CALIFORNIA: In October, when Gov. Jerry Brown signed three bills establishing a statewide system to regulate medicinal cannabis, he called it a long-overdue framework that would “make sure patients have access to medical marijuana, while ensuring a robust tracking system.” He should have added: “Everywhere in the state, except Los Angeles,” because it turns out California’s strict licensing regime won’t apply to the state’s largest city. What’s more, under the terms of the new state law, if L.A. doesn’t change its existing rules, all medicinal pot shops in the city’s boundaries will be illegal in 2018.
In other words, it is possible that there’s even more chaos ahead for this city’s already-unacceptably-chaotic medical marijuana regime. It took nearly 20 years after Californians passed the Compassionate Use Act for the state to adopt a comprehensive system to regulate the cultivation, transportation and sale of medical marijuana — and now it is going to exclude 10% of the state’s population and a significant piece of the cannabis marketplace, and come into seemingly intractable conflict with the city’s most recent effort to manage the situation.