California Senate Approves Bill to Prohibit Municipalities From Banning Medical Cannabis Access
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California Senate Approves Bill to Prohibit Municipalities From Banning Medical Cannabis Access

Sen. Scott Wiener’s Senate Bill 1186, which now heads to the Assembly, would require all cities and counties to provide medical cannabis access through brick-and-mortar dispensaries or delivery services.

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May 26, 2022

The California Senate has approved legislation that aims to restore voter-approved medical cannabis access, sending the bill to the Assembly for consideration.

Senate Bill 1186, sponsored by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, passed the Senate with a unanimous bipartisan vote, the Sierra Sun Times reported.

RELATED: California Senator Introduces Legislation to Bar Municipalities from Prohibiting Medical Cannabis Dispensaries Within Their Jurisdictions

S.B. 1186 would require all cities and counties to provide medical cannabis access through brick-and-mortar dispensaries or delivery services, although it would not change municipalities’ ability to limit or ban adult-use sales.

While Proposition 64, California’s voter-approved adult-use cannabis legalization law, allowed municipalities to restrict adult-use cannabis businesses within their jurisdictions, it did not address medical cannabis, which California voters legalized in 1996 through Proposition 215. The Legislature later gave municipalities the ability to prohibit medical cannabis operations through the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA).

“Right now, 62% of California cities ban people from purchasing legal medicinal cannabis,” Wiener said in a public statement, according to the Sierra Sun Times. “This fuels the illicit cannabis market and makes it difficult—if not impossible—for people to access the medicine they need. We need to ensure everyone can access medicinal cannabis if they need it; S.B. 1186 will restore this access across the state."