In February, California legislators advanced Assembly Bill 1356 to increase the number of marijuana retail licenses in the state by requiring some cities and counties that have banned commercial cannabis to open their doors to the industry.
Assembly Bill 1356 would have required local jurisdictions where more than 50% of voters supported the state’s 2016 adult-use marijuana law to:
- Issue one cannabis retail license for every six active general licenses for on-site liquor sales, which includes bars and restaurants; or one marijuana retail license for every 15,000 residents.
- Allow cities and counties to be exempt from the rule if, between Jan. 1, 2017, and Jan. 1, 2020, voters there pass by more than 50% an ordinance or resolution that bans commercial cannabis.
But California state lawmakers facing strong opposition from California cities on Thursday shelved the bill. As reported by the LA Times, “Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) could not muster the two-thirds vote of the Assembly needed to alter the requirements to prevent cities and counties from banning pot shops. He plans to try again with the bill next year, a representative said.”
The bill would have:
- Triple the number of licenses in the state of California, which currently only has 624 cannabis shops.
- Added sales of over $2.1 billion, which would equate to $586 million in additional tax revenue for the state and local governments.
It’s not looking bright right now for the state’s forecasted cannabis earnings. Even if Assembly Bill 1356 had passed, and legal cannabis sales were up, the black-market cannabis sales would still have been double the amount of legal sales.
What does this mean for California residents who want to buy legal cannabis?
Find a retail delivery service or local dispensary you love and stick with them! They’re going to be the only game in town for a while.