A bill introduced in the California Assembly on April 11, 2019, aims to expand cannabis access statewide by specifying a ratio between marijuana retailers and businesses that serve alcohol.
Democratic Assembly member Phil Ting introduced AB 1356, a bill that he hopes will increase access to cannabis, especially for medical patients. If enacted, the measure would require local jurisdictions to issue one cannabis retail license for every four onsite liquor consumption licenses.
According to a New York Times analysis of the Proposition 64 vote, 40 of California’s 58 counties voted in favor of adult-use marijuana. The most support was in the state’s population centers: Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, and western Sacramento, as well as the agricultural San Joaquin Valley. Every coastal county, from San Diego on the U.S.-Mexico border to Del Norte, on the Oregon border, voted for Proposition 64. The 18 counties voting against adult-use legalization were in California’s agricultural Central Valley, the eastern and northern suburbs of Sacramento, and the rural, mountainous Sierra Nevada communities.
Though Proposition 64, known as the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative, earned more than 57% of the vote in the November 2016 election, nearly 80% of California cities and counties have banned retail cannabis businesses within their borders.
Proposition 64 also allowed for the sale of taxation of adult-use marijuana to begin on Jan. 1, 2018, yet many places in California exist in a so-called cannabis desert, nearly 18 months after broad retail sales began.