California has had a long history with cannabis legislature dating way back to 1996 when the state first passed its medical marijuana laws. Here are a few of the cannabis bills that passed the legislative session that ended on Friday, September 10th.
The current legislation is on Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk awaiting his signature, though he has until October 10th to sign the bills into law. The bills will guide everything from hemp and CBD regulation to cannabis advertising. Below is a breakdown of each bill awaiting a signature.
AB 45 — Assembly Bill 45 is designed to protect consumers. It’ll require that manufacturers of hemp supplements using industrial hemp register with the State Department of Public Health to prove that all of the materials they source come from legitimate sources. The materials and producers must be compliant with “an established and approved industrial hemp program.”
The reason for the bill is that there is very little regulatory framework for CBD products, and there is a concert for unregulated hemp products in the state. Many people are unknowingly consuming these unregulated and untested products, so the state wants to ensure that regulated and tested alternatives are available to them.
AB 1138 — Assembly Bill 1138 is designed to crack down on people working in the black market. To curb the appeal of the illicit cannabis market, the bill will make it so that people caught committing unlicensed commercial cannabis activities are fined up to three times the cost of a cannabis license fee, or up to $30,000.
California’s black market cannabis industry is up to 3x larger than the state’s regulated market, so this cannabis legislature will allow law enforcement to penalize those assisting in the illicit market.
AB 1222 — Assembly Bill 1222 regards cannabis packaging materials. This bill will allow people who make THC or CBD-infused beverages to package and sell them in glass containers that are clear or any color. This is in an attempt to reduce some of the plastic waste the cannabis industry is known for while also packaging products in a safer material.
AB 1302 — Assembly Bill 1302 would amend the current cannabis advertising laws in a few ways. For starters, it would make it illegal for a cannabis license holder to advertise on a billboard within 15 miles of the California border or interstate highways that cross the border. It would also restore some of the advertising protections, namely false advertising, included in the state’s recreational law but later challenged in a lawsuit.
SB 166 — State Bill 166 makes it so that the Department of Cannabis Control has to create a program that provides waivers for licensing, renewal, and cannabis application fees.
SB 292 — State Bill 292 changes the face of the California hemp industry, making new hemp testing requirements. It also changes the makeup of the California Industrial Hemp Advisory Board.
SB 311 — State Bill 311, AKA Ryan’s Law or the Compassionate Access to Medical Cannabis Act, would make it so that health care facilities allow terminally ill patients to consume medical marijuana in their facilities. This cannabis legislature is designed to provide relief, compassion, and dignity to terminally-ill California residents.
Even though California has had medical marijuana since 1996, people in healthcare facilities in their most profound suffering can’t use cannabis, which is proven to be effective as a prescribed treatment. Instead, healthcare facilities give their patients heavy opiates, which rob them of the joy of their final moments with their loved ones.
SB 544 — State Bill 544 requires that the Department of Cannabis Control implements a standardized cannabis testing method for all laboratories to use. Currently, there is no standard testing, so test results vary from laboratory to laboratory.
Even though cannabis products are tested rigorously to be deemed safe, the cannabis industry in California still lacks a uniform rule. Consistency and uniformity in testing are vital to the industry.
Ultimately, Gov. Newsom has a lot of cannabis legislature to sift through before October 10th. Keep an eye out for our legislative updates on our blog to stay in the loop as these bills develop.