FAIRFIELD — California, one of the original eight states to legalize medical cannabis use, received a “B+” in the 2017 annual report by Americans for Safe Access.
Overall, the organization said there is still a lot of work to do, as none of the 44 states that allow medical marijuana use received an “A” grade. However, the number of states receiving a “B” or higher went from 11 to 19.
“Medical cannabis laws are moving in a positive direction, but only a handful of the 44 medical cannabis states are truly meeting the needs of patients, and there are still six states where cannabis remains completely illegal for patients,” Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, said in a statement released with the annual report.
The grades are based on a formula that reviews the rights of patients, legal constraints and overall accessibility to medical cannabis. California also received a “B+” grade in 2016, the first year the report came out. Americans for Safe Access was formed in 2002.
“In short, we’re seeing a lot of progress, but the fight is far from over. As of 2017, no state cannabis laws are within the ‘A’ range,” Sherer said in the statement. “Only a small minority of states currently include ASA’s criteria of protections and rights that we believe all patients should be afforded under the law.”
The report is not broken down by regions or counties within a state. Solano County has limited access as Vallejo is the only city in the county where medical marijuana can be legally accessed. The city has 10 retail dispensaries.
California’s highest grading (97) came in the categories of “Access” and “Functionality,” while its lowest grading (59) was given for “Product Safety,” the report states.
The poor grade does not mean the marijuana is not safe, according to a written response to a question by the Daily Republic. Instead, Americans for Safe Access said California was docked points on several regulatory fronts.
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