California lawmakers are debating how to legalize the growing, selling and consumption of cannabis.
They’re considering a bill that would allow patients to grow up to six plants and grow them in their own home.
And the Senate is considering a measure that would legalize the recreational use of cannabis for adults 21 and older.
As lawmakers grapple with how to regulate marijuana, California has the nation’s third-largest marijuana industry.
The state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control licenses retail stores and shops.
Last year, recreational pot sales hit $5 billion in California.
And as the number of medical cannabis patients has grown, so has the number seeking treatment for marijuana addictions.
The issue of marijuana legalization is at the center of a national debate over marijuana’s impact on children, and the effects it has on communities.
As the debate rages, marijuana legalization advocates are working to pass legislation to decriminalize marijuana possession and use in the state.
The bill, SB 1398, would establish a legal framework for the recreational legalization of cannabis, with rules for its sale, distribution and consumption.
The legislation also would create a medical marijuana program that would be overseen by a panel that would include members with expertise in addiction and child psychiatry.
Currently, the California Department of Justice has jurisdiction over medical marijuana, but a bill introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) would amend the department’s criminal code to allow the department to oversee the recreational marijuana program.
It also would give the department the power to license dispensaries, which could operate without any state oversight.
The bill is expected to be approved by the Assembly and Senate in the coming weeks.
It would give medical marijuana patients, who can use cannabis for medical purposes, the ability to grow their own pot and to purchase the drug from a licensed dispensary.
Patients who choose to grow and consume their own marijuana would be required to submit a state-mandated application and pay $100 a year for the drug.
A separate bill, AB 1481, would allow the recreational sale of marijuana.
A similar bill, the Prop 215 initiative that would have legalized recreational pot in California, has been approved by voters.
Prop 215, which would have also legalized the cultivation of up to 10 marijuana plants in the home, has passed both chambers of the Legislature.
“This is not about whether you like it or not,” said Sen. Mark Leno (D) in a statement.
“It is about what is best for the patients and communities who are suffering and the state’s economy and our ability to fund education.”
The bill would also create a system to ensure that children do not grow marijuana in their homes.
The measure would also require that parents who grow cannabis plants for their children sign a “certificate of consent” and agree that they will not sell or give away the plants.
The medical marijuana legislation would require that all patients obtain a medical cannabis card.