Cities have been moving to ban or regulate cultivation after it was discovered that a drafting error in the state’s wide-ranging Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act imposes a March 1 deadline for localities to use it or lose it.
In other words, many City Councils fear that the error means that if they don’t limit medical marijuana growing, they might never be able to.
California NORML issued a letter recently trying to get everyone to calm down.
For one thing the error is being repealed as we speak. NORML says in the letter that it’s “on track to be signed by the governor within the month.”
But even without the repeal, NORML asks if the law, as written, will “cause local governments to permanently lose their authority to regulate medical cannabis cultivation if they fail to affirmatively act by March 1, 2016?”
The organization says the answer, ultimately, is “unclear,” but that a lack of action will simply put cultivation regulation in the hands of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
So it won’t be the Wild West.
But NORML concludes that ambiguity in the language would favor cities if this goes to court:
Because of the ambiguous plain language, a California court will likely decide that Section 11362.777 does not cause local governments to permanently lose their authority to regulate medical cannabis cultivation if they fail to affirmatively regulate or prohibit medical cannabis cultivation by March 1, 2016.
Got it? Good.