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Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Bill Allowing Local Authorities to Regulate Medical Marijuana Dispensaries


On August 31, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1300 (AB 1300), which gives local law enforcement the power to promulgate and enforce ordinances imposing restrictions on marijuana dispensaries.

The bill was drafted after much legal debate over medical marijuana dispensaries resulting from little state regulation over medical marijuana.

The ambiguity arising from a lack of legally binding state requirements for medical marijuana dispensaries created a slew of civil law suits from medical marijuana collectives for unconstitutional discrimination against cities and counties. In the case of City of Los Angeles v. Hill decided last year, the California Court of Appeal for the Second District held that a country is not prohibited from enacting regulations and ordinances to restrict the location or establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries.

Without legally binding state requirements for medical marijuana dispensaries, AB 1300 purports to take the first step towards preventing abuse and preserving the authority of local law enforcement. The law will go into effect January 1, 2012.

Scott Hughes is a criminal defense attorney practicing in Orange County, California in both State and Federal Courts.

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