California’s New Medical Marijuana Regulations

Sent on behalf of John M. Connolly

On October 9, Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 266, Assembly Bill 243, and Senate Bill 643.  Implementation of the new laws, known collectively as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), begins this month and continues through 2018.  The MMRSA establishes a Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation to oversee licensing and operating rules, sets standards for growing, handling, and labeling marijuana products, creates a fund to address environmental damage from marijuana cultivation, and sets standards for physicians making medical marijuana recommendations.

As experts in substance abuse prevention and treatment, you are a resource to the communities you serve, and we encourage you to help them understand the impacts of the new laws.  Please note that some of this information is time-sensitive.  For example, local governments need to act before March 1st of this year if they want to define their own policies regulating marijuana cultivation.

The attached materials from Ventura County and the League of California Cities provide more information about the new laws.  The document from Ventura County Behavioral Health provides an in-depth analysis of the 2015 laws, while the frequently asked questions (FAQ) and summaries from the League of California Cities address FAQ about the MMRSA and explain changes that are specific to marijuana cultivation and delivery services.  The League of California Cities is also a resource for sample ordinances that take different approaches to regulating medical marijuana, and you can visit their website at this address:  Also attached is the white paper from the Department of Public Health, Substance Abuse Prevention and Control Program advocating for a public health approach to marijuana policy.

If you need further information, please contact Catherine Branson, Strategic Planning Unit at (626) 299-3519 or Timothy Dueñas, Prevention Unit at (626) 299-4506.

  1.  League of CA Cities – MMRSA FAQs
  2. League of CA Cities Info Sheet – MJ Delivery
  3. League of CA Cities Info Sheet – MJ Cultivation


John M. Connolly, Ph.D., Deputy Director
Substance Abuse Prevention and Control

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