November 9, 2020

Controversy often surrounds the medical and recreational usage of marijuana. Until recently, the law made all use of marijuana illegal.


In 1996, California passed Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act (“Act”). The Act was the first time a state ballot included a medical marijuana initiative in the United States. The Act allowed seriously ill patients to possess and use medical cannabis, so long as it was recommended by their physician. The Act applied to patients being treated for cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, and other serious illnesses.


Three bills, under the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MCRSA”), were passed to create a state licensing and regulatory system for the medical marijuana market. Through MCRSA, the state legislature also licensed the Bureau of Cannabis Control, CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, and the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch. These bills were later repealed under the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MAUCRSA”).


In 2016, California passed Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. This proposition allowed adults over the age of 21 to legally grow, possess, and use cannabis for non-medical purposes, within legally mandated limits. This proposition allowed for the legal sale of cannabis through highly regulated businesses beginning January 1, 2018.


California passed Senate Bill 94, which integrated MCRSA with Proposition 64 to create the MAUCRSA. All medicinal and adult-use regulations for the cannabis industry are regulated under the MAUCRSA.

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This article is based on the law as of the date posted at the top of the article. This article does not constitute the provision of legal advice, and does not by itself create an attorney-client relationship with Eskridge Law.