California legislators are in the home stretch with just one week remaining on their legislative calendar. Both the Senate and Assembly were buzzing with final readings and subsequent voting on a range of cannabis bills that have progressed through the legislative process during the final quarter of this session.
Additionally, Republican Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has approved the Illinois medical cannabis pilot program, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.
SB 1707 — Medical Cannabis Pilot Program (Signed By Governor)
Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, signed SB 1707, which amends the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (CUMCPPA). The amendments require that all individuals providing medical cannabis-related services under the CUMCPPA for a cultivation center to apply for a certification as a Certified Medical Cannabis Cultivation Center Agent. Additionally, dispensing organizations are required to be certified as a Certified Medical Cannabis Dispensing Organization Agent. The law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.
AB 1793 — Resentencing for Cannabis Convictions (Passed Senate)
The state Senate on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, passed AB 1793, which would mandate the California Department of Justice (DOJ) to review all cannabis-related convictions imposed under Proposition 64. AB 1793, which passed 28-10 and with two senators not voting, would expedite the identification, review, and notification of individuals who may be eligible for recall, dismissal, and sealing, or redesignation of specified cannabis-related convictions. AB 1793 would require the court to automatically reduce or dismiss the conviction if there is no challenge by July 1, 2020. The bill awaits Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature.
AB 1863 — Personal Income Tax Deductions (Passed Senate)
By a 29-6 vote, the state Senate on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, passed AB 1863, which would allow California taxpayers subject to the Personal Income Tax Law to
deduct business expenses related to commercial cannabis activity by any licensee. If signed by Brown, the bill would go into effect immediately as a tax levy. Five senators did not vote on the bill.
AB 1996 — California Cannabis Research Program (Passed Assembly and Senate)
AB 1996, which proposes to establish the California Cannabis Research Program to develop studies and conduct cannabis research, passed both chambers with overwhelming bipartisan support. After amendments, the Senate voted 38-1 Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, in favor of the bill, which would also allow for the licensed cultivation of cannabis for research purposes. The Assembly unanimously passed AB 1996 with a vote of 78-0 Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. One senator and two Assembly members did not vote. AB 1996 awaits Brown’s signature.
AB 2058 — Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis (Passed and Awaiting Concurrence in Senate amendments)
AB 2058 would make driving under the influence of cannabis, or driving under the combined influence of alcohol and cannabis, each separate offenses. Each offense would carry the existing penalties for drunken and drugged driving. Existing law prohibits a person from driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or their combination. After amendments, the Senate passed AB 2058 38-1 on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, with one senator not voting. \The bill heads to the Assembly for a floor vote.
AB 2215 — Veterinary Cannabis Medicine Ban (Ordered for Reading)
AB 2215, which would prohibit a licensed veterinarian from recommending or administering cannabis to an animal patient, was amended by the Senate on Thursday, August 23, 2018, and will receive another reading. The Veterinary Medicine Practice Act provides licensing for veterinarians and regulates veterinary medicine practices the Veterinary Medical Board.
AB 2255 — Transportation Limits (Passed Senate)
The Senate voted 39-0 on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2015, to approve AB 2255, which would prohibit licensed distributors from transporting any amount of cannabis that exceeds the amount stated on the shipping manifest. The bill would impose a fine of $500 for the first violation and increase by $50 increments for each subsequent violation. The bill would also prohibit law enforcement from seizing cannabis in transport, unless officers have probable cause that can prove a criminal violation has occurred. The bill goes to the Assembly for a floor vote.
AB 2402 — Personal Information Privacy (Ordered for a Third Reading)
AB 2402 is a bill to prohibit a 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 amended and ordered for a third reading Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. Following a third reading on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, AB 2402 was amended and again ordered for a third reading before the Senate.
AJR 27 — Federal Cannabis Resolution (Passed Senate)
The Senate voted 29-3 on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, to pass a joint resolution to urges the US Department of Justice (DOJ) not to direct its resources toward California’s legal cannabis industry and instead focus on the prescription drug and opioid epidemic. Eight senators did not vote. The Assembly passed AJR 27 by a 56-2 vote May 17, 2018. Twenty Assembly members did not vote on the resolution. AJR 27 awaits Brown’s signature.
The final two weeks of the session have been dedicated to voting in the Senate and Assembly. As of Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, 758 bills required floor votes, according to the Assembly and Senate clerks’ offices. More cannabis bills are awaiting votes and will be updated accordingly.