ASSEMBLY | 18TH DISTRICT | Oakland Assemblymember Rob Bonta may have just become the godfather of medical marijuana regulation in the state. Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation adding regulations to medical marijuana dispensaries nearly 20 years after voters approve its legality in California. The bill, a cobbling of several regulatory bills, is viewed as being led by Bonta.

“Today ushers in a new era for California,” said Bonta following Friday’s approval, which is actually three separate pieces of legislation.

For the bustling medical marijuana industry, the new law could mean procuring up to 17 new licenses. The bevy of new regulations include the packaging and potency of medical marijuana, among many other restrictions, in addition, to a limit to how many dispensaries a person can legally own.

Local municipalities will also retain the power to determine whether or not to allow dispensaries
within their borders, a key component of Bonta’s Assembly Bill 266.

Bonta, in a statement, said the state Legislature must continue to lead on the issue of medical marijuana. Additional leadership may be required very soon on a slightly different front next year. A push to ask voters to legalize recreational use of marijuana in 2016 is almost a certainty.