On Monday the secretary of state's office cleared supporters to begin circulating petitions to put an initiative on the June or November ballot next year.
Proponents argue that pot growers should be treated the same as vineyard owners or micro-brewers.
Those who grow marijuana for their own use wouldn't be taxed, but those who sell it would be regulated by the state.
Activists say the latest effort stands a better chance than Proposition 19, which fell 6 percentage points short of the majority vote it needed last November. That initiative would have made California the first state to legalize recreational marijuana use and sales.
Proponents will need to gather 504,760 signatures by Dec. 19.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.