At first blush, it might appear as if the California Supreme Court docket’s ruling on a medical marijuana case would show an enormous deal for the state’s cannabis trade.

However that’s probably not the case, in accordance with one California cannabis legal professional who’s additionally an skilled in state environmental regulation, on which the ruling is centered.

In its ruling, the California excessive courtroom held that San Diego skipped a required environmental evaluation course of when it established a municipal medical marijuana regulation in 2014.

Legal professional Pamela Epstein, nonetheless, predicted the ruling gained’t be massively disruptive to the trade. Epstein is an skilled on the California Environmental High quality Act (CEQA), which is the state regulation on the middle of the case.

“It’s probably not a case that’s going to be significant,” Epstein mentioned Wednesday, “as a result of it’s been remanded again to the trial courts,” that means the case may nonetheless take years to play out.

“It’s about whether or not or not you need to look extra carefully concerning the potential impacts of a zoning adjustment” on the native stage for MJ corporations, she famous.

Nonetheless, the case has the potential to pressure San Diego to transform metropolis legal guidelines governing the cannabis trade, mentioned Jamie Corridor, one of many attorneys for the plaintiffs within the case.

“The courtroom of enchantment goes to vacate its ruling and problem the alternative ruling,” Corridor mentioned, “after which it’ll go to the trial courtroom, after which the query will likely be, ‘What does that imply?’

“Does that imply the ordinance will get invalidated? … These are open questions.”

Epstein additionally famous that different California cities and counties that could be taking the CEQA under consideration whereas crafting their very own new marijuana trade laws gained’t must study from San Diego’s errors – no less than for now.

That’s as a result of a significant cannabis reform bundle from the legislature – Meeting Invoice 97 – granted yet one more extension for localities so that they don’t must adjust to CEQA till July 2021. A earlier exemption for such compliance expired final month.

“So cities are nonetheless in the identical place: In case you’re going to control by an ordinance, that ordinance can nonetheless be exempted from CEQA (till July 2021),” Epstein mentioned.

Nonetheless, the ruling is a reminder that each one marijuana corporations in California will finally must be absolutely in compliance with CEQA and all native cannabis trade laws may even must take the Act under consideration, Epstein famous.

“For now, as a result of we’ve this restricted exemption that’s transferring ahead, that is nonetheless an creation of training” concerning CEQA compliance, Epstein mentioned.

John Schroyer could be reached at [email protected]