This is the fourth issue in our 2017 CA Cannabis Legislation Guide, an overview of California lawmaking during 2017. We will cover at least 46 pending items that may shape California cannabis legislation and how California regulates cannabis.
Today, we will address AB 1143, AB 1527, AB 1627, SB 175, and SB 311, five of the twelve pending bills directed at cannabis licensing and regulation.
California Cannabis Legislation: Overview of Legislative Calendar
The last day to introduce legislation was February 17, 2017, and the legislature has until September 15, 2017, to pass bills. The governor ordinarily has 12 days to sign or veto bills passed by the legislature; for bills passed at the end of the legislative session, the last day for the Governor to sign or veto bills may be as late as October 15, 2017.
AB 1143 (GRAY) – OUtdoor advertising: prohibitions
The Outdoor Advertising Act regulates placement of advertising signs adjacent to and within specified distances of certain highways. The act generally prohibits advertising displays from being placed or maintained on property adjacent to a section of a freeway that has been landscaped. The act prohibits these advertising displays from advertising products, goods, or services related to alcohol and tobacco. A violation of the act is a misdemeanor. AB 1143 would also prohibit these advertising displays from advertising marijuana.
AB 1527 (Cooley) -State and Local Marijuana Regulatory Agencies: Employees
This bill would prohibit former regulatory officials, including former employees of the Bureau of Marijuana Control, from being employed by a person or entity licensed under AUMA or MCRSA for a period of one year.
The bill would authorize the Bureau or a licensing authority to suspend a license where the licensee violated this prohibition. The Bureau could then determine whether to revoke the license and whether to bar the licensee and the licensee’s agents from obtaining a license in the future. The bill would specify, however, that a violation of these employment restrictions is not a crime.
AB 1627 (Cooley) – Adult Use [of] Marijuana Act: Testing Laboratories
Existing law under AUMA provides that the Bureau of Marijuana Control is responsible for licensing and regulating retail sales, distribution, and transportation, and the State Department of Public Health is responsible for licensing and regulating testing laboratories. MCRSA regulates the cultivation, distribution, and use of cannabis for medical purposes. Under MCRSA, the Bureau of Marijuana Control is responsible for licensing and regulating retail sales, distribution, transportation, and testing laboratories.
AB 1627 would transfer the regulation of testing laboratories under AUMA from the State Department of Public Health to the Bureau of Marijuana Control.
SB 175 (McGuire) – Marijuana: county of origin: Marketing
Both MCSRA and AUMA prohibit deceptive use of the name of a California county in the labeling, marketing, or packaging of cannabis products. Unless the cannabis contained in the product was actually grown in a certain county, the name of that county may not be used in marketing the product. SB 175 would specify that those prohibitions include the use of any similar sounding name that is likely to mislead consumers as to the origin of the product.
SB 311 (Pan) – Medical cannabis and nonmedical marijuana: Testing by a licensee
This bill would authorize a licensee to perform testing on the licensee’s premises of cannabis or cannabis products obtained from another licensee for the purpose of quality assurance. The onsite testing would not exempt the licensee from the existing requirements of quality assurance testing by a distributor and testing laboratory.