Numerous proposals surrounding marijuana in California vying for November ballot |

Numerous proposals surrounding marijuana in California vying for November ballot

Compiled by Adam Jensen
medical marijuana with prescription bottle
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto

California’s November 2016 ballot box could be stuffed with marijuana.

Numerous initiatives to change the state’s regulations surrounding cannabis, from making it legal for recreational use by those 21 and older to eliminating the private cultivation of marijuana completely, are in the works. Proponents of each initiative have until roughly the end of April to collect the 365,880 signatures of registered voters required to qualify for the November ballot. California’s Secretary of State is then expected to determine which initiatives qualify under state law by the end of June. In 2010, California voters defeated Proposition 19, which would have legalized marijuana for recreational use, by a vote of 53.5 percent to 46.5 percent. Here is a look at just a few of the marijuana-related proposals attempting to make their way through California’s initiative process:


Known as the Adult Use Act or AUMA, the Control Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act would:

Allow adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants within a secure area not open to public view;

Require the Department of Consumer Affairs to oversee a system of licensed non-medical marijuana cultivators, manufacturers, testing facilities, distributors and retailers;

Impose rules governing the labeling, packaging, advertising, testing and tracking of marijuana;

Establish a weight-based tax on the commercial cultivation of marijuana, as well as a 15 percent retail sales tax in addition to standard sales tax. Tax revenues would primarily be used to curb youth substance abuse, law enforcement training and environmental cleanup;

Specify that driving while being impaired by marijuana and the public use of marijuana both remain illegal; and

Allow for local control of non-medical marijuana businesses, including the authority to ban commercial activity or require businesses to obtain local permits or licenses in addition to state licenses.


Control, Regulate and Tax Cannabis Act of 2016

Legalizes possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by those 21 and over and allows for personal cultivation of up to 100 square feet, as well as the possession of “the results of lawfully harvested homegrown cannabis;”

Establishes a series of fines for minors in possession of marijuana and adults possessing or consuming marijuana outside of the act’s specifications;

Establishes the standard for driving under the influence of cannabis as being when a person’s “mental or physical abilities are so impaired that he or she is no longer able to drive a vehicle or operate a vessel with the caution of a sober person, using ordinary care, under similar circumstances;”

Establishes the California Cannabis Commission and the Office of Cannabis Regulatory Affairs as regulatory bodies for cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, transportation, retail and testing enterprises;

Cities and counties can ban marijuana commerce, including retail outlets, but not delivery services, and only by popular vote. The default position is “no ban.” Localities cannot ban personal cultivation; and

Establishes taxes on marijuana cultivators and a 10 percent retail sales tax.


Marijuana Control Legalization and Revenue Act

Legalizes the use of marijuana by those 21 years of age and older, including the cultivation, transportation, distribution, on-site consumption, processing, production, retail sale, manufacture of edible products and manufacture of concentrated marijuana;

Applies general retail sales taxes to non-medical marijuana;

Permits the legislature to place additional excise tax on non-medical marijuana sales, up to 15 percent of the retail price;

Permits local governments to ban or limit the number of marijuana businesses within their boundaries if their voters approve; and

Requires the state to create and fund diversion programs in each county exclusively for marijuana offenders.

Source: http://www.marijuana


Permits the possession and use of marijuana by adults 21 and older and licenses, regulates, enforces and taxes recreational marijuana sales like beer and wine;

Requires 50 percent of excise taxes collected from sales of recreational cannabis be made available for the development of new businesses in the industrial, nutritional and medicinal cannabis hemp industries;

Prohibits any and all taxation of medicinal cannabis and expands the accessibility of medicinal cannabis used in accordance with Proposition 215. Requires all state laws and local ordinances that conflict with the initiative be repealed or amended to conform. Prohibits cities and counties from imposing discriminatory, excessive or prohibitive zoning requirements and fees on cannabis outlets;

Allows farmers to grow industrial hemp and hemp seed;

Eliminates the practice of drug testing for Cannabis metabolites. Impairment testing for non-metabolized cannabis would replace the metabolite test;

Mandates the state establish performance-based standards to determine levels of impairment for safe operation of motor vehicles and other equipment;

Allows for the release and discharge of people currently being punished for non-violent marijuana offenses; and

Prohibits California law enforcement from assisting federal drug agents attempting to enforce federal laws that are no longer illegal under the legislation.


The California Safe and Drug-Free Community Act

Eliminates privately owned cultivation of marijuana;

Eliminates privately owned marijuana dispensaries selling marijuana for non-medical use;

Marijuana would be grown, lab tested for contaminants and packaged on one state-owned cultivation site and distributed only through state-owned dispensaries where local governments allow;

The minimum age for medicinal use of marijuana for qualified patients would be elevated from 18 to 21; and

Recreational use of marijuana would remain illegal.


Information on additional proposals surrounding marijuana in California can be found at

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