On August 14, the California Assembly Appropriations Committee held SB 1262 in committee, effectively putting it on the back burner until 2015.The proposed bill, which would create medical marijuana regulations in the state of California, has been controversial since its inception.
Any bill that proposes annual spending of $150,000 or more is automatically sent to the suspense file in order to be considered when the availability of revenue is known. Therefore, this move does not indicate an unsurmountable barrier to the proponents of legalized medical marijuana, but it does put the bill on hold. Since the bill was not approved by August 15, it will not be under consideration for the remainder of 2014.
Concerns for Suspended Bill 1262
With the writers of SB 1262 leaving California legislature, the medical marijuana supporters will need to find new champions. Lou Correa and Tom Ammiano, who hoped to see SB 1262 passed before their terms expired, will leave unsatisfied with the results of their efforts.
Some have pointed to the $20 million in annual expenses to oversee a newly created medical marijuana industry as the most unsurmountable hurdle. Given that the availability of legal medical marijuana would also increase tax revenues by an estimated $400 million, this seems like a poor excuse for sidelining the bill. In Colorado, where marijuana was legalized at the beginning of 2014 for medical and recreational purposes, tax revenues from the marijuana industry have skyrocketed beyond expectations.