On Thursday, the General Assembly passed A-10, which expands access to medical marijuana by a vote of 65-5-6. This legislation establishes the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) to oversee the regulation of medical cannabis in the state, including the expansion of access to medical marijuana for patients with a diagnosed medical condition and the regulation of the four types of permits authorized by the Act. Under the act, patients could obtain up to 3 ounces of medicine per month, for 18 months, an increase from the current 2-ounce maximum. After that, the CRC will set the maximum amount that may be prescribed.
A-10 includes the following provisions:
1. Caps the number of cultivation permits to 23, with an 18-month exception to the limit for microbusiness;
2. Allows 7 alternative treatment centers to concurrently hold cultivator; manufacturer, and dispensary permits. (All other entities can hold only one class of permit and only one permit for that class.);
3. Allows the CRC to approve any medical cannabis dispensary permit holder to operate a medical cannabis consumption area, provided there is an endorsement from the municipality and permits municipality by ordinance to authorize the operations of local endorsed medical cannabis consumption areas;
4. CRC must consider proposed location including zoning approvals, provided there is a letter or affidavit from appropriate municipal officials and there is proof of local support, such as a resolution of the governing body; and
5. Authorizes a municipality with a medical cannabis dispensary may adopt an ordinance imposing a transfer tax on any medical cannabis dispensed by the dispensary. The rate is at the discretion of the municipality and cannot exceed 2%.
The Senate is expected to take action on this bill and its companion, S-10, next Thursday, May 30.
Contact: Michael F. Cerra, Assistant Executive Director, email@example.com, 609-695-3481 x120.