California Bill Would Classify Unlicensed Cannabis Cultivation as a Felony
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California Bill Would Classify Unlicensed Cannabis Cultivation as a Felony

Under legislation filed by Rep. Thurston Smith, growing more than six plants without a permit would be a felony offense instead of a misdemeanor.

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February 1, 2022

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."