Rep. Bonta Announces Marijuana Reform Measures for California in 2018

January 9, 2018 - Rep. Rob Bonta (Oakland), the California Assembly's Assistant Majority Leader, announced at a press conference in Sacramento today that he has introduced AB 1793, to create a simpler and expedited pathway for Californians to have certain criminal convictions for cannabis-related offenses removed or reduced from their records.

Proposition 64 – which voters passed with 57 percent approval in November 2016 – contained provisions that not only reduced or eliminated many marijuana law violations, it made those changes retroactive. That means people with felonies or misdemeanors on their records are now legally entitled to ask the courts to expunge or reduce those criminal records. AB 1793 will help legally entitled Californians take advantage of this opportunity to clear their own records by removing barriers and streamlining the process.

“AB 1793 will give people the fresh start to which they are legally entitled and allow them to move on with their lives,” said Bonta.

California NORML director Dale Gieringer spoke in support of the bill, saying, "It’s easy to get a marijuana crime on your record, but it’s hard to get one off.” Gieringer brought up the problem of those with misdemeanor offenses being required to register with their local sheriff as another wrinkle in the new law that needs to be addressed with legislation.

According to the LA Times, Bonta predicted measures to make it easier for marijuana businesses to pay taxes in cash and to protect medical marijuana patients in the workplace will also be introduced this year.

In other news, the Bureau of Cannabis Control announced a timeline for their 2018 Rulemaking Recommendation Strategy for cannabis businesses in California.