Prop. 64 passed by 57 percent of the vote in 2016, and two-thirds of the counties of California voted in favor of the measure. Yet, an estimated 80 percent of the cities and counties in our state have not licensed cannabis businesses, leaving many, including seriously ill patients, without safe access to cannabis.

If approved, Assembly Bill 1356 would require jurisdictions where voters are in favor of legalization to license one-sixth of the number of their onsite alcohol consumption licenses, for cannabis retailers, or one retailer for every 15,000 residents (whichever is lower). It would allow local governments to take the matter to the voters on the next scheduled election ballot.

Statewide legalization doesn’t mean much if local jurisdictions block its implementation. AB 1356 will result in greatly increased tax revenues for the state and for cities and counties, which may be used for needed services. It will also help bring into licensure the many currently operating cannabis businesses that have been blocked from a regulatory path by a lack of local guidance.

Tahler Thacker

Crescent City

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