California Lawmakers had their hands full with cannabis bills up for hearings for the week ending Friday, August 17, 2018. The state’s marijuana industry must continue to conduct transactions in cash after the Assembly Appropriations Committee mothballed a plan for California to charter financial institutions exclusively for the cannabis trade. On the other hand, lawmakers did pass bills pertaining to equity programs, underage sales, and compassionate-care licenses. We’ve broken down the status of each bill and what happens next.
AB 1793 — Resentencing for Cannabis Convictions (Passed Suspense File Hearing)
AB 1793 would expedite the identification, review and processing of specified marijuana-related convictions that may be eligible for recall, dismissal and sealing, or redesignation of the conviction under Proposition 64, before July 1, 2019. The bill would require the court to automatically reduce or dismiss the conviction if there is no challenge by July 1, 2020.
AB 1793 was placed in the suspense file Aug. 6, 2018. The bill passed with a vote of 5-2 by the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. The bill will now move to the Senate floor for a final reading and vote.
The suspense file is a holding place for a bill with an annual cost to the state greater than $150,000. Bills are held in the suspense file before the fiscal deadline to offer each legislative chamber time to allocate funds. Bills that are moved out of the suspense file go to the floor for a final reading and vote, while bills held in suspense die.
AB 1863 — Personal Income Tax Deductions (Passed Suspense File Hearing)
AB 1863 would allow taxpayers licensed under the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), to deduct necessary business expenses related to commercial cannabis activity. If passed, the bill would go into effect immediately as a tax levy. AB 1863 cleared the suspense file, passing with a vote of 5-2 by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. The bill will now move to the Senate floor for a final reading and vote.
AB 2641 — Temporary Event Licenses for Sales (Placed in Suspense File)
AB 2641 would allow the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) to establish a temporary cannabis retailer license for qualified cannabis manufacturers and cultivators to sell their own products at
temporary cannabis events. The bill would require an application to be sent to the BCC, including a list of all licensed participating business. The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, placed AB 2641 in the suspense file.
AB 924 — Commercial Cannabis Regulation on Native American Tribal Lands (Placed in Suspense File)
AB 924 would establish the Cannabis Regulatory Enforcement Act for Tribal Entities (CREATE Act) requiring any tribe entering into a tribal cannabis regulatory agreement with the governor to establish a tribal cannabis regulatory commission or agency. All tribal cannabis regulatory agreements and subsequent tribal commissions and agencies must be approved by the Legislature. The Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday, Aug.13, 2018, placed AB 924 in the suspense file.
SB 1294 — State and Local Equity Programs (Passed Committee)
SB 1294 would establishes the Cannabis Collaboration and Inclusion Act, which requires the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) to establish an equity program beginning January 1, 2020. The bill would also require the BCC to develop a model local equity program and a model local equity ordinance and to provide reduced or waived state licensing fees and other assistance to local equity applicants and licensees. The Assembly Appropriations Committee voted 12-4 to pass SB 1294 on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018. The bill will proceed to the assembly floor for a final reading a vote.
SB 1451 — Underage Sales (Passed Committee / Ordered to Consent Calendar)
SB 1451 would establish minimum disciplinary actions to be taken by the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) against cannabis licensees who sell cannabis products to an underage individual, or allow an underage individual to consume cannabis products on a licensed retail premises. The Assembly Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, unanimously passed SB 1451 with a vote of 17-0 and ordered the bill placed on the consent calendar. The Appropriations Committee’s consent calendar helps the panel expedite passage of bills without further amendments or debate that have received no dissenting votes in the preceding policy committees. The bills must not impose a major fiscal impact on the state. All bills added to the consent calendar must be agreed upon by the committee chair and vice chair.
SB 829 — Compassionate-care Licenses (Passed Committee)
SB 829 would allow the BCC to establish a compassionate-care license for donors of medicinal cannabis products to qualified patients who possess a physician’s recommendation. The bill would also limit tax collections on those medical cannabis and medicinal cannabis products as specified. SB 829 passed Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018 with a vote of 12-0 by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The bill will now move to the Assembly floor for a final reading and vote.
SB 930 — State-chartered Financial Institutions for Cannabis (Placed in Suspense File)
SB 930 would have enacted the Cannabis Limited Charter Banking and Credit Union Law, allowing the licensure and supervision of cannabis limited charter banks and credit unions. These financial institutions would have been authorized to offer limited depository services to cannabis businesses. The program would have also created the Cannabis Limited Charter Bank and Credit Union Advisory Board to include the treasurer, the controller, and the chief of the BCC as policy directors. The Associated Press reported Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, that SB 930 was effectively killed after the Assembly Appropriations Committee placed it in the suspense file, with no debate planned for the legislative year.