Adult Use of Marijuana Act Explained

Review, explanation and analysis

By Chris Conrad, with Mikki Norris, Lauren Vazquez and assorted other attorneys and experts on the initiative.  © Drug Policy Action, 2016

This document explains the structure and functions of the proposed Adult Use of Marijuana Act (signatures turned in May 4, 2016 no ballot number assigned yet.)

Download a PDF of the original Powerpoint presentation

It begins with a brief history of the legalization process in California and the US, followed by an overview of the initiative, how it interfaces with medical marijuana laws, newly legal activities, commercial regulation, enforcement penalties, taxes, disbursements social justice aspects and AUMA’s importance going forth from here.

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AUMA 2016: Full text of the Initiative

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act of 2016

Official AUMA 2016 Campaign Website
Friends of AUMA 2016 Website
Compare current penalties to AUMA legalization
Learn what AUMA does and how it works for Californians
Drug Policy Action supports AUMA

January 6, 2016. Initiative 15-0103 (Amdt. #1).

The Attorney General of California has prepared the following title and summary of the chief purpose and points of the proposed measure:

MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Legalizes marijuana and hemp under state law. Designates state agencies to license and regulate marijuana industry. Imposes state excise tax on retail sales of marijuana equal to 15% of sales price, and state cultivation taxes on marijuana of $9.25 per ounce of flowers and $2.75 per ounce of leaves. Exempts medical marijuana from some taxation. Establishes packaging, labeling, advertising, and marketing standards and restrictions for marijuana products. Allows local regulation and taxation of marijuana. Prohibits marketing and advertising marijuana to minors. Authorizes resentencing and destruction of records for prior marijuana convictions.

Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Net reduced costs ranging from tens of millions of dollars to potentially exceeding $100 million annually to state and local governments related to enforcing certain marijuana-related offenses, handling the related criminal cases in the court system, and incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders. Net additional state and local tax revenues potentially ranging from the high hundreds of millions of dollars to over $1 billion annually related to the production and sale of marijuana. Most of these funds would be required to be spent for specific purposes such as substance use disorder education, prevention, and treatment. (15-0103.)

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AUMA 2016: Structural components, modification

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act of 2016

This section includes the structural aspects of AUMA, such as its Title and Summary • Legislative Analyst’s Report • Findings and Declarations • Intent and Purposes • Amendment and Repeal • Construction and Interpretation • Severability • Conflicts with Other Initiatives

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AUMA 2016: Personal Adult Use of Marijuana


The personal adult use section of the AUMA initiative establishes the parameters of legal use and responsible behavior, including: Legal adult use one ounce of marijuana and eight grams of concentrate, Home gardens, Grow six plants and keep or give away the harvest, No local bans on possession, sharing or discrete, enclosed gardens, Lawful amounts not basis for search or seizure, Responsible public behavior, Medical Marijuana exemptions, Infractions and tickets, Open container rule, Marijuana DUI, Age of Consent at 21 Years, Impairment issues, Workplace, Property rights, Medical Marijuana exemption

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AUMA 2016: Criminal penalties and social justice


This section of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act 2016 does not repeal the current criminal penalties on marijuana but it adjusts them downward and allows for more social justice. This section describes the remaining criminal penalties, downward resentencing for people with priors, destruction and expungement of records, early release from incarceration and juvenile justice.

View a PDF comparing current penalties to AUMA

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AUMA 2016: Commercial regulation and control


This section deals with the commercial regulation aspects including Definitions, Administration, Advisory committee, Enforcement, Licenses, Labeling requirements, Lab testing, Local regulation, Anti-monopoly / anti-price fixing, Renames bureau.

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AUMA 2016: Medical Marijuana Provisions


The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) retains the following state laws: Prop 215 Compassionate Use Act, HS 11362.5; AB 243 & 266, SB 643 MMRSA Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, Business and Health and Safety Codes; SB 420 Medical Marijuana Program Act, HS 11362.7 et seq., as amended by MMRSA. The statewide immunity on collective defense will expire in 2018, whether or not the AUMA initiative passes. In addition, AUMA provides for expanded privacy rights, more affordable state ID cards, protects custodial rights, allows for repeal of prohibition laws.

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AUMA 2016: Marijuana tax and use of funds


This section sets the taxes on commercial marijuana production and organizes its distribution and oversight, including: Excise tax of 15% on retail cost, Production tax $9.25 per ounce of flowers or $2.75 per ounce of leaf, Assessment of taxes, Inspections and accounting, Review, California Marijuana Tax Fund, Disbursements, Community grants, Youth programs and job creation   Continue reading AUMA 2016: Marijuana tax and use of funds

AUMA 2016: Industrial hemp in California


This section provides for the production and processing of industrial hemp as a small scale to large scale agricultural crop and manufacturing resource. It allows for more groups to conduct research and allows smaller projects down to 1/10 of an acre plots (formerly 2-5 acres minimum).

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