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CA Senate Bill 1186 – Medical Marijuana Legislation that will Transform California’s Landscape in 2024

by Roger Tower on August 8, 2023
CA Senate Bill 1186 – Medical Marijuana Legislation that will Transform California’s Landscape in 2024

California’s Senate Bill 1186 Paves the Way for Medical Cannabis Expansion and the Potential for More Recreational Use Licenses. California’s cannabis industry stands on the brink of a significant transformation. Senate Bill 1186, championed by Senator Scott Wiener, is set to revolutionize the state’s approach to medicinal cannabis access, reshaping the industry landscape and potentially paving the way for further recreational use cities.

With this groundbreaking legislation coming into effect on January 1, 2024, a wave of new opportunities is poised to sweep across California, since every jurisdiction will have to allow medical cannabis businesses starting January 1st.

At the heart of Senate Bill 1186 lies the Medicinal Cannabis Patients’ Right of Access Act, which renders local jurisdictions powerless to enforce regulations that prohibit the retail sale of medicinal cannabis by delivery within their boundaries.

The bill’s primary objective is to ensure that no Californian in need of medicinal cannabis is left without access.

Sen. Wiener encapsulated this vision by stating, “We must ensure everyone who needs access to medical cannabis has access – that includes seniors, people living with cancer, HIV and other chronic or life-threatening illnesses.”

The significance of this shift cannot be understated. With over 300 California cities having banned legal cannabis sales, countless individuals have been forced into the illicit market, compromising safety and undermining the legal framework. The new law challenges this status quo, rendering a significant portion of these bans ineffective and ultimately broadening the reach of legal medical cannabis.

New Opportunities Across California

The implications of Senate Bill 1186 go beyond mere access and presents new business opportunities. As the law mandates that jurisdictions can no longer prohibit delivery sales, it opens the doors for a proliferation of medical cannabis businesses. From large cities to small towns, every jurisdiction in California will be required to accommodate medical cannabis delivery businesses. This sudden surge in licensing opportunities is expected to stimulate local economies, generating jobs, tax revenue, and driving innovation.

One of the most intriguing outcomes is the potential catalysis of more cities exploring adult-use licensing. As medical cannabis businesses establish themselves and prove their value to communities, the lines between medicinal and recreational use could blur. Cities that once stood staunchly against cannabis could witness the benefits firsthand, leading to the reconsideration of their policies.

Additionally, a key prediction is that those who have already operated legally under medical licenses will enjoy preferential treatment in the application process for recreational licenses. This not only incentivizes legal operations but also rewards businesses for their adherence to regulations and contributions to the community.

Let’s breakdown a few of the main components of the bill where every jurisdiction in CA will have to allow medical cannabis businesses within their jurisdictions starting January 1st.

What can California jurisdictions no longer control?

A local jurisdiction shall not adopt or enforce any regulation that prohibits the retail sale by delivery within the local jurisdiction of medicinal cannabis to medicinal cannabis patients or their primary caregivers, or that otherwise has the effect of prohibiting the retail sale by delivery within the local jurisdiction of medicinal cannabis to medicinal cannabis patients or their primary caregivers by licensed medicinal cannabis businesses in a timely and readily accessible manner, and in types and quantities that are sufficient to meet demand from medicinal cannabis patients within the local jurisdiction, including, but not limited to, regulation of any of the following that has the effect of prohibiting the retail sale by delivery of medicinal cannabis:

(1) The number of medicinal cannabis businesses authorized to deliver medicinal cannabis in the local jurisdiction.
(2) The operating hours of medicinal cannabis businesses.
(3) The number or frequency of sales by delivery of medicinal cannabis.
(4) The types or quantities of medicinal cannabis authorized to be sold by delivery.
(5) The establishment of physical premises from which retail sale by delivery of medicinal cannabis within the jurisdiction is conducted by a licensed nonstorefront retailer, except that this paragraph shall not be construed to require the establishment of additional physical premises in a local jurisdiction that allowed medicinal cannabis retail as of January 1, 2022, and in which at least one physical premises engaged in the retail sale of medicinal cannabis, whether storefront or delivery, is already established.(a city that already has medical cannabis retail access via storefront or delivery will not be required to add more licenses)

What can jurisdictions still regulate in regards to medical cannabis licensing?

(1) Zoning requirements that are not inconsistent with subdivision 
(2) Security or public health and safety requirements.
(3) Licensing requirements.
(4) The imposition, collection, and remittance of any applicable state or local taxes upon retail sales occurring within the local jurisdiction.

Prepare for Senate Bill 1186 with WeCann

In the face of these exciting changes, WeCann emerges as an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs and investors looking to tap into California’s evolving cannabis landscape.

With an in-depth understanding of the industry and its complex regulations, WeCann stands ready to guide individuals through the intricacies of business licensing. As the industry’s landscape shifts, aligning with experienced partners becomes crucial, and WeCann offers a beacon of expertise and opportunity.

As we step into 2024, California’s cannabis industry is set to experience a renaissance of sorts, driven by the transformative power of Senate Bill 1186. Communities once left out of the legal cannabis equation will now witness its benefits firsthand, as medical cannabis delivery businesses proliferate, economies thrive, and barriers to access crumble. With the potential for more cities embracing adult-use licensing, the future of California’s cannabis industry appears brighter than ever before.

Contact us when ready to engage with our team and seize the countless opportunities for cannabis licensing and operations within the rapidly evolving landscape of California.

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