Medi-pot controlled

Package of bills introduces new framework for regulating medical cannabis

State lawmakers voted to approve a package of bills that will establish a new statewide framework for regulating California's billion-dollar medical marijuana industry.

A package of three bills also will establish a new state office, the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, to issue licenses for medi-pot dispensaries and give water agencies regulatory control over the industry, according to The Los Angeles Times. The bureau will be established within the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996, but cities and counties have created a patchwork of rules. Chico, for instance, has an ordinance governing the cultivation of medical marijuana but no rules for dispensaries. (No dispensaries have served the Chico area since the last one standing shut down under county pressure in 2011.)