Cannabis in the State Legislature

So Many Bills, So Little Time

The California Legislative branch has been very busy this year with cannabis legislation. There are close to 50 bills relating to cannabis in some way that are currently awaiting action. Many in the state senate and assembly are hoping to give the new legal cannabis industry the same fair chance to succeed as any start-up industry would receive, while some are calling for ever more regulation. See below for a brief synopsis of some of the more relevant bills:

State Assembly

Assembly Bill 37—Help offset the federal 280E tax burden (Section 280E of the IRS code prevents marijuana businesses from taking ordinary business deductions) by creating a carve-out for business deductions in California’s personal income tax for state-licensed cannabis companies.

Assembly Bill 286—Temporarily slash the state cannabis excise tax from 15% to 11% and suspend the state MJ cultivation tax until June 2022.

Assembly Bill 833 – Require additional security measures for distributors carrying over 1 million dollars in cannabis or money or any combination thereof.

Assembly Bill 858 – Change Type 1C permit restrictions; specialty cottage.

Assembly Bill 953—Allow marijuana companies to pay state and local taxes via a cryptocurrency method called “stablecoins.”

Assembly Bill 1288—Require that additional MJ sales data be uploaded into California’s track-and-trace program, including the date of every sale and whether each sale was conducted at a shop or via delivery.

Assembly Bill 1291 – Require license applicants to provide notarized statement they will enter into and abide by the terms of a labor peace agreement within 60 days of employing 20 employees.

Assembly Bill 1420—Prohibit state regulators from raising application and licensing fees past those established as of January.

Assembly Bill 1525—Codify that financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, that work with cannabis companies are not in violation of state law.

Assembly Bill 1530—Reverse a controversial policy adopted in 2018 by the Bureau of Cannabis Control that allows marijuana deliveries to be performed anywhere in the state regardless of city or county bans on commercial cannabis activity. Would also establish a competitive grant program through the Board of State and Community Corrections to expand enforcement efforts against unlicensed marijuana businesses and increase consumer education.

State Senate

Senate Bill 34—Allow licensed cannabis companies to give away goods for free to medical patients, essentially relegalizing so-called “compassion programs” that were common for years in California’s MMJ market.

Senate Bill 51—Allow for the establishment of “cannabis limited charter banks and credit unions” to serve the marijuana industry.

Senate Bill 67—Extend the life span of temporary business licenses until the end of 2019 for companies that have already submitted annual license applications.

Senate Bill 475—Allow the sharing of free-trade samples of cannabis products between licensees.

Senate Bill 527 – Allow cannabis cultivation to be included in an agricultural preserve under the Williamson Act.

Senate Bill 581—Require state licensing authorities post disciplinary records for applicant and any owners.

Senate Bill 627 – Allow veterinarians to use and prescribe cannabis or cannabis products for animals.

Senate Bill 625—Legalize marijuana party buses.

Senate Bill 684 Pilot Program for cannabis DUIs.

To read more on these bills visit http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/