(Sacramento) – To boost California’s legal cannabis market, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) introduced AB 2456, legislation to create a model ordinance that provides guidance to cities and counties wanting to set up such retailers in their jurisdictions. A regulated marketplace is critical for patients and consumers to access safe and tested products.
“We must do more to ensure the legal cannabis market thrives in California,” said Assemblymember Ting, author of AB 2456. “It can be tough for local governments to know where to begin when establishing a relatively new type of business in their communities. I hope my proposal can make the start-up process easier for them, so they can combat the underground market and begin benefitting from increased tax revenue.”
Despite the 2016 passage of Proposition 64, the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, market density today does not meet demand. California currently has a relatively low number of licensed cannabis retailers, given its population – one for every 35,000 adults over the age of 21. By comparison, the ratio is one licensed retailer for every 5,500 adults in Oregon and 4,200 adults in Colorado. AB 2456 tasks the Bureau of Cannabis Control with developing the model ordinance that cities and counties could adopt which, in turn, will spur access to regulated products.
“As a union of caregivers, we have thousands of members and their clients across the state who rely on cannabis to treat a wide variety of conditions,” said Doug Moore, Executive Director of the United Domestic Workers of America (UDW/AFSCME 3930). “But because many live in localities that have banned legal cannabis, they are often forced to drive long distances or rely on the unregulated market-- dangerous options for folks who are mostly low-income people of color. We are sponsoring this bill because every Californian deserves the right to safe, tested cannabis no matter who they are or where they live.”
Convenience and increased access to cannabis through more licensed locations are key to shrinking the size of the illicit market and the risks associated with it. But illegal sales have increased the last couple of years and continue to dominate the state – comprising as much as 80 percent of transactions in 2018, according to BDS Analytics and ArcView Market Research. AB 2456 aims to reverse this trend.
The first hearing for AB 2456 is expected to be this Spring.
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