Ting Introduces Bill To Help California Cities And Counties License More Cannabis Retailers

A California Assemblymember has introduced a bill aimed at giving a much-needed boost to the state’s adult-use cannabis market.

Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) on Wednesday introduced AB 2456, which would create a model ordinance for cities and counties that are looking to set up cannabis retailers within their jurisdictions.

The bill would require the Bureau of Cannabis Control to develop the model ordinance, which would be made publicly available on the Bureau’s website.

“We must do more to ensure the legal cannabis market thrives in California,” says Assemblymember Ting. “It can be tough for local governments to know where to begin when establishing a relatively new type of business in their communities. I hope my proposal can make the step-up process easier for them, so they can combat the underground market and begin benefiting from increased tax revenue.”

In the years after 2016’s passage of Prop 64, which legalized cannabis for adult use in California, a relatively low number of cannabis retailers have been granted licenses, given the size of the state’s population.

As of July 1, 2019, nearly 40 million people were estimated to be living in California.

AB 2456 states that less than 90 of California’s 482 cities provide licensing for retail cannabis, and 44 out of the state’s 58 counties have regulated cannabis retail, seventeen of which have three shops or fewer.

To date, California has issued less than 650 brick-and-mortar cannabis retail licenses, meaning that there is only one licensed retailer for every 35,147 adults over the age of 21 in the state.

By comparison, Oregon has one licensed cannabis retailer for every 5,567 legal adults, and Colorado has 4,240.

Reports indicate that California’s illicit cannabis market has actually grown since legalization.

With hopes of limiting access to illegal cannabis, AB 2456 is intended to increase access to the legal market and help ensure that all California communities have access to safe products.