Latest News from California

Lobby Day 2018 a Success
June 5, 2017 - The Cal NORML / ASA annual Lobby Day, held June 4 in Sacramento, was well attended and well received. Constituent advocates from Humboldt county to San Diego and all across the state visited dozens of Legislators’ offices to lobby on several key bills affecting cannabis consumers and the industry.

Employment Rights and Tax Relief Bills Held in Assembly Committee; Resentencing Bill Advances and Compassion Bill Introduced
May 25 - The Cal NORML-sponsored bill to protect employment rights for medical marijuana users in California, AB 2069, has been held in the Assembly Appropriations committee, meaning it won’t advance in the legislature this year.

Bill to Protect Cannabis Deliveries Passes Committee
May 2 - Senator Lara’s bill SB 1302 to disallow local bans on cannabis deliveries squeaked by the Senate Governance and Finance committee today on the understanding that further amendments will be needed to address opponents’ concerns.
Medical Cannabis Worker Protections Act Advances in CA Assembly
April 25 - The CA Assembly Labor Committee approved a Cal NORML-sponsored bill to curb employment discrimination against workers who use medical cannabis to treat a disability or medical condition.

Bill to Reduce Cannabis Taxes Introduced in CA
March 15 - Assemblymembers Tom Lackey and Rob Bonta have introduced AB 3157 to reduce existing state taxes on cannabis for three years.

Cal NORML Opposes Bill to Suspend Licenses of Underage Drivers
February 25 - Cal NORML is opposing a bill, SB 1273 by Sen. Jerry Hill (San Mateo), that would authorize police to test any drivers under 21 for marijuana and automatically suspend their licenses for one year if any detectible amount of THC is found in their systems.

Bill To Protect Medical Marijuana Patients from Employment Discrimination Introduced in California
February 7 - Asm. Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) has introduced AB 2069, to protect employment rights for medical cannabis patients in California. The bill would specifically bar employers from discriminating against workers because of their status as a medical cannabis patient.

Bill to Expand Cannabis Special Event Venues Introduced in Sacramento
February 5 - The sale and consumption of cannabis at temporary special events could soon become legal with a bill introduced today by Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward).

San Francisco To Automatically Erase Minor Marijuana Convictions
February 1 - San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon has announced that his office plans to retroactively apply Proposition 64 to past marijuana convictions by expunging and sealing all related records dating back to 1975. San Diego is reportedly following suit, and a statewide effort to require state courts to automatically expunge past marijuana convictions is underway.

RIP Dennis Peron, Compassionate Warrior and Medical Marijuana Champion
January 27 - We are sad to report that medical marijuana activist Dennis Peron died today at the VA hospital in
San Francisco.

California Gubernatorial Candidates Asked If They Smoked Pot
January 26 - At a California Gubernatorial debate, Jorge Ramos of Univision asked the candidates to raise their hands if they had ever smoked marijuana.

Rep. Bonta Announces Marijuana Reform Measures for California in 2018
January 9 - Rep. Rob Bonta, the California Assembly's Assistant Majority Leader, announced 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.

California Responds to Jeff Sessions's Memo on Marijuana Prosecution
January 4, 2018 - Reaction has been swift from public officials in California following the announcement that AG Jeff Sessions has issued a memo to federal prosecutors.

Where Can I Buy Marijuana in California for Recreational Use?
December 2017 - The Bureau of Cannabis Control has issued the first group of commercial cannabis temporary licenses for retailers and others. Adults over 21 will be able to purchase up to one ounce of cannabis starting on January 1, 2018.

CaNORML Recommends Priority Licensing for Cannabis Cultivation
December 5 - Cal NORML has sent comments to state regulators regarding their emergency licensing regulations for cannabis cultivation which "open the doors to large-scale, industrial mega-grows that could monopolize California’s
limited available acreage, exacerbate environmental harm, and stifle participation by smaller growers."
Cal NORML's 2017 Accomplishments and Plans for 2018
December 2017 - As California begins recreational marijuana sales on January 1, much work remains to be done, in the legal and regulatory arenas at the state and local levels, and in the realm of human rights.
Recreational Marijuana Sales to Begin January 1 in California
November 2017 - New Year’s 2018 is ushering in a new era in California, as the first state-licensed cannabis stores open their doors and adult-use sales begin on Jan. 1.
CA LICENSE AUTHORITIES RELEASE EMERGENCY MEDICINAL AND ADULT-USE CANNABIS REGULATIONS
November 16 - California’s three state cannabis licensing authorities announced today that proposed emergency licensing regulations for commercial medicinal and adult-use cannabis have been posted online and are available to the public for review.
Opioid Commission Refuses to Consider Cannabis
November 2 - The US Opioid Commission has jettisoned the voluminous research showing that cannabis serves as an exit drug to opioid use in favor of a study looking at 12-year-old data.
Marijuana Legalization and the Opioid Crisis
November 1 - The evidence is mounting that allowing access to marijuana, used medicinally or recreationally, could be an answer to the opioid crisis.

California Takes Action on Cannabis Bills
September 18 - The California legislature has approved SJR-5 (Stone), a joint resolution calling for Congress to reschedule cannabis. The legislature did not take final action on AB 1578, to require a state or local agency to obtain a court order for federal cooperation. Other regulatory and human rights legislation was acted on.
Lake County Agrees to Pay Medical Marijuana Patients $250,000 and Change Its Policy to Prevent Warrantless Raids
August 17 - After years of litigation in federal court and a scathing injunction issued against the County of Lake, the County fulfilled its court-ordered obligation to abide by the Constitution.
State Water Board Issues Draft Regulations for Cannabis Cultivation
July 11 - The State Water Resources Control Board will accept public comments on a draft regulations for cannabis cultivation until September 6.

California Marijuana Regulation Moves Forward
July 2017 - Legislation to improve the state’s cannabis regulations in time for the January 2018 deadline has moved forward expeditiously in Sacramento, with the legislature approving the Governor’s comprehensive budget trailer bill to unify the regulation of medical and adult-use cannabis.

California Releases Environmental Impact Report on Cannabis Cultivation

June 14 - The California Department of Food and Agriculture CalCannabis Licensing Program has issued a Cultivation Licensing Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) for public review and comment. The comment period will end on July 31.

  • Marijuana Reform Bills Advance in California Legislature
    June 2, 2017 - The state Assembly voted 41-33 to approve a bill by Asm. Reggie Jones-Sawyer (AB 1578) barring California law enforcement officials from cooperating with federal officials seeking to interfere with California’s marijuana laws.

  • LOBBY DAY TO DEMAND CANNABIS CONSUMERS’ RIGHTS
    May 16 - Cannabis consumers across California are urged to attend Lobby Day on June 5 in Sacramento and make their views known to their elected officials.
  • DRAFT MEDICAL MARIJUANA REGULATIONS RELEASED
    May 2017 - California is racing to enact new rules to regulate marijuana before January 1, 2018, when state licensing and taxation of the industry is set to begin, along with adult-use sales in localities that permit it. Meanwhile, dozens of regulation bills are pending in the state legislature.
  • Senate Public Safety Committee Waters Down Marijuana DUI Bills
    April 25 - Two bills by Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) to create stricter laws against drivers testing positive for marijuana were watered down substantially before being passed by the California Senate Public Safety Committee today.
  • Governor Releases Draft Language to Reconcile MCRSA and AUMA
    April 4 - The Governor’s office has released a draft trailer budget bill, attempting to reconcile MCRSA (medical marijuana law passed by the legislature in 2015) and AUMA (passed by the voters as Prop. 64 in November 2016).
  • Spicer Misspeaks on Cannabis
    and Opiates

    February 24 - It is widely understood that overuse of prescription opioids, not marijuana use, is what's driving the opiate crisis in the US. In fact, states with medical marijuana laws are seeing positive trends regarding opiates.
  • 2017 Bills Submitted to Legislature
    The final bills for this year's legislative session have been introduced in Sacramento. There are 44 bills that could affect cannabis law and policy in California that we will be tracking and announcing hearings and votes on.

  • Sen. Hill and Asm. Low Propose Criminal Penalties for Smoking While Driving
    January 1, 2017 - Senator Jerry Hill (San Mateo) & Asm Evan Low (San Jose) are proposing that smoking while driving explicitly be made a "wobbler" - an alternative misdemeanor or infraction.
  • Cal NORML's 2016 Accomplishments and Plans for 2017
    December 2016 - This year Cal NORML helped defeat DUID and tax bills, while supporting reasonable regulations. In 2017 we hope to sponsor bills to protect employment rights, pain patients rights, and access to medical marijuana for all.
  • Thousands to Receive Lesser Charges, Sentence Reductions Under Prop. 64
    November 28 - Several Cal NORML legal committee attorneys have reported that their clients have avoided jail time by having charges reduced under the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. The biggest group affected by Prop. 64—those who have already been punished for past pot convictions —may number in the hundreds of thousands.
  • Employment Rights for Marijuana Users a Priority for Cal NORML
    November 11 - As we expected, one of the most frequently asked questions we have been getting since Prop. 64 passed legalizing adult marijuana use in California is, "Am I now protected against drug testing on my job?"
  • What's Legal, and What Isn't, After Prop. 64
    November 9, 2016 - Californians have approved Prop. 64 to legalize adult use of marijuana by a margin of 56-44%.
  • Cal NORML's Post Prop. 64 Reform Agenda
    Versions of this proposal have been endorsed by the San Francisco and Alameda County Democratic Central Committees, and the Oakland Cannabis Commission.
  • Two Thirds of California's Counties Vote for Marijuana Legalization
    UPDATED 11/28 - Proposition 64 carried in 38 of California’s 58 counties, with 19 counties voting against and Trinity County too close to call at latest report.
  • Under Prop. 64, Locals That Ban Personal Outdoor Cultivation or Cannabis Commerce Would Lose Tax Dollars
    October 31, 2016 - Although cultivation for personal use will be legal as of November 9, 2016 if the AUMA is approved by voters, local governments will not lose any regulatory authority if they do not have an ordinance in place addressing personal cultivation before the election.

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