July 11, 2022

California Legislative

The 2022 California Legislative Session is a busy one, with a total of 2,020 bills, introducing 37 cannabis-related bills for this 2022 Session.

In addition to the legislative proposals being pushed in the Senate and Assembly, Governor Newsom just signed the 2022-23 state budget and several trailer bills to implement it. AB 195, the cannabis trailer bill, implemented multiple tax-related measures among other things, including a three-year suspension of the cultivation tax, tax credits for high-road employers and equity operators, and a vendor compensation program to allow qualified cannabis equity retailers to retain 20% of the excise tax they collect. The Legislature is now on recess until August 1 when they will make their final push to pass outstanding legislation before the end of the legislative session at the end of the month.  Here is what else is happening in California cannabis legislation:

AB 1646 would authorize cannabis beverages to be packaged in containers of any material that are clear or any color. Status: In Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 1656 would allow cannabis licensees to manufacture, distribute, or sell hemp products. Status: On Senate Floor.

AB 1690 would prohibit a person or entity from selling, giving, or furnishing to another person of any age in this state a single-use electronic cigarette or a single-use integrated cannabis vaporizer. Status: On the Assembly inactive file.

AB 1706 would help get criminal convictions involving cannabis reduced or dismissed. Status: In Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 1725 would amend the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), an initiative measure approved as Proposition 64, to make it a felony, punishable by 16 months or two or three years in county jail, for a person over 18 years of age to plant, cultivate, harvest, dry, or process more than six living cannabis plants. Status: This legislation is no longer moving; it did not receive a hearing in the first house and is therefore considered dead.

AB 1885 would prohibit the California Veterinary Medical Board from disciplining a veterinarian who recommends the use of cannabis on an animal for potential therapeutic effect or health supplementation purposes, unless the veterinarian is employed by or has an agreement with a cannabis licensee. Status: In Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 1894 would place restrictions on the packaging, labeling, advertisement, and marketing of integrated cannabis vaporizers. Status: In Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 1954 would prohibit a physician and surgeon from automatically denying treatment or medication to a qualified patient based solely on a positive drug screen for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or report of medical cannabis use without first completing a case-by-case evaluation of the patient that includes a determination that the qualified patient’s use of medical cannabis is medically significant to the treatment or medication. Status: On Senate Floor

AB 2102 would impose a civil penalty of up to $30,000 per day on landlords who provide property for the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing, distributing, or selling cannabis. Status: This legislation is no longer moving; the author withdrew the bill from the Senate Judiciary Committee.

AB 2150 would require the California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research to establish a study examining the effects of cannabis products that are currently in the commercial cannabis stream of commerce and, in consultation with the Department of the California Highway Patrol, evaluating the public safety consequences of cannabis use and improving understanding of the best methods for determining related driving impairments. Status: This legislation is no longer moving; the author withdrew the bill from the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development.

AB 2188 would amend the California Fair Employment and Housing Act to make it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment, or otherwise penalize a person, if the discrimination is based upon the person’s use of cannabis off the job and away from the workplace or, with prescribed exceptions, upon an employer-required drug screening test that has found the person to have non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites in their urine, hair, or bodily fluids. Status: In Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2210 would prohibit the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) from denying an application for a state cannabis temporary event license solely on the basis that there is a license issued pursuant to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act. The bill would require all on-and-off sale privileges of alcoholic beverages at the venue to be suspended for the duration of the event. Status: In Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2506 would suspend the imposition of the California cultivation tax from July 1, 2023, to July 1, 2028, and would discontinue the requirement that the department adjust the cultivation tax rate for inflation for the 2023 calendar year and during the suspension. The bill would increase, from July 1, 2023, until July 1, 2028, the excise tax by an additional percentage that the Department of Finance estimates will generate the amount of revenue that would have been collected pursuant to the cultivation tax. Status: This legislation is no longer moving; it did not receive a hearing in the first house and is therefore considered dead.

AB 2568 would provide that it is not a crime for individuals and firms to provide insurance and related services to persons licensed to engage in commercial cannabis activity. Status: On Senate Floor.

AB 2595 would require the California State Department of Social Services to update all regulations relating to the investigation of a minor to ensure that, when a social worker is investigating an alleged case of child abuse or neglect, a parent’s use or possession of cannabis is treated in the same manner as a parent’s use or possession of alcohol and legally prescribed medication. Status: In Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2691 would require the DCC to issue temporary event cultivator retail licenses that authorize the license holder to sell cannabis or cannabis products, containing cannabis cultivated by that licensee, at specified state temporary events. Status: Ordered to Assembly inactive file at the request of Assembly Member Wood.

AB 2728 would increase the civil penalty on a person engaging in commercial cannabis activity without a license to four times the amount of the license fee. Status: In Senate Judiciary Committee The bill failed passage in committee however reconsideration was granted.

AB 2792 would adjust the California cannabis excise tax and cultivation tax. Status: This legislation is no longer moving; it did not receive a hearing in the first house and is therefore considered dead.

AB 2824 would authorize a cannabis retailer to conduct sales by curbside pickup and require the area designated for curbside pickup to be monitored and recorded by the retailer’s video surveillance system. Status:  This legislation is no longer moving; it did not receive a hearing in the first house and is therefore considered dead. Similar provisions were included in recent proposed regulations by the DCC.

AB 2844 would add acting as a cannabis caterer for a private event to the definition of commercial cannabis activity and would authorize the DCC to issue a state cannabis caterer license authorizing the licensee to serve cannabis or cannabis products at a private event. Status: Died in Assembly Appropriations Committee.

SB 988 would repeal the requirement that healthcare facilities permitting patient use of medical cannabis comply with other drug and medication requirements and the requirement that those facilities be subject to enforcement actions by the State Department of Public Health. Status: On Assembly Consent Calendar.

SB 1074 would discontinue the imposition of the California cannabis cultivation tax and would increase the cannabis excise tax. Status: Ordered to Senate inactive file on request of Senator McGuire.

SB 1097 would require a new warning label with California cannabis products, a warning brochure, and warnings in cannabis advertisements. Status: In Assembly Appropriations Committee.

SB 1148 would provide that California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) does not apply to the issuance of a California state cannabis license if the applicant follows all local ordinances that regulate commercial cannabis activity and if the local jurisdiction has filed a notice of exemption or a notice of determination. Status: In Assembly Appropriations Committee.

SB 1186 would enact the Medicinal Cannabis Patients’ Right of Access Act, which would prohibit a local jurisdiction from adopting or enforcing any regulation that prohibits, or unreasonably restricts, the sale of medicinal cannabis. Status: In Assembly Appropriations Committee.

SB 1281 would discontinue the California cannabis cultivation tax and reduce the cannabis excise tax to 5%. Status: In Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation.

SB 1293 would allow a tax credit to a cannabis equity applicant or licensee. Status: In Assembly Appropriations Committee.

SB 1326 would authorize the California Governor to enter into an interstate agreement authorizing medicinal or adult-use commercial cannabis activity between entities licensed under the laws of the other state. Status: Referred to Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

SB 1426 would make it a misdemeanor or felony to plant, cultivate, harvest, dry, or process more than 50 living cannabis plants, or any part thereof, and where that activity involves unauthorized tapping into a water conveyance or storage infrastructure or digging or extracting groundwater from an unpermitted well. Status: Died in Senate Appropriations Committee.

Bonus Federal Legislation: On April 1, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives again passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (the MORE Act), a proposed piece of federal legislation that would, among other things, remove cannabis as a “scheduled” drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Status: Received in the Senate and Read Twice and Referred to the Committee on Finance.

If you have questions about how cannabis legislation in California will impact your business, contact our cannabis law firm specialists at Manzuri Law today by phone at (310) 912-2960 or online today.

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