CALIFORNIA: A comprehensive suite of marijuana regulations were passed by California Governor Jerry Brown yesterday, creating much-needed government oversight over the state’s billion-dollar industry. The bill specifically addresses the environmental impact of growing marijuana, including water use during the drought.
Since the state’s Compassionate Care Act was passed almost 20 years ago, marijuana cultivation has been legal in California for the farmers who sell to the state’s dispensaries. But it hasn’t been easy for growers, who are governed by an inconsistent set of rules, and haphazard, if any, enforcement.
Assembly Bill 243, Assembly Bill 266, and State Bill 643 will set up state and local licenses for marijuana businesses and create a brand-new, dedicated Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation. As part of it, farmers would be required to track and report their water use and document the sources of that water. Earlier this summer, a study showed that some farmers in Northern California were diverting wild streams.