California pioneered the modern cannabis policy reform movement in 1996 when voters passed Proposition 215, the Compassionate Care Act. State voters approved Proposition 215, the law that made it legal for doctors to recommend cannabis to patients.
In 2015 Gov. Jerry Brown signed three bills that toughened regulations for medical cannabis businesses and sought standards for documentation and testing. The bills are known as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA). Collectively, the legislation also paved the way for medical cannabis businesses to turn a profit. The legislation is impacting marijuana business models in other ways. The laws have eliminated the idea of home-based dispensaries. The Act requires licenses for the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, transportation, laboratory testing, and sale of medical cannabis.
Though voters failed to approve adult use in 2010, they voted overwhelmingly in 2016 to make adult use legal in a state that represents the world’s sixth-largest economy.