FAQ: The Medicinal Cannabis Patients’ Right of Access Act

    In 2022, the Legislature passed and Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law SB 1186 (Wiener), the Medicinal Cannabis Patients’ Right of Access Act (Act).[1] Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, the Act bars a city[2] from adopting or enforcing any regulation that directly or indirectly prohibits retail delivery of medicinal cannabis[3] to patients or caregivers in the city.[4]

    What limits does the Act impose on local authority?

    Under the Act, a city cannot adopt or enforce regulations that prohibit the “retail sale by delivery” of medicinal cannabis. This includes any regulation that has the effect of prohibiting patients within the city or their caregivers from purchasing, by delivery, sufficient medicinal cannabis to meet their demands in a timely and readily accessible manner. Examples of prohibited regulations include those that:

    1. Limit the number of businesses authorized to deliver medicinal cannabis in the city.
    2. Limit the operating hours[5] of medicinal cannabis businesses.
    3. Limit the number or frequency of medicinal cannabis sales by delivery.
    4. Limit the types or quantities of medicinal cannabis.
    5. Require the establishment of physical premises within the city.[6]

    [1]. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 26320-26325. In enacting the Act, the Legislature determined that access to medicinal cannabis is an integral aspect of access to health care and sought to ensure that Californians throughout the state have timely and convenient access to safe, effective, and affordable medicinal cannabis. (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 26320.)

    [2]. Note: With respect to charter city authority, the Act states: “This chapter addresses a matter of statewide concern and not a municipal affair, as that term is used in Section 5 of Article XI of the California Constitution.” (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 26325.)

    [3]. Full local control is maintained for commercial adult-use cannabis deliveries. (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 26324.)

    [4]. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 26322.

    [5].  Note: Under state law, licensed retailers may only engage in sales and deliveries of cannabis between the hours of 6:00 a.m.  and 10:00 p.m. (Cal. Code Regs. § 15403.)

    [6]. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 26322(a)(1)-(5).

    Read the full FAQ below.

    Related Files