Oct 13, 2021
Gov. Newsom Vetoes Cannabis Billboard Advertising Bill

Governor Gavin Newsom took final action on a number of bills impacting California’s cannabis industry late last week, many of which the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) played a key role in passing. While the governor signed some CCIA-supported bills into law, he also vetoed a critically important bill for the legal cannabis industry.

AB 1302 would have affirmed the industry’s ability to lawfully advertise on billboards along state highways, so long as they are not within 15 miles of a state border. The CCIA worked tirelessly together with the bill author, Dr. Bill Quirk (Assemblymember, D-Hayward), and coalition partners, which included the California State Outdoor Advertising Association, Eaze, and Weedmaps, to ensure this bill’s successful passage.

“We are deeply disappointed and perplexed with the governor’s decision to veto this important legislation, which will hinder one of the only pathways for cannabis operators to lawfully advertise their businesses,” CCIA said in an email alert. “With this veto, cannabis operators in California will be unable to advertise on billboards along Interstate highways, or state highways that cross a California border, a confusing and vague standard that will only serve to undermine the regulated market and drive more consumers to the growing illicit cannabis market.”

In his veto message, Gov. Newsom committed to working with the author to “refine and advance” the State’s regulation of cannabis. CCIA wishes to thank Assemblymember Quirk for introducing this important bill and for his steadfast leadership on behalf of California’s legal cannabis industry.

Other cannabis bills signed by the governor last week include:

AB 1138 – This bill imposes a civil penalty of up to $30,000 on an individual who knowingly aids and abets unlicensed cannabis activity.

AB 1222 – This bill authorizes cannabis beverages to be packaged in glass containers of any color, or transparent, so long as they otherwise follow all laws and regulations regarding packaging and labeling.

SB 544 – This bill directs the Department of Cannabis Control to establish multiple standard operating procedures (SOPs) to be used by cannabis testing laboratories for purposes of cannabinoid testing.

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