California Strengthens Cannabis Laws
Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed several measures that he says strengthen California’s cannabis laws, expand the legal cannabis market and redress the harms of cannabis prohibition.
Though the state has made significant progress since the legalization of cannabis, local opposition, rigid bureaucracy and federal prohibition continue to pose challenges to the industry and consumers. The governor is calling on legislators and other policymakers to redouble efforts to address and eliminate these barriers.
“For too many Californians, the promise of cannabis legalization remains out of reach,” said Gov. Newsom. “These measures build on the important strides our state has made toward this goal, but much work remains to build an equitable, safe and sustainable legal cannabis industry. I look forward to partnering with the Legislature and policymakers to fully realize cannabis legalization in communities across California.”
The governor signed SB 1326 by Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Merced), which creates a process for California to enter into agreements with other states to allow cannabis transactions with entities outside California. SB 1186 by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) preempts local bans on medicinal cannabis delivery, expanding patients’ access to legal, regulated cannabis products.
The governor also signed two bills to further unwind California’s failed history of cannabis prohibition. AB 1706 by Assemblymember Mia Bonta (D-Oakland) ensures that Californians with old cannabis-related convictions will finally have those convictions sealed. And AB 2188 by Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) protects Californians from employment discrimination based on their use of cannabis off-the-clock and away from the workplace.
These bills build on the administration’s efforts to strengthen California’s cannabis legalization framework. As part of this year’s state budget, the governor signed legislation to provide tax relief to consumers and the cannabis industry; support equity businesses; strengthen enforcement tools against illegal cannabis operators; bolster worker protections; expand access to legal retail; and protect youth, environmental and public safety programs funded by cannabis tax revenue.
To expedite policy reforms that prioritize and protect California consumers’ health and safety, the governor has directed the California Department of Public Health to convene subject matter experts to survey current scientific research and policy mechanisms to address the growing emergence of high-potency cannabis and hemp products. The governor has also directed the Department of Cannabis Control to further the scientific understanding of potency and its related health impacts by prioritizing the funding of research related to cannabis potency through its existing public university grants.
A full list of cannabis-related bills signed by the Governor can be found below:
- AB 1706 by Assemblymember Mia Bonta (D-Oakland) – Cannabis crimes: resentencing.
- AB 1646 by Assemblymember Phillip Chen (R-Yorba Linda) – Cannabis packaging: beverages.
- AB 1885 by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) – Cannabis and cannabis products: animals: veterinary medicine.
- AB 1894 by Assemblymember Luz Rivas (D-Arleta) – Integrated cannabis vaporizer: packaging, labeling, advertisement, and marketing.
- AB 2210 by Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) – Cannabis: state temporary event licenses: venues licensed by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control: unsold inventory.
- AB 2188 by Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) – Discrimination in employment: use of cannabis.
- AB 2568 by Assemblymember Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) – Cannabis: insurance providers.
- AB 2925 by Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) – California Cannabis Tax Fund: spending reports.
- SB 1186 by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) – Medicinal Cannabis Patients’ Right of Access Act.
- SB 1326 by Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Merced) – Cannabis: interstate agreements.
For the text of the bills, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.