California now has a new set of cannabis-related laws. Governor Gavin Newsom signed ten wide-ranging cannabis bills that address everything from tax deductions for cannabis businesses to allowing parents and guardians to administer medical cannabis to their children on school premises.
“High taxes on legal cannabis products are fueling the black market by making illegal products significantly more affordable,” Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer told Cannabis Wire. Jones-Sawyer represents California’s 59th District, which includes most of South Los Angeles.
“In my district alone, there are over 1,700 illegal dispensaries, in part due to regulations that make it difficult for legal businesses to compete. It’s time we help the legal cannabis market thrive in a safe environment and lower the strain of high taxes.”
Still, a couple of bills did not make the cut. The Compassionate Access to Medical Cannabis Act or Ryan’s Law, or Senate Bill 305, for example, which would have allowed terminally-ill patients to use medical cannabis inside healthcare facilities, was vetoed by Newsom just a day before the October 13 deadline to approve or veto bills.
Due to conflicting federal and state laws on cannabis’ legality, health facilities that receive payments from the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services could be at risk of losing their funding if the bill became a law, Newsom said about Senate Bill 305 in a statement.
“This bill would create significant conflicts between federal and state law that cannot be taken lightly,” Newsom said. “Therefore, I begrudgingly veto this bill.”
(Read Cannabis Wire’s coverage of the bills that were considered in California during the 2019 legislative cycle here and here. And check out our resource page on cannabis in healthcare facilities here.)
The full list of bills signed or vetoed by Newsom:
- AB 37: allows legal cannabis businesses to deduct business expenses such as rent and utilities from the state personal income taxes.
- AB 404: allows testing laboratories to amend certificates of analysis of cannabis products to correct “minor errors” as defined by the Bureau of Cannabis Control, as well as retest samples under certain circumstances.
- AB 420: authorizes the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California San Diego to host the California Cannabis Research Program.
- AB 858: allows outdoor cultivation under a Type 1C or “specialty cottage” license of cannabis at a maximum threshold of 2,500 square feet of total canopy size.
- AB 1291: requires cannabis businesses with 20 or more employees to enter into labor peace agreements.
- AB 1529: establishes labeling requirements for cannabis vaporizers and cartridges.
- SB 34: exempts retail cannabis businesses who provide free cannabis products to certain qualified medical cannabis patients from paying state taxes. (Read Cannabis Wire’s coverage of the bill here.)
- SB 185: prohibits the advertising, labeling, packaging, or marketing of cannabis or the source of cannabis in products as being from a particular county or appellation in California unless they are 100 percent sourced from that geographical area.
- SB 595: requires the state’s licensing authority to provide deferrals or waivers on application fees, licensing fees, and renewal fees, to need-based business license applicants.
- SB 223: allows parents and guardians to administer non-smokable forms of medical cannabis to their children on school premises.