State legislation could make cannabis more accessible in cities, counties that have banned retailers


New state legislation authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, could make cannabis more accessible throughout the state, Ting's office announced Thursday.

If passed, Assembly Bill 1356 would require local jurisdictions in California to issue one cannabis retail license for every four on-site liquor consumption licenses, like bars and restaurants.

However, the bill would only apply to jurisdictions where more than 50 percent of voters supported Proposition 64 back in 2016, legalizing recreational adult cannabis use.

"Californians voted for Prop. 64 to replace the illicit market with a legal system that would grant Californians safe access to cannabis products, while also creating good jobs and significant tax revenue," Ting said in a news release.

"However, these goals can only be fully realized if enough licenses are granted to meet existing demand. This bill will ensure the legal market can succeed," he said.

According to Ting's office, since Prop. 64 went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, about 76 percent of California cities and counties have banned cannabis retail businesses.

The lack of access results in people who use cannabis, like caregivers and those who suffer from a variety of ailments like cancer, epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder among others, having to travel far to get it.

"Many cities and counties are currently not providing this access to their medically challenged constituents, even when a majority of their constituents voted for Prop. 64. Banning and limiting access to cannabis in these jurisdictions only fuels the illicit market in our state," said Assemblymember Reginald Jones Sawyer, D-South Los Angeles, who co-authored AB 1356 with Ting.

According to Ting's office, AB 1356 allows local jurisdictions that don't want to meet the 1-to-4 ratio to come up with a local ban on the ballot for the next scheduled election.

The bill is scheduled to be heard April 23 at the state Assembly's Business and Professions Committee.

— Bay City News Service

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73 people like this
Posted by A Talking Cat
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 13, 2019 at 9:39 am

A Talking Cat is a registered user.

What a great idea! If a city allows sales of alcohol, then they have no moral grounds to restrict marijuana retail.

20 people like this
Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Apr 13, 2019 at 11:53 am

SRB is a registered user.

Not sure this bill will get 2/3 needed to pass in Sacramento but tying the number of cannabis stores to the number of liquor licenses makes a lot of sense. If a community tolerates alcohol sales it should tolerate cannabis sales, let's stop stigmatizing cannabis and its consumers.

36 people like this
Posted by Makes sense
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 14, 2019 at 5:53 am

There's not really any logical argument why we should have our town packed with dispensaries of the more dangerous drug, alcohol, but no options for legal cannabis for those of us who want to keep ourselves sharper and not deal with the slurring drunks staggering around. I had to sidestep/avoid a fight with some drunken idiot just last Sat. Apparently he didn't like the fact that I walked past him without saying hello. Yes, he wanted to fight be because i wasn't friendly to him...alcohol is so cool.

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