Likely legalization vote prompts action on medical marijuana

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – With a ballot initiative on recreational marijuana use likely next year, California lawmakers are finally making a serious run at reining in the state’s medical marijuana industry.

Two bills in the state Legislature would create the first statewide regulations for medical marijuana growers, manufacturers of pot products and distributors.

Voters approved medical marijuana in 1996 but did not create rules for producing and selling it.

AB266 by Democratic Assemblyman Rob Bonta of Oakland requires numerous state agencies to set up and enforce regulations by 2018. It tasks the California Highway Patrol with deciding when someone is too high to drive and the health department with testing pot products.

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