MARCH 2021 - Capitol Corner


DUE PROCESS? MOST POT BUSINESSES AREN’T ENTITLED TO IT, STATE AG SAYS.


State Attorney General Xavier Becerra argued in a court filing last week that provisional cannabis license holders do not have a right to due process under California law. The contention is significant because the vast majority of California’s cannabis businesses (83%) are still operating with provisional licenses, according to the state.


Becerra was responding to a lawsuit filed by Hayward-based Harrens Lab, which had its license revoked by the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) without an option to appeal the decision.


Government bureaucracy is the reason so many businesses are operating without permanent licenses in the first place. In 2018, the state launched a stopgap program in response to a permitting backlog. Now its beneficiaries are learning they aren’t entitled to the right of due process in the eyes of the state.


Source: CA Marijuana Policy Update


Legislative Update –

Below are all the cannabis-related bills introduced in 2021:


AB 45

(Aguiar-Curry 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.


AB 109

(Cooper D) Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act.

Summary: The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), among other things, consolidates the licensure and regulation of commercial medicinal and adult-use cannabis activities. Existing law establishes in state government a Cannabis Control Appeals Panel that consists of 5 members, appointed as specified. This bill would make a nonsubstantive change to the provision establishing the Cannabis Control Appeals Panel.


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 firearms qualification card to complete a specified course in the carrying and use of firearms. A violation of the act is a crime.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 or an employee of the state or a political subdivision of the state, 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.

AB 527

(Wood D) Controlled substances: cannabinoids.

Summary: The California Uniform Controlled Substances Act restricts the prescription, furnishing, possession, sale, and use of controlled substances, including cannabis and synthetic cannabinoid compounds, and makes a violation of those laws a crime, except as specified. Existing law, if one of specified changes in federal law regarding the controlled substance cannabidiol occurs, deems a physician, pharmacist, or other healing arts licensee who prescribes, furnishes, or dispenses a product composed of cannabidiol, in accordance with federal law, to be in compliance with state law governing those acts and provides that, upon the effective date of one of those changes in federal law, the prescription, furnishing, dispensing, transfer, transportation, possession, or use of that product in accordance with federal law is for a legitimate medical purpose and is authorized pursuant to state law. This bill would expand the provisions authorizing the prescription, furnishing, dispensing, transfer, transportation, possession, or use of cannabidiol products in accordance with federal law, upon the specified changes being made to federal law, to include all products with cannabinoids.


AB 725

(Ward D) Cannabis tax: penalty.

Summary: The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), imposes an excise tax on the purchase of cannabis and cannabis products at the rate of 15% of the average market price of any retail sale by a cannabis retailer, as specified. AUMA, and as additionally amended by statute, also imposes a cultivation tax upon all cultivators on all harvested cannabis that enters the commercial market, at specified rates per dry-weight ounce of cannabis flowers and leaves. AUMA imposes a monetary penalty, among other things, on a licensee who fails to pay the excise or cultivation tax of at least 1/2 of the amount of taxes not paid. AUMA requires these taxes and penalties, among other amounts collected, to be deposited in the California Cannabis Tax Fund, a continuously appropriated fund, for specified purposes required under AUMA. This bill would remove the monetary penalty imposed on a licensee who fails to pay the excise or cultivation tax enacted by AUMA.


AB 1014

(McCarty D) Cannabis: retailers: delivery: vehicles.

Summary: Would require, on or before January 1, 2023, the regulations established by the Bureau of Cannabis Control regarding the minimum security and transportation safety requirements to include regulations that would allow for different value tiers of cannabis goods to be carried during delivery of those cannabis goods to customers by employees of a licensed retailer based on the type of vehicle used for the delivery.


AB 1034

(Bloom D) Cannabis: retail preparation, sale, or consumption of noncannabis food and beverage products.

Summary: MAUCRSA gives the Bureau of Cannabis Control in the Department of Consumer Affairs the power, duty, purpose, responsibility, and jurisdiction to regulate commercial cannabis activity in the state as provided by the act. Current administrative law specifies that a licensed retailer may sell only cannabis accessories, the licensee’s branded merchandise, and cannabis goods. MAUCRSA does not supersede or limit the authority of a local jurisdiction to adopt and enforce local ordinances to regulate commercial cannabis businesses within that local jurisdiction. Current law authorizes a local jurisdiction to allow for the smoking, vaporizing, and ingesting of cannabis or cannabis products on the premises of a licensed retailer or microbusiness, subject to specified restrictions. This bill, subject to those specified restrictions, would authorize a local jurisdiction to allow for the preparation or sale of noncannabis food or beverage products, as specified, by a licensed retailer or microbusiness in the area where the consumption of cannabis is allowed.


AB 1138

(Rubio, Blanca D) Unlawful cannabis activity: enforcement.

Summary: Would impose a civil penalty on persons aiding and abetting unlicensed commercial cannabis activity of up to $30,000 for each violation. The bill would prohibit filing an action for civil penalties brought against a person pursuant to MAUCRSA 3 years after the first date of discovery of the violation by a licensing authority or a participating agency, whichever is earlier or earliest.


AB 1222

(Chen R) Cannabis.

Summary: The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), an initiative measure approved as Proposition 64 at the November 8, 2016, statewide general election, authorizes a person who obtains a state license under AUMA to engage in commercial adult-use cannabis activity pursuant to that license and applicable local ordinances. The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), among other things, consolidates the licensure and regulation of commercial medicinal and adult-use cannabis activities, including retail commercial cannabis activity. Current law requires the Bureau of Cannabis Control to establish minimum security and transportation safety requirements for the commercial distribution and delivery of cannabis and cannabis products. This bill would make nonsubstantive changes to those provisions.


AB 1302

(Quirk D) Outdoor advertising of cannabis.

Summary: Would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation relating to outdoor advertising of cannabis.


AB 1305

(Lackey R) The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act: exemption for DEA-approved commercial cannabis activity.

Summary: Current federal law, the Controlled Substances Act, generally prohibits commercial cannabis activity, but authorizes the cultivation and distribution of cannabis for research purposes, as specified, pursuant to a registration with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), as specified. This bill would exempt from MAUCRSA activity performed pursuant to that DEA registration.


AB 1435

(Carrillo D) Noncannabis cannabinoids.

Summary: Would impose testing and labeling requirements on products that are, or contain, one or more psychoactive or nonpsychoactive cannabinoids that are derived from a plant that is not cannabis, referred to as noncannabis cannabinoids or NCCs. The bill would require the State Department of Public Health to review each noncannabis cannabinoid in use in products for sale in the state to determine whether the NCC is psychoactive and to determine the safety and efficacy of the substance. The bill would require the department to publish a list that categorizes NCCs as approved psychoactive, approved, nonpsychoactive, or not approved, as specified.


AB 1514

(O'Donnell D) Cannabis transportation and delivery.

Summary: Would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would relate to the transportation and delivery of cannabis and cannabis products in this state.


AB 1525

(Garcia, Cristina D) Cannabis provisional licenses.

Summary: MAUCRSA, until January 1, 2022, authorizes a licensing authority, in its sole discretion, to issue a provisional license if the applicant has submitted a completed license application to the licensing authority, including evidence that compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) or local cannabis ordinances is underway, if applicable, as specified. This bill would make nonsubstantive changes to the provisions authorizing a licensing authority to issue provisional licenses.


SB 59

(Caballero D) Cannabis licenses.

Summary: MAUCRSA, until January 1, 2022, authorizes a licensing authority, in its sole discretion, to issue a provisional license if the applicant has submitted a completed license application to the licensing authority, including evidence that compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) or local cannabis ordinances is underway, if applicable, as specified. This bill would extend the repeal date of these provisional license provisions to July 1, 2028. By extending provisional licensure, the applications for which are required to be signed under penalty of perjury, the bill would expand the scope of the crime of perjury, and would thereby impose a state-mandated local program.


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.


SB 311

(Hueso D) Compassionate Access to Medical Cannabis Act or Ryan’s Law.

Summary: Current law, known as the Medical Marijuana Program, requires counties to administer an identification card program for qualified patients and provides immunity from arrest to qualified patients with a valid identification card or designated primary caregivers, within prescribed limits. This bill, the Compassionate Access to Medical Cannabis Act or Ryan’s Law, would prohibit specified types of health care facilities from prohibiting or interfering with a terminally ill patient’s use of medicinal cannabis within the health care facility, subject to certain restrictions. The bill would require a patient to provide the health care facility with a copy of their medical marijuana card or written documentation that the use of medicinal cannabis is recommended by a physician.


SB 398

(Skinner D) Cannabis licenses: cannabis licensing agreements: cannabis excise tax.

Summary: Would authorize a local jurisdiction to enter into a cannabis licensing agreement with the bureau to require the Bureau of Cannabis Control to administer local commercial cannabis licensing, permitting, or other regulatory activities on behalf of the local jurisdiction. The bill would require the agreement to meet specified conditions, including that the agreement expires no less than 5 years from its operative date, and would require the local jurisdiction designate applicable zoning areas for commercial cannabis activity.


SB 544

(Laird D) Cannabis testing.

Summary: The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), authorizes the Legislature to amend by majority vote certain provisions of the act to implement specified substantive provisions, provided that the amendments are consistent with and further the purposes and intent of AUMA. This bill would implement the above provisions of AUMA by requiring the bureau, on or before January 1, 2023, to establish specific testing standards for the compounds and contaminants that are required to be reported on the certificate of analysis.


SB 603

(Bradford D) Cannabis license deferral and waiver fee program: tax credit.

Summary: MAUCRSA required a state licensing authority, on or before January 1, 2021, to develop and implement a program to provide a deferral or waiver for an application fee, a licensing fee, or a renewal fee for a needs-based applicant or needs-based licensee, as specified. Current law made the operation of those provisions contingent upon an appropriation in the annual Budget Act or another statute for purposes of those provisions. This bill would remove the above-mentioned date and the appropriation condition on the operation of those provisions thereby requiring a state licensing authority to develop and implement that fee deferral or waiver program.

Recent Posts