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Prop 64 Legalized Cannabis With The Caveat That Local Governments Would Have Ultimate Control. A New Bill Would Change That

A new proposition could give local governments control of marijuana business.
A new proposition could give local governments control of marijuana business.
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One of the big concessions made in writing California’s Prop 64 was the guarantee of local control -- that even if cannabis was legalized statewide, cities and counties would have the jurisdiction to ban marijuana businesses.

Three years into cannabis legalization, about 75 percent of local governments have banned cannabis related businesses, and the cannabis grey market has not been squashed, which is something that Assemblymember Phil Ting is aiming to address in his new bill.

Assembly Bill 1356 would curtail local control by requiring that cities and counties where at least half of constituents voted to support Prop 64 would be required to make available cannabis retail licenses. The current formula proposed by the bill is one marijuana license for every six liquor licenses in the area, or one marijuana license for every 15,000 residents, depending on which number is lowest. At least one of the licenses would have to be medicinal.

Assemblymember Ting argues that this bill is necessary to instate the will of the voters, who passed Prop 64. Local governments argue that local control was a crucial part of the Prop 64 that was approved by voters, and to undercut local jurisdiction is a bait-and-switch.

We debate the measure, as well as the larger question of local versus statewide jurisdiction over cannabis licensing.


Josh Drayton, communications and outreach director of the California Cannabis Industry Association, an association that collectively represents over 500 industry businesses

Cara Martinson, legislative representative for the California State Association of Counties, an advocacy organization that represents county governments at the state level