FEBRUARY 2021 - Capitol Corner

The Legislature is in the first year of a two-year session and busy introducing new bills for the upcoming year with a February 19th deadline. The following are the newly cannabis-related bills introduced since last reported:

AB 229 (Holden D) Use of force instruction: private security guards: alarm company responders.

Summary: The Private Security Services Act prohibits a person required to be registered as a security guard from engaging in specified conduct, including, but not limited to, carrying or using a firearm unless they possess a valid and current firearms permit. The law requires a successful applicant for a firearm qualification card to complete a specified course in the carrying and use of firearms. This bill would, in addition, prohibit them from carrying or using a firearm or baton unless the security guard is an employee of a private patrol operator licensee, and commencing January 1, 2023, would require the course in the carrying and use of firearms to include training in the appropriate use of force, as specified.

AB 290 (Quirk D) Cannabis testing.

Summary: The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), which includes the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), enacted by the voters at the November 8, 2016, statewide general election, provides for the licensure and regulation of commercial cannabis activity. MAUCRSA prohibits cannabis and cannabis products from being sold unless a representative sample has been tested by a licensed testing laboratory in the final form in which the cannabis or cannabis product will be consumed or used. This bill would specify that for this purpose “final form” means the unpackaged product as it will be consumed and would specify that the cannabis or cannabis product does not have to be delivered to the licensed testing laboratory in the final retail packaging to be considered in its final form.

SB 235 (Allen D) Industrial hemp products.

Summary: Would require a manufacturer of dietary supplements and food that includes industrial hemp to be able to demonstrate that all parts of the plant used come from a state or country that has an established and approved industrial hemp program, as defined, that inspects or regulates hemp under a food safety program or equivalent criteria to ensure safety for human or animal consumption and that the industrial hemp cultivator or grower is in good standing and compliance with the governing laws of the state or country of origin.

SB 292 (Wilk R) Industrial hemp.

Summary: Current law requires specified registrants that grow industrial hemp, before the harvest of each crop, to obtain a laboratory test report indicating the THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) levels of a random sampling of the industrial hemp, and requires that sampling to occur no more than 30 days before harvest. Existing law requires a registrant that grows industrial hemp to destroy the industrial hemp grown upon receipt of a laboratory test report indicating a percentage concentration of THC that exceeds a specified level. Unless otherwise provided, a violation of these provisions is a crime. This bill would instead require the sampling to occur within a timeframe determined by the Department of Food and Agriculture.

State Extends Expiration for Medical Cannabis Cards

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order late-January extending the expiration date for medical marijuana cards indefinitely. The governor cited difficulties stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newsom’s order applies to medical cannabis cards that would have expired after March 4, 2020.

“We are deeply appreciative of the governor’s efforts to ensure that medical cannabis patients, many with severe and debilitating conditions, will continue to have access to legal, quality cannabis products. This action is also consistent with the principle, which the governor has embraced, that cannabis is an essential business and that these products must be accessible to everyone,” said Amy Jenkins with the California Cannabis Industry Association.

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