Compliance & Regulations

California Legislature Prepares for Cannabis Legalization

November 20, 2017 / By 3C Team

California’s commercial cannabis legalization will take effect on January 1, 2018, and the state legislature is hard at work making final revisions and considering complementary cannabis legislation. Here’s a look at what’s on the table:

California State Legislature - Cannabis Legalization

Cannabis Legislation Signed into Law

SJR-5 Urging Congress to Reschedule Cannabis: A symbolic gesture urging the federal legislature to reschedule cannabis. The measure has been approved and chaptered.

AB-1159 Legal Services for Cannabis Businesses Allows attorneys to work with cannabis business clients and establish that doing so is in keeping with the highest legal standards.

SB-65 Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis: Amends current law and expands the definition of driving under the influence to include “smoking or ingesting marijuana or any marijuana product.” Cannabis use while operating a vehicle is now punishable as an infraction.

SB-663 Defining “Attractive to Children”: Defines types of packaging or labeling considered attractive to children and bans them. For example, packaging cannot resemble the packaging of another product (such as candy bars and gummy bears) commonly found in grocery stores, etc.

AB 133 Cannabis Regulation: Makes changes to existing cannabis regulations. Allows both medical and non-medical cannabis business licensees to operate on the same premises, and contains additional provisions adjusting how and when California’s cannabis tax will be levied.

Cannabis Legislation Awaiting Further Action

AB-1578 Noncooperation with Federal Law Enforcement: The most controversial piece of cannabis legislation on the docket, this bill would prohibit state law enforcement from cooperating with federal efforts that could lead to raiding legal state cannabis businesses without a judge-signed court order. The bill’s supporters say it would protect legal cannabis businesses in a hostile federal environment, but critics worry it could instead provoke federal action.

SB-162 Banned Cannabis-themed Merchandise: Would ban the sale or give-away of branded cannabis company merchandise. The bill’s sponsor says the measure is necessary to protect children from potentially harmful marketing, but critics argue it would hurt small businesses and limit free speech.

AB-64 Trademarks and For-profit Cannabis Collectives: Would allow California to issue trademarks to cannabis companies, and allow cannabis collectives to operate as for-profit entities.

AB-175 Packaging Review & Oversight of Cannabis Edibles: Would require cannabis edibles producers to submit packaging for review and approval before releasing products for public consumption; a processing fee would be required.

AB-1002 The Center for Cannabis Research: Would expand the University of California Cannabis Research Program to allow for cannabis cultivation for research purposes.

Bills Vetoed

AB-350 Banning Shapes Of Cannabis Products: Would have banned cannabis products from being made in the shape of a person, animal, or insect, but was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown. Critics argued the measure was unnecessary over-regulation.

AB 725 and SB 386 Smoking in Parks: Two similar bills that would have banned smoking of any kind (cannabis, tobacco, and e-cigarettes) at California public beaches and state parks, and subjected violators to a $100 fine. Both bills were vetoed.

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