A new bill in the California Legislature would classify unlicensed cannabis cultivation as a felony, rolling back part of the state’s 2016 voter-approved initiative that legalized adult-use and made growing any number of plants without a license a misdemeanor, according to a Forbes report.
Under A.B. 1725, filed by Rep. Thurston Smith (R-Apple Valley), growing more than six plants without a permit would be reclassified as a felony offense, punishable by up to three years in jail.
To go to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk, the legislation requires a two-thirds majority in the Legislature, since it amends a voter-approved initiative.
Thurston’s bill aims to “combat illegal marijuana grows that have been proliferating throughout the rural High Desert communities,” according to a press release from his office.
“These illicit growers have been operating with impunity, knowing that the law allows them to grow with barely a hindrance,” Thurston said in a public statement. “For far too long, Sacramento has been soft on crime, and the illicit market has exploded with massive unlicensed grows popping up all around the state."