On September 18, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law ten cannabis-related legislative bills in a comprehensive update of California’s cannabis laws.
The most well-known of these is SB 1326, which would allow for interstate cannabis commerce between California and other states that have legalized cannabis cultivation, production, and distribution. SB 1326’s author, Senator Anna Caballero, stated that the new law “provides a relief valve for the oversupply of cannabis, an opportunity to grow California’s brand and market share, support job creation, and gives the state a competitive advantage as federal policy develops” and is “an essential step to ensure that California can fully capitalize on, and remain a leader in, the forthcoming national cannabis market.” However, since production and sale of cannabis is still prohibited under federal law, and SB 1326 is explicitly directed to interstate commerce involving cannabis, this law would likely not be implemented until cannabis has been federally decriminalized.
The other bills signed into law by Governor Newsom also work to strengthen the state’s cannabis laws and expand the market for cannabis products. For example:
AB 2188: Makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person in employment circumstances for their off-duty, off-site cannabis use, and bans employment-based THC testing, with certain exceptions such as federal employees and the building and construction trades.
SB 1186: Prohibiting regulations that prohibit the delivery of medicinal cannabis to medicinal cannabis patients
AB 1706: Sealing of court records for eligible cannabis arrests and convictions
AB 1885: Regulating the production standards for cannabis intended for use in therapeutic applications for animals; and prohibiting agency discipline of veterinarians who recommend cannabis use for animals
AB 1894: Requiring packaging of cannabis cartridges and integrated cannabis vaporizers to prominently display a message that they must be disposed of as hazardous waste
AB 2568: Providing that it is not illegal to provide insurance to persons licensed to engage in commercial production and sale of cannabis.
California has taken the lead in enacting laws and policies intended to fully integrate the legalization of cannabis and allow it to bring economic benefits to the state. It is hoped that other states that have already, or will soon legalize cannabis will look to California’s example.