business Growth’


vote for california marijuana initiativesI received the following press release from what many refer to as ‘The Sean Parker California marijuana legalization initiative’ campaign (otherwise known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act):

Proponents of the leading statewide ballot measure to control, regulate and tax adult use of marijuana announced today that they have filed consensus amendments to significantly strengthen safeguards for children, workers, local governments and small businesses and include even stricter anti-monopoly provisions and the toughest warning label and marketing-to-kids laws in the nation.

Amendments to the measure (known as “the Adult Use of Marijuana Act”) were developed based on input and recommendations received over the last 35 days from hundreds of engaged citizens and organizations representing local government, health and policy experts, environmental leaders, small farmers and business owners, worker representatives and social justice advocates.

The amendments bring the measure even closer in line with the Lieutenant Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy and the new medical marijuana laws recently passed by a bipartisan majority of the Legislature and signed by Governor Brown (SB 643, AB 266 and AB 243).

The amendments specifically strengthen and clarify four central objectives of the AUMA measure:

1. To protect children and discourage teen drug use;

2. To maintain local control and local government authority over marijuana commercial activity;

3. To implement strong worker and labor protections for those employed in this growing industry;

4. To protect small businesses and ensure state regulators have the authority to prevent monopolies and anti-competitive practices.

“These amendments reflect a collaborative process of public and expert engagement and make an extremely strong measure even stronger,” said Dr. Donald O. Lyman, MD, award-winning physician and former Chief of the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Control at the California Department of Public Health, who is the measure’s lead proponent. “This measure now includes even more protections for children, workers, small business, and local governments while ensuring strict prohibitions on marketing to kids and monopoly practices.”

New amendments to AUMA include:

Safeguarding California’s Children

· Mandates the toughest and most explicit warning labels on marijuana products, including an American Medical Association-recommended message that marijuana use during pregnancy or breastfeeding may be harmful.

· Enhances the strict ban on advertising to minors to clarify that marketing to minors is also strictly prohibited, as is all health-related advertising for non-medical marijuana.

· Requires a comprehensive study to determine effectiveness of the packaging and labeling requirements and advertising and marketing restrictions on preventing underage access to non-medical marijuana.

· Provides funding for a public information campaign, emphasizing that marijuana remains illegal for anyone under the age of 21.

· Accelerates funding for expert outcome research on the effects of the new law, including its impact on minors and whether teen use decreases (as it has in other states with legal, regulated systems such as Colorado).

Maintaining Local Control

· Aligns with the bipartisan medical marijuana legislation to provide complete local control over non-medical marijuana businesses within their jurisdiction, including the authority to ban commercial marijuana activity by ordinance.

· Ensures that local governments which allow commercial marijuana businesses to operate have the authority to determine the time, manner and location of those businesses within their jurisdiction.

· Ensures that local governments have the authority to establish their own taxes on medical and non-medical marijuana consistent with existing state law. Explicit authority to do so is granted to counties.

· Requires state licensing authorities to take action to suspend or revoke a state marijuana business license when notified that a corresponding local license has been revoked, ensuring businesses must remain in compliance with local laws to operate.

Protecting Workers in an Expanding Industry

· Requires state regulators to set specific safety standards for drivers and vehicles that are employed in the legal commercial distribution of marijuana.

· Clarifies that the labor peace agreements included in the medical marijuana legislation will also extend to this new law.

· Clarifies that labor violations are grounds for disciplinary action against a marijuana business licensee, including potential suspension or revocation.

· Clarifies that all administrative costs of the new law must be fully funded, including reasonable costs for state agencies to oversee workplace safety.

· Mandates the state comprehensively study which workplace safety standards are necessary to fully protect marijuana workers, including against risks unique to the industry.

Preventing Monopolies and Encouraging Small Business Growth

· To allow smaller growers to establish themselves in a legal, regulated market, large cultivation licenses (as defined by the medical marijuana legislation) for non-medical marijuana will not be issued for the first five years the new law is in effect.

· Only after those first five years can large cultivation licenses be issued at the discretion of state regulators but they must include the same restrictions on vertical integration that are contained in the medical marijuana legislation.

· Strengthens opportunities for minority-owned businesses to enter the legal, regulated marijuana market.

· Sets a September 1, 2016 deadline for existing medical marijuana businesses to come into compliance with current law and qualify for priority licensing under AUMA, providing greater access for existing small businesses to enter the legal, regulated market.

· Requires public universities in California to conduct a study and issue recommendations on whether additional protections are needed to prevent unlawful monopolies or anti-competitive behavior. Additional technical amendments and suggested changes were included to provide increased clarity to state regulators.


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Johnny Green


  1. Actually, things have gone backwards since Senate Bill 420 with taxation and with stupid restrictions. Look at San Diego and LA. Prop 215 and SB420 allows great freedom.

    I would vote against ANY measure that doesn’t guarantee home grows.

    As far as medical, every state needs home grows or a way for low income medical patients to get cannabis at reasonable prices.

    Like the “state stores” after alcohol prohibition, these unnecessary restrictions only serve prohibitionists

  2. It confuses me that there are so many states where adults over 21 can use cannabis freely, but adults under 21 and teenagers can do the same thing and they are criminals. A small fine for underage use would make much more sense than leaving them with full scale prohibiton.

    I am a father of a brilliant 8 year old daughter who I am sure will consume cannabis before her 21st birthday and I don’t want that weed to come from the black market and I don’t want her to risk a criminal record because of it.

    Do I want my daughter smoking, ever? No
    Do I want her vaping before she is 21? Also no
    Do I think that underage use is a criminal justice problem? HELL NO

    Underage (under 18) use is a discipline problem between the parents and the teen/child.
    Use between 18 and 21 is no different than over 21.

    These baby steps seem like they’re an improvement, but they’re not because it will just take longer to get the real changes because most people will see it as unnecessary because we will “already have” legalization. We need to hold on to our bargaining chips now. Who is going to fund a ballot measure that is only about adding home grows?

  3. robert hastings on

    The supreme court has ruled that plant numbers for medical cannot be limited. It also ruled that localities can use zoning laws to prohibit cultivation. A zoning violation is no big deal really

  4. robert hastings on

    There will be lawsuits that is for sure.. Legislators are clearly uninformed about California constitutional law and recent supreme court decisions that uphold medical rights

  5. rbenitti@gmail.com on

    Somebody is going to compensate all medical cannabis patients and voters for this new bill. The drafters forgot an important issue ( I won’t tell what it is). I will be the first to file a class suit against the drafters of this new bill, including adding Lt. Gove Newsom as a defendant. Be on the look out for this this exciting fight.

  6. Malachy O'Brien on

    I would like to also see a complete amnesty for all those in jail for non-violent cannabis or minor drug infractions.Also that those who benefitted from the DRUG war and Large TOBACCO are not permitted to exploit this plant.

  7. Mike Donaldson Law on

    I understand your cynicism. However, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Act), if passed, will certainly limit the ability of local municipalities to “zone out” personal grow sites through their local police power.

    Section 11362.2 of the proposed Act provides that “no city, county or city and county may completely prohibit persons engaging in [possessing, planting, cultivating, harvesting, drying or processing not more than six living marijuana plants] inside a private residence, or inside an accessory structure to a private residence located upon the grounds of a private residence that is fully enclosed and secure.”

    Section 11362.2 is essential in limiting the power of municipal governments to prohibit personal grows through its local police power. Cases like City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients (Riverside’s municipal ban on dispensaries) upheld municipal bans because Prop 215/CUA and SB420/MMP did not specifically require municipal governments to allow collectives, cooperatives, dispensaries, etc. to operate within their borders. Further, local municipal ordinances banning dispensaries did not conflict with the CUA/MMP because the CUA and MMP did not require cities to allow them within their borders.

    In contrast, the Act expressly provides that no city, county or city and county may completely prohibit growing inside your house or secure outdoor structure. So, while cities are free to require licenses and may put up zoning restrictions regarding personal grow sites, any licensing/zoning scheme that amounts to a complete ban will come under much greater scrutiny than similar bans challenged under the CUA/MMP.

    A situation like this will undoubtedly shake out in the courts if the Act passes, which, like you, I think it will. A conservative city in California will enact some licensing/zoning scheme that amounts to a functional ban on personal grow sites. Some dude will go ahead and grow anyway, and then get prosecuted for violating a local ordinance. If, however, our dude who fails to comply with the local ordinance argues that the local ordinance is preempted by California State law, this time he is going to have a much better argument than the defendants in Inland Empire Patients. And that’s because the Act specifically states that a city cannot completely prohibit personal grow sites.

  8. Not allowing personal grows is a non-starter for me. They can always say the way someone is growing is a nuisance (as with anything else), but not allow locals to declare merely growing to be one.

  9. Haywood Jeblowme on

    This initiative contains the poison pill of allowing local governments who hate mj (that is, most of the state) to continue to ban personal outdoor grows (of a mere 6 plants), and thus harass and oppress smokers and patients. That clause is unacceptable, since most of CA is a hick paradise. To hell with this; I’ve been fighting this fight for over 40 years, often argued “the perfect is the enemy of progress”, and now I’d rather have nothing, preferring to let it suck for another 4 years so people get good and mad.

    I wont be voting for this turkey unless that clause is taken out. Seriously, is this guy just trying to push us into stores in the liberal bastions of the Bay, etc?

  10. So we are going to do to cannabis what we did to alcohol. Turn it into a war on teens? F’n brilliant.

    Taxed and regulated. Whoop. Pee. I’m so looking forward to the first death for unpaid taxes. Eric Garner ring a bell?

  11. I think the initiative leaves plenty of room for local agencies to completely ban personal grows.

    It looks like it allows 6 plants indoors, but it also leaves open the ability of local governments to require permits and a review process – which many local governments implemented under current law, before they learned they could implement an outright ban. One city required an inspection and permits issued by the police chief except that – like the infamous Marijuana Tax Stamp of long ago – none ever got issued. This city swiftly implemented a complete ban once the court opened the door for this type of action.

    It would be much better if the initiative explicitly forbade local agencies from interfering with personal grows – but it doesn’t. That’s a problem because so many jurisdictions have a deep-seated “not in my backyard” mentality – despite local support for legalization.

    I’m thinking that once the initiative passes – and I think it will – the local governments will get creative and try to implement functional bans on personal grows. By way of evidence – look at all the local agencies who are now enacting complete bans in the wake of the AB 266 laws.

    Without the guaranteed right to grow for personal use, consumers are stuck with whatever the government “allows” them to have access to. This is the provision that I vehemently object to.

  12. Kathleen Chippi on

    What part about the LIE of REEFER MADNESS are we “adults” still expected
    to accept in 2015? What part of science are we supposed to ignore and
    for how many more decades? Why are we “adults” “taking baby-steps”?
    Why are we ADULTS allowing over 1,000 pages of new pot prohibitions to
    be created and held over our “adult” heads.

  13. Where did you get that idea? We’ve been making great strides (not baby steps) since California passed Prop 19 in 1996. – That’s why we are at the verge of legalization now.

    To expect everything you want all at once is just childish.

  14. I never understand perspective like yours. – You present false choices. – It wouldn’t be between 6 plants and “a small personal plot” -whatever that means to you. – It will be between 6 plants and no plants.

    Vote for ALL legalization initiatives! – They all lead to the same ideal marijuana policy eventually. – The important thing is to take the first step – ASAP.

  15. Sadly, one of the goals not identified in the amendment, or identified as needing to be included: protections for consumers.

    How about an amendment that guarantees people the inalienable right to grow a small personal plot (outside of view from any public area, of course) free from any interference whatsoever from city, county or other local authorities? This would protect the consumers. By consumers, I mean the people who are actually going to consume the cannabis and also happen to do the voting. The same people that the government is allegedly “by and for”.

    This initiative is looking worse and worse each time I read about it.

    Tempting to suggest we simply “Ohio” it, but – as Parker et al knows – voting in favor of it in lieu of voting against it is the lesser of two evils. But just barely.

  16. Closet Warrior on

    Sean Parker, the co-founder of Napster and early investor of Facebook and Mark Zuckerburg’s Dr. Frankenstein!!! While Zuck has vowed to shed 99%of his wealth to charity after the birth of his chiidl- is Sean Parker a “charity”? The ideas and language sounds nice but can’t help to think of ulterior motives, millions of them!!! However, this kid is good at shaking things up and California is the bear to take down so this reform train keeps on chuggin!!! The risk vs reward on this one is exponentially high but it takes money to make money. Again, I just don’t see Parker as the people’s champion but I’ve been wrong before, well once but unproven lol.

  17. Random Thoughts on the Amendment

    >>>”Provides funding for a public information campaign, emphasizing that marijuana remains illegal for anyone under the age of 21.”

    I know we have to play it conservative now, but hopefully, in the near future we can alter that. We know it is young people who are the biggest marijuana consumers, usually starting from 16 to 20 years old. Given this reality, we should stop criminalizing ALL adults – including those 18 and older.

    At the very least, we should practice some great harm reduction by making it legal for 20-year-olds. That way, we give near harmless marijuana a head start over addictive, very harmful alcohol. That will, logically, establish many people as marijuana consumers before they get encouraged to become alcoholics – with all the destruction that entails.

    >>>”complete local control over non-medical marijuana businesses within their jurisdiction, including the authority to ban commercial marijuana activity by ordinance.”

    I disagree with these provisions. We see the mess giving local ban authority has done to Oregon, making virtually all of Eastern Oregon void of places where marijuana consumers can purchase their herb. These oppressed counties should have, at least, one state-run marijuana store, similar to the state-run liquor stores in some states.

    Any counties that ban marijuana operations should be declared ineligible to receive any of the funds from state taxes on marijuana.

    >>>”To allow smaller growers to establish themselves…, large cultivation licenses …. will not be issued for the first five years the new law is in effect.”

    Wow. This is probably causing lots of consternation over at Willie’s Reserve, Marley Natural, etc. – But we can live with all these restrictions in the short term. We will continue to refine marijuana policy until it reaches its optimum form, just as we did with alcohol after ending ITS prohibition. – The important thing now is to PASS the initiative.

    >>>”The amendments bring the measure even closer in line with the Lieutenant Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy and the new medical marijuana laws recently passed by a bipartisan majority of the Legislature and signed by Governor Brown (SB 643, AB 266 and AB 243).”

    Watching all these stars lining up reminds me of the scene in the movie, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” where the space ship adjusts its flight path and spin to perfectly match the rotation of the space station it is approaching to dock with – all to the swelling strains of the orchestra playing “The Blue Danube.”

    Let’s all become perfectly fitting, synchronous, moving parts of the successful California marijuana legalization machine!

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