Tuesday, August 18, 2015

California Senate Committee Hears AB 266 & AB 243

California Senate Room

Video - California Senate Hearing on AB 266

Video - California Senate Committee Hearing on AB 243

The California Senate Appropriations Committee heard two medical cannabis bills yesterday: AB 266 and AB 243.  Both have been moved to the suspense file meaning either or both will be voted on by the full Senate, or die in the file.

AB 266 is over-burdensome, pay-to-play regulation that supports coercive monopolies and bans.  Nowhere in the bill is a seat on the task force for a patient representative, only bureaucrats and lobbyists.  AB 266 is disguised to look like reasonable regulation but in reality dismantles Prop. 215. 

AB 243 creates a new tax on medical cannabis cultivation and states,  “the bill would impose a tax in an unspecified amount on marijuana flowers, marijuana leaves, and immature marijuana plants.”  It is a new tax on medical cannabis growers that will be passed on to the patient.  We already know that unreasonable taxation on medical cannabis only pushes patients to the black or gray market.

SB 643 will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee but is not yet on the agenda.

Unfortunately, Sacramento gets is wrong again.  Instead of protecting patients, the California legislature continues to support industry lobbyists, bans, restrictions, and more taxation.  It is anticipated that AB 266 will be gutted and merged with SB 643 and/or AB 243.  However, these are the bills to watch as the 2015 legislative session will close on September 11, 2015.

To let your Senator or Assemblymember know where you stand, find your representative here: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov

Contact information for the full California Senate: http://senate.ca.gov/senators
Contact information for the full California Assembly: http://assembly.ca.gov/assemblymembers