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The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulations and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), signed into state law in June 2017, established a regulatory framework for both medicinal and adult-use cannabis in the state of California. The content of MAUCRSA is now written into Division 10 of the California Business & Professions Code.

California Business and Professions Code – Division 10. Cannabis

Key Principles of MAUCRSA:

  • Sets public health and safety as the cornerstone of all efforts and regulation at the state
  • Defines cannabis as neither a food nor a drug, but as a separate product with its own licensing and regulatory structure
  • Allows for vertical integration
  • Requires all transportation of cannabis product to be done by a distributor
  • Establishes separate market streams for adult-use and medicinal cannabis

MAUCRSA also established a dual licensing structure in which both the state and local governments participate in setting guidelines and public health standards for the industry. The state sets minimum requirements that all licensees must follow, and local governments are able to set additional requirements.

History of Cannabis Legislation in California

2017 – The legislature passed the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), which repealed the initial rules for medical marijuana and established a single regulatory framework for both the medicinal and adult-use commercial cannabis markets. Assembly Bill 133, a budget trailer bill, refined the regulatory language of MAUCRSA.

Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA): Senate Bill 94, Assembly Bill 133

2016 – California voters passed Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), which legalized marijuana under state law, for use by adults age 21 or older. AUMA is also known as the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA): Proposition 64Proposition 64 Analysis and Summary

2015 – The legislature passed the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA), a series of three bills that created a state licensing and regulatory system for the existing medical market. MCRSA also established the three state licensing authorities. These bills were repealed when MAUCRSA was passed in 2017.

Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA): Assembly Bill 266, Assembly Bill 243, Senate Bill 643

1996 – California voters passed Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act (CUA) – the first voter-approved state ballot initiative for medical marijuana in the United States. CUA allowed qualified patients and approved caregivers to possess and cultivate medical marijuana and ultimately led to the formation of collectives and cooperatives to serve medical patients throughout the state.

Compassionate Use Act (CUA): Proposition 215, Senate Bill 420

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