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Legal Weed: California’s Lawmakers Return From Summer Break to Full Agenda of Marijuana Policies

California’s Legislature was set to reconvene Aug. 6, 2018, following a brief summer recess, and lawmakers will have their hands full with 17 cannabis-related bills on the agenda. Lawmakers will hear bills that address a wide range of issues, including cannabis convictions and re-sentencing, event licenses, as well as transportation regulation and protection. Here is a full rundown of all the bills that have hearings this week.

AB 1744 — After-school Programs

AB 1744 proposes to use cannabis tax revenues to fund grants for the After-School Education and Safety Program. Schools would qualify for grants for after-school programs that include youth development activities that promote healthful lifestyle choices and behaviors in order to prevent or reduce substance abuse, and improve school retention and performance. AB 1744 was scheduled for a hearing Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 1793 — Resentencing for cannabis convictions

AB 1793 would require the California Department of Justice (DOJ) to review all convictions that could potentially be eligible for resentencing under the Adult Use of Marijuana Act of 2016 (AUMA), or Proposition 64, before July 1, 2019. Additionally, prosecutors would be allowed to challenge the resentencing if the convicted person does not fully meet the eligibility requirements or presents an “unreasonable risk to public safety.” AB 1793 was scheduled for a hearing Monday, Aug. 6, 2018 before the Senate Appropriations Committee. If passed, the bill,  will move on to the Senate floor.

AB 1863 — Personal Income Tax Deductions

AB 1863 would allow California-licensed, state-compliant cannabis businesses to deduct business expenses under the Personal Income Tax Law. If passed, the bill would go into effect immediately. AB 1863 was scheduled for a hearing Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, before the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.

AB 1996 — The California Cannabis Research Program

AB 1996 would establish the California Cannabis Research Program to develop studies and conduct cannabis research. The bill proposes to allocate resources from the California Tax Fund to cultivate cannabis for research purposes. AB 1996 was scheduled for a hearing Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, before the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill has received bipartisan support and was unanimously passed in the Assembly in May 2018.

AB 2020 — Temporary Event Licenses for Onsite Sales

AB 2020 would authorize a state temporary event license to be issued to a licensee for an event to be held at any venue zoned or approved by a local licensing authority for events. The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) has already created regulations governing the issuance of a state temporary cannabis event license. The bill would authorize onsite cannabis sales and consumption for adults 21 and older, as long as all participating retailers or microbusiness in the event are licensed under the Medicinal and Adult-use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA). AB 2020 was scheduled for a hearing Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2215 — Veterinary Cannabis Medicine Ban

AB 2215 would prohibit a veterinarian from recommending or administering cannabis to an animal patient. The Veterinary Medicine Practice Act provides licensing for veterinarians and regulates veterinary medicine practices the Veterinary Medical Board. Under AB 221, the board would be authorized to revoke or suspend a license, or to assess a fine for violating a controlled substances law. The bill was scheduled for a hearing Monday, August 6, 2018, before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2255 — Transportation Limits

AB 2255 would prohibit licensed distributors from transporting cannabis that exceeds the amount stated on a shipping manifest. The bill would impose a fine of $500 for the first violation, then increasing by $50 increments for each subsequent violation. Also, the bill would prevent law enforcement from seizing cannabis in transport, unless officers have probable cause that can prove a criminal violation has occurred. AB 2255 has also received bipartisan support, passing unanimously in the Assembly with a vote of 78-0. The bill was scheduled for a hearing Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2402 — Personal Information Privacy

AB 2402 is a bill to prohibit a MAUCRSA licensee from sharing a consumer’s personal information to a third party, unless the consumer has consented to the licensee’s disclosure of the personal information. AB 2402 would also prevent a licensee from denying a consumer a product or service for denying consent. The bill was scheduled for a hearing Monday, August 6, 2018, before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2555 — Legal Language of Cannabis

AB 2555 proposes to amend sections of the California Business and Professions code by adding definitions for the terms, “immature cannabis plant,” “mature cannabis plant,” and “plant.” Additionally, instead of requiring a unique identifier to be issued for each cannabis plant, the bill would require a unique identifier for each mature cannabis plant. AB 2555 was scheduled for a hearing on Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2641 — Temporary Event Licenses for Sales

AB 2641 would allow the BCC to issue a temporary cannabis retailer license to qualified manufacturers or cultivators for the sale and delivery of cannabis and cannabis products to consumers at a licensed temporary event. The bill would require an application be sent to the BCC, including a list, signed under penalty of perjury, of all licensed participating business. AB 2641 was scheduled for a hearing Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2899 — Cannabis Advertisement Restrictions

AB 2899 would prohibit a licensee from publishing advertisements or marketing materials for cannabis and cannabis products under a suspended license. The bill has received bipartisan support in the Assembly, passing unanimously 72-0 in June 2018, before the summer recess. AB 2899 was scheduled for a hearing Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2914 — Cannabis in alcoholic beverages

AB 2914 would prohibit a cannabis licensee from producing or selling cannabis products in alcoholic beverages. This bill would also prohibit an alcoholic beverage licensee from selling, offering, or providing cannabis or cannabis products. Additionally, it would permit the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control to suspend or revoke a license if a violation is found. AB 2914 was scheduled for a hearing Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2980 — Common Areas Shared by Cannabis Businesses

AB 2980 would require that provisions of the MAUCRSA not forbid two or more licensed premises from sharing common-use areas, as long as all licensees comply with the requirements of the act. The bill was scheduled for a hearing on Monday, Aug. 6 2018, before the Senate Appropriations committee.

AB 924 — Cannabis Regulation on Native American Tribal Lands

AB 924 is a bill to establish the Cannabis Regulatory Enforcement Act for Tribal Entities (CREATE Act) and would require a tribe entering into a tribal cannabis regulatory agreement with the governor to establish a tribal cannabis regulatory commission or agency with a tribe’s established governmental process. All tribal cannabis regulatory agreements and subsequent tribal commissions and agencies must be approved by the Legislature. AB 924 was scheduled for a hearing Monday, Aug. 6, 2018 before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

SB 1459 — County Agricultural Commission Reporting

SB 1459 would require county agricultural commissioners to include cannabis among reports of the condition, acreage, production, and value of agricultural products submitted to the secretary of Food and Agriculture. SB 1459 was scheduled for a hearing Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, before the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

SB 829 — Compassionate-care Licenses

SB 829 would require the BCC to issue and regulate compassionate-care licenses, which are issued to donors of medicinal cannabis or marijuana products to qualified patients who possess a physician’s recommendation. SB 829 was scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, before the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The Senate unanimously passed the bill 38-0, and will likely move on the the governor’s desk very soon.

SB 930 — State-chartered Financial Institutions for Cannabis

SB 930 proposes the creation of a state charter for privately financed banks and credit unions under a program administered by the Commissioner of Business Oversight and the Department of Business Oversight. The bill would also create the Cannabis Limited Charter Bank and Credit Union Advisory Board to include the treasurer, the controller and the chief of the BCC as policy directors. SB 930 was scheduled for a hearing Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018 before the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

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