Numerous cannabis-related bills were filed in Sacramento this week.
There is still a lot of work to do to fix California’s cannabis industry as many hold on by a thread. That work is reflected in the annual wave of cannabis bills we see this time of year. 2023 will be no exception, as lawmakers look to cover everything from the expansion of the regulatory task force to where to put the tags on your plants.
Here are many of the bills we saw filed this week. There are a few more we’ll dive deeper into next week.
The main purpose of this bill is to expand the state’s cannabis task force. Currently, there is not a seat at the table for either the Civil Rights Department within the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency or the Department of Industrial Relations within the Labor and Workforce Development Agency. These are essentially worker protection agencies that enforce civil rights laws when it comes to employment and housing access or push for a better quality of life and working conditions for the state’s labor force. The task force already includes The Department of Cannabis Control, CDTFA, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the water board, CHP, The Labor and Workforce Development Agency, and the Department of Justice. It would also include representatives from municipalities that opt into the task force.
This bill would change the technical wording on how the mandated unique identifier can be attached to plants. The current language requires the tags to be attached at the base of the plant. This would make it easier for any going big. Some of the largest outdoor plants have literal tree trunks you have to saw; it’s better for the plant to attach it to one of those stems shooting off the side. So again, they’re just changing a few words around, but it makes sense.
This bill is dedicated to anyone who has ever had to call someone five times over an invoice. It’s meant to empower the legislator to set maximum terms by which someone can sell cannabis on credit, create penalties and a course of action for the failure to pay invoices on time, and empower the DCC with the powers needed to ensure timely payments throughout the supply chain.
This bill would crack down on people attempting to falsely represent cannabis products as licensed. Specifically, it emphasizes, the use of the cannabis universal symbol to push unlicensed products could cost you up to $30,000. While using the symbol was noted given how prolific it’s been on unlicensed cannabis packaging, any claim or representation of a product as licensed cannabis that’s not could land you in hot water. The good news? If you have a permit, you’ll only be charged $5,000 for pretending something was legit, meaning there is an argument to go legal just for the sake of discounted fines.
This bill on the surface seems pretty straightforward in blocking appointees from the governor from taking part in the industry but, in fact, could possibly hinder the efforts to save California cannabis. Prop 64 prevents the DCC director and members of the Cannabis Control Appeals Panel from engaging in certain cannabis activities. The effort to add appointees to the list could prevent actual experts that have been successful in California’s industry from coming in and helping to fix things. Would you want someone that knows how to run a thousand lights trying to help save the day or a random political appointee in compliance with AB-1111?
This bill would have the DCC reevaluate packaging regulations based on evolving science. The DCC would have to determine by July of 2025 if the current standards are still up to the task. As of January 2030, they’d have to reevaluate any changes to determine if any new concerns based on science need to also be added to packaging. The bill would also require the DCC to form an advisory committee dedicated to this subject of evolving label accuracy in the years to come.
Filed earlier this week, AB 741 would prohibit the California FAIR Plan Association from refusing to issue, canceling, or refusing to renew coverage over an applicant or policyholder possessing or previously possessed a legal amount of cannabis. Regardless of whether it was flowers, hash, or living cannabis plants, or because the applicant or policyholder had ever had a commercial cannabis licensee.
Keep an eye out for more coverage of cannabis bills coming out of Sacramento this year.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.