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Marijuana Insurance and California’s Marijuana Initiative

by John Hansen

Wood Calls California’s Meth and Marijuana Regulation Safety Act One of the Best in the Nation

Many California health plans now include marijuana insurance. Doctors can prescribe it as a pharmaceutical prescription like many other Rx drugs. Assemblyman Jim Wood, from the 2nd District, commented on two bills related to marijuana, insurance and the regulation of cannabis.

Assembly Bill AB 2243 has been called the Meth and Marijuana Regulation Safety Act. It deals with medical cannabis taxation, production and environment mitigation. Should this bill pass, additional taxation may apply to those utilizing marijuana insurance. 

Assemblyman Wood pointed out that the bill hits close to home for him. “60-70% of marijuana is grown in the Emerald Triangle in my district,” he says. The bill was introduced in February this year, went through some amendments, and was approved to go to the suspense file on May 11.

The tax portion of the bill for those with and without marijuana insurance would include a $9.25/ounce tax on medical cannabis flowers, a $2.75/ounce tax on leaves and a $1.25/plant tax on immature plants. Funds accrued from the various taxes would not go to the general fund, but would be distributed to the State Treasury Cannabis Production and Environment Mitigation Fund, created by this bill. Some of the funds would be used for environment clean up as well as for funding the Fish and Game Department.

Assembly Bill 266 to Regulate Medical Marijuana Insurance and Distribution

He also mentioned Assembly Bill 266. This bill, which is designed to regulate medical marijuana, will be on the ballot. He called it “the most robust policy to regulate marijuana in the US.” However, Wood said that he’d rather 266 not be on the ballot at this time because he still feels that there are bugs to work out in the bill.

Some of the items he’d like to give more attention to are issues related to mental health care and how the bill might affect children. How this may affect marijuana insurance coverage remains to be seen. Currently, the bill is polling at 55% in favor, so it may pass.