Another series of California marijuana bills—including one to ensuring that medical cannabis patients across the state have access to delivery services—are heading to the governor following last-minute votes in the legislature ahead of Wednesday’s end-of-session deadline.
In the past several weeks, about a dozen cannabis reform bills crossed the finish line in Sacramento, pending action from Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).
One of the latest developments is the passage of legislation from Sen. Scott Wiener (D) that would prohibit localities from banning medical cannabis deliveries in their areas—a move that advocates say will both improve patient access and help fill voids throughout the state where no cannabis license types have been authorized.
“With over 300 California cities banning any and all sales of cannabis, millions of Californians are effectively blocked from purchasing legal medical cannabis,” Wiener said in a press release on Wednesday.
“We must ensure everyone who needs access to medical cannabis has access—that includes seniors, people living with cancer, HIV and other chronic or life-threatening illnesses,” he said. “Otherwise, people have to turn to the illicit market, which creates safety risks and undermines the regulated, legal market. This is not an acceptable situation, which is why we need to ensure that everyone can access medical cannabis delivery.”
Advocates were also especially pleased to see a measure providing employment protections for most workers who use marijuana off the job clear the legislature on Tuesday, after earlier versions stalled in committee in past sessions.
Also earlier this month, a key reform to streamline record sealing for people with eligible marijuana-related convictions passed the legislature.
Another passed measure would set the state up to allow interstate cannabis commerce. The sponsor of that legislation, Sen. Anna Caballero (D), said in a statement on Tuesday that “California can and should lay the groundwork for a multi-state legal cannabis market, which will benefit our rural economy and our workers and put a dent in the dangerous illicit market.”
An additional bill that was passed this week and is now moving to the governor would amend the state’s medical cannabis law to authorize marijuana products for non-human animals and protect veterinarians who issue cannabis recommendations for pets.
But while these measures have received ample attention from advocates and stakeholders, Newsom will have his hands filled as more enacted bills make their way to his desk in the coming days.
Here’s a rundown of the recently passed marijuana bills that are on the way to the governor:
SB 1326: Caballero’s measure would set the stage to allow for interstate marijuana commerce from California to and from other legal states, contingent on an official assurance that the activity would not put the state at risk of federal enforcement action.
AB 2188: Assemblymember Bill Quirk’s (D) bill would “make it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment, or otherwise penalize a person” solely because of off-duty marijuana use. It would eliminate employment-based THC testing, with exceptions for certain positions, such as federal employees or those working in construction.
SB 1186: The bill from Wiener would “prohibit a local jurisdiction from adopting or enforcing any regulation that prohibits the retail sale by delivery within the local jurisdiction of medicinal cannabis to medicinal cannabis patients or their primary caregivers by medicinal cannabis businesses.”
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Kyle Jaeger on Marijuana Moment
Published: August 31, 2022
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News