California Legislature: Lawmakers to consider nearly 60 marijuana-related bills

California Legislature: Lawmakers to consider nearly 60 marijuana-related bills

marijuana coachella valley

There are 58 bills pending before the California Legislature in 2019 that include the word “cannabis” or “marijuana,” which means the state’s industry could be in for another tumultuous year of big changes.

Many of the measures touch on significant industry hurdles, ranging from the lack of banking access to reducing state tax rates to an ongoing debate over statewide MJ delivery.

Not all the bills are major legal changes, however, and many are not industry-related.

Some also have been introduced as placeholders but are awaiting full language – such as Assembly Bill 1678, which merely states that its intent is to “enact legislation relating to cannabis” – meaning more legislation has yet to fully take shape.

The California Cannabis Industry Association also lists 47 bills that it’s tracking, which the organization shared with Marijuana Business Daily.

Several require a two-thirds supermajority vote to pass because they amend Proposition 64, the 2016 marijuana legalization measure that is now part of the California Constitution.Below are the top 12 legislative measures that could impact California cannabis businesses, what they would do if signed into law and where they stand at the Capitol.

Others that only change state law require a simple majority to pass.

 

 State Assembly

Assembly Bill 37

What it would do: Help offset the federal 280E tax burden by creating a carve-out for business deductions in California’s personal income tax for state-licensed cannabis companies.

Primary sponsor: Assembly member Reggie Jones-Sawyer, a Los Angeles Democrat.

Status: Referred to Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation. Awaiting hearings.

Assembly Bill 953

What it would do: Allow marijuana companies to pay state and local taxes via a cryptocurrency method called “stablecoins.”

Primary sponsors: Assembly members Philip Ting, a San Francisco Democrat, and Kevin McCarty, a Sacramento Democrat.

Status: Awaiting committee assignment.

Assembly Bill 286

What it would do: Temporarily slash the state cannabis excise tax from 15% to 11% and suspend the state MJ cultivation tax until June 2022.

Primary sponsors: Assembly members Rob Bonta, a Democrat from Oakland; Ken Cooley, a Democrat from Rancho Cordova; Tom Lackey, a Republican from Palmdale; and Jones-Sawyer.

Status: Referred to Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation and Committee on Business and Professions. Awaiting hearings. Requires two-thirds support to pass both chambers.

Assembly Bill 1288

What it would do: 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.

Primary sponsor: Assembly member Cooley.

Status: Awaiting committee assignment.

Assembly Bill 1420

What it would do: Prohibit state regulators from raising application and licensing fees past what was already established as of January.

Primary sponsor: Assembly member Jay Obernolte, a Republican from Big Bear Lake.

Status: Awaiting committee assignment. Requires two-thirds support to pass both chambers.

Assembly Bill 1525

What it would do: Codify that financial institutions such as banks and credit unions that work with cannabis companies are not in violation of state law.

Primary sponsor: Assembly member Jones-Sawyer.

Status: Awaiting committee assignment. Requires two-thirds support to pass both chambers.

Assembly Bill 1530

What it would do: 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.

Primary sponsor: Assembly member Cooley.

Status: Awaiting committee assignment. Requires two-thirds support to pass both chambers.

 

 State Senate

Senate Bill 34

What it would do: 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.

Primary sponsors: Sen. Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat; Assembly members Bonta and Jim Wood, a Santa Rosa Democrat.

Status: Referred to the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance and the Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development. Awaiting hearings. Requires two-thirds support to pass both chambers.

Senate Bill 51

What it would do: Allow for the establishment of “cannabis limited charter banks and credit unions” to serve the marijuana industry.

Primary sponsors: Sen. Robert Hertzberg, a Los Angeles Democrat, and Assembly member Bonta.

Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions and the Committee on Governance and Finance. Awaiting hearings.

Senate Bill 67

What it would do: Extend the life span of temporary business licenses until the end of 2019 for companies that have already submitted annual license applications.

Primary sponsors: Sen. Mike McGuire, a Democrat from Healdsburg, and Assembly member Wood.

Status: Approved by the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee, referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Awaiting hearings. Requires two-thirds support to pass both chambers.

Senate Bill 475

What it would do: Allow the sharing of free-trade samples of cannabis products between licensees.

Primary sponsors: Sen. Nancy Skinner, a Democrat from Berkeley.

Status: Awaiting committee assignment.

Senate Bill 625

What it would do: Legalize marijuana party buses.

Primary sponsors: Sen. Jerry Hill, a San Francisco Democrat.

Status: Awaiting committee assignment.

Source: https://mjbizdaily.com / By John Schroyer who can be reached at johns@mjbizdaily.com

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