California Legislative Update 10 2 2018
California Legislative Update 10 2 2018 – The period for California Gov. Jerry Brown to veto or sign on to legislation has come to a close. Over the weekend, Brown determined the fate of dozens of bills, and his final legislative updates point to significant decisions that will affect how the cannabis policy continues to take shape in the country’s most populous state and largest legal cannabis market. Here’s a rundown:
• Under AB 1793, introduced by Assemblymember Rob Banta (D-Alameda), the Department of Justice will review the state’s criminal history information database to identify past cannabis convictions that are eligible to be expunged. As Banta pointed out in a statement earlier this year, when Proposition 64 passed in 2016, it contained provisions that reduced or eliminated many cannabis law violations. However, the majority of eligible individuals have not gone through the process of petitioning the courts. Many, said Banta, are unaware of the opportunity to change their records, while those who are in the know struggle to navigate the legal system’s bureaucracies. As a result, he added, some district attorneys opted to automatically reduce or dismiss eligible cannabis convictions, without requiring individuals to initiate the process. Others, including Los Angeles DA Jackie Lacey, refused to follow suit. Assemblymember Banta’s bill builds on local efforts to streamline the process and places the responsibility on the state.
• AB 2799, introduced by Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), will require cannabis business applicants to employ one supervisor and one employee who has completed the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health course within one year of receiving a license or renewal.
• And under state Sen. Scott Wilk’s (R-Santa Clarita) SB 1409, “industrial hemp” will no longer be defined in the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act as a fiber or oilseed crop. The bill will also delete the requirement that an application for registration indicate whether a seed cultivar is being grown for its grain or fiber, or as a dual purpose crop. Wilk’s bill will also require that samples of industrial hemp be collected for THC testing with the grower or seed breeder present, with procedures established by the Department of Food and Agriculture. This legislation will also authorize the aforementioned department to establish and carry out an agricultural pilot program pursuant to the federal Agricultural Act of 2014.
• The Governor struck down AB 2255, introduced byAssemblymember Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), which would have authorized law enforcement to issue citations for administrative violations of California’s Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis and Regulation Safety Act (MAUCRSA). This bill, said Brown in a statement, is “premature.” TheBureau of Cannabis Control, he added, is in the process of developing regulations in conjunction with the California Highway Patrol.
• Brown also vetoed a bill that sought to ensure that compassionate-care programs are not subject to state taxes intended for businesses. Introduced by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), the legislation would have created a non-commercial license for qualified compassionate-care programs in California. In a statement explaining his decision, Brown said that the bill contains provisions that conflict with MAUCRSA and that “providing free cannabis to a person with only a doctor’s recommendation undermines these rules and the intent of the voters.”