Patient Compassion Programs, Cannabis Cafés, and Tax Reform Among Cannabis Bills in California for 2024

Sacramento Capitol with leaf cloudPlease support Cal NORML with a personal or business membership to help us advance cannabis consumers rights in California!

Upcoming Hearings:

Tuesday, July 2 • 8:30 AM
Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on:
SB-1498 (Ashby) – Cannabis and industrial hemp: advertising: civil action.

Wednesday, July 3 • AM
Senate Health Committee hearing on:
AB 2223 (Aguiar-Curry) To Regulate Industrial Hemp Products


UPDATE 6/26/24:

AB 2223 (Aguiar-Curry) to better regulate hemp-derived products in CA passed through the Senate Business and Professions committee, after much discussion about how to protect patients who need high-dosage CBD products that may contain THC while still addressing issues around hemp-derived products containing intoxicating levels of THC and other cannabinoids being sold at gas stations, headshops, and the internet, etc. Asm. Aguiar-Curry, the Assembly Majority Leader, said the bill still needed much work.

Testifying in opposition was a representative from the Origins Council representing farmers opposed to including hemp-derived products in in the cannabis supply chain, and Rand Martin with an “oppose unless amended” position who praised the committee’s thorough, 19-page analysis and talked about the Goldilocks “just right” limit of THC to be found in hemp products (without naming a number). Youth Forward and other groups asked for better protection for children in the bill.

Several hemp drink makers gave “me too” testimony against the bill, including a representative from Cheech and Chong’s Global Holdings. In the committee analysis, their “oppose unless amended” letter was quoted asking to increase the THC limit from .25 mg/serving and 1 mg/container currently in the bill to 5 mg per “customary serving size container.” They also suggested enacting an excise tax of 5% on hemp consumables. “Our intent is to have this tax offset the coming increase in excise tax (from 15% to 19%) for the sale of cannabis in CA,” they wrote. Thirdly, they asked for integration of hemp-derived cannabinoids into cannabis manufacturing licenses in CA, so that DCC-licensed manufacturers “would be able to purchase bulk hemp cannabinoids on the national market and use those to manufacture products for sale in cannabis dispensaries in CA.“

The lack of enforcement of Aguiar-Curry’s previous hemp bill banning intoxicating hemp-derived products in California, AB 45, was mentioned, and committee chair Angelique Ashby mentioned that her current bill SB 1498, allowing local DAs and city attorneys to take civil action against products marketed to children, has been amended to include industrial hemp products, helping with enforcement issues. AB 2223 will be heard next in the Senate Health committee. Cal NORML continues to work with groups representing patients and doctors to reach a workable compromise.

At the same hearing. Asm. Aguiar Curry also presented AB 1610 (Jones-Sawyer), a Cal-NORML sponsored bill to bolster accountability in laboratory testing for cannabis. Cal NORML director Dale Gieringer testified on this bill also, and it passed through the committee, with amendments. That bill will now head to the Senate floor.

Dale also testified in favor of SB 1059 (Bradford) to eliminate local taxation on state excise taxes. It passed through the Asm. Rev & Tax committee on 6/24 and the Asm. Business and Professions committee the following day, by a unanimous 18-0 vote. In his testimony, Dale spoke about the unfairness of cannabis taxation and, addressing the committee analysis’s conclusion that only LA is doubly taxing cannabis, said that policies vary across the state; he showed a receipt from a Northern California dispensary that included excise and sales taxes in calculating local taxes.

Committee Chair Jacqui Irwin voted Yes on a “do pass” motion, mentioning she’d also like to see more enforcement to help the legal cannabis industry. Asm. Haney also voted yes and asked to co-author the bill. It was “on call” for a few minutes until Asm. Luz Rivas returned and cast the last needed Aye vote. The bill will advance to the Asm. Appropriations committee.

UPDATE 6/17/24:

The LA Times ran an investigative report on pesticides in California’s legal pot supply, titled, “The dirty secret of California’s legal weed​,” complete with a skull and crossbones formed from a cannabis bud and crossed vape pens. Based on tests by an independent lab, the report found that 25 out of 42 samples of legally regulated weed were contaminated with pesticides at levels exceeding state or federal standards. Most were in low concentrations that could pose a risk to long-term users, but five vapes exceeded EPA hazard thresholds for a single use.  The products selected came from manufacturers and labs who were suspected of testing violations, and were not representative of the industry in general.

California NORML is sponsoring a bill AB 1610​ that seeks to fix  deficiencies in DCC’s testing program by mandating random off-the-shelf testing of cannabis products for pesticides and other contaminants. The DCC currently lacks the capacity to do in-house testing of pesticides, which is currently performed by licensed laboratories, some of whom are suspected of misrepresenting or falsifying lab results. In addition, a number of potentially dangerous pesticides are not on the state’s mandatory testing list at all.  The DCC is seeking additional funding to bolster its in-house testing capabilities.

The LA Times also ran an opinion piece titled, A California crackdown on ‘diet weed’ could devastate patients who rely on CBD, raising concerns from patients, parents and doctors about a pending bill, AB 2223 (Aguiar-Curry) that seeks to regulate intoxicating hemp-derived products. Cal NORML has suggested amendments to answer concerns of those who need therapeutic doses of CBD products, while still addressing the major thrust of the bill: to keep unregulated hemp-derived THC-filled products from being sold in gas stations and headshops, and instead bring all products into proper regulation.


Here are bills that Cal NORML is tracking or lobbying on in California for 2024. Some are two-year bills carried over from last year, with various deadlines for them to see hearings, depending on their progress last year. Others are newly introduced this year, with different deadlines for hearings.

AB 2555 (Quirk-Silva) – to renew tax-free cannabis compassion programs for indigent patients, which were put into place with SB 34 (Wiener, 2019) and set to expire next year. Cal NORML supports this effort. SEND A LETTER TO YOUR LAWMAKER IN SUPPORT OF AB 2555.

AB 1775 (Haney) – would allow cannabis businesses to prepare and sell noncannabis, nonalcoholic food and drinks in a “cannabis café” model boosting both the industry and the consumer experiences. A similar bill was vetoed by Gov. Newsom last year. Cal NORML is sponsoring this bill. TELL YOUR LAWMAKER TO VOTE FOR AB 1775.

SB 1059 (Bradford) – would prohibit a city or county from including in the definition of gross receipts, for purposes of any local tax or fee on a licensed cannabis retailer, the amount of any cannabis excise tax imposed under the Cannabis Tax Law or any sales and use taxes. Tell Your Assemblymember to Vote for SB 1059.

SB-1264 (Grove) – would exclude from employment rights protections in AB 2188 employees in sworn positions within law enforcement agencies. Tell Your Assemblymember to Oppose SB 1264.

AB-2223 (Aguiar-Curry) – would help address the proliferation of unlicensed, intoxicating hemp-derived products in California and provide a pathway to carry hemp products at cannabis retailers. Cal NORML supports this effort and has suggested amendments to the bill.

AB 1610 (Jones-Sawyer) – would address cannabis recall orders and laboratory practices, working towards more accurate testing results and better consumer safety. Cal NORML is also sponsoring this bill and has been reaching out to experts and stakeholders for input on the bill’s language all year.

AB 1111 (Pellerin) – would require the DCC to issue small producer event sales licenses that authorize the licenseholder to sell cannabis or cannabis products, containing cannabis cultivated by that licensee, at a limited number of state-licensed cannabis events.

AB-3170 (Ortega) – would prohibit the releasing a perinatal person’s or a newborn’s drug test or alcohol test or screen results. Cal NORML position: Support.

AB-2296 (Villapudua) – would add a sentencing enhancement for illegally manufacturing concentrated cannabis if it occurs in a structure where a child under 16 years of age is present or causes a child under 16 years of age to suffer great bodily injury. Cal NORML position: Oppose.  This bill does not appear to be advancing.

AB-2850 (Rodriguez) – would refelonize the cultivation of seven or more cannabis plants. Cal NORML position: Oppose. This bill does not appear to be advancing.

SB 1511 (Health Omnibus Bill) – would clarify that hospitals must follow Ryan’s law, allowing terminally ill patients to use (noninhaled) medical cannabis. Cal NORML has written to the committee asking for amendments to acknowledge the expansion of Ryan’s law last year to also protect seniors with chronic illnesses.

SB 1064 (Laird) – is aimed at reconfiguring and consolidating cannabis licensing so that licensees don’t have to have a separate premises for each activity.

AB 2540 (Chen) – grants to the DCC the sole authority to transfer, assign, or reassign cannabis licenses.

SB 1109 (Bradford) – would require the DCC to collect and consolidate demographic information about every person with a financial interest in a cannabis license applicant.

AB-2888 (Chen) – world require a licensee to pay for cannabis goods and services sold or transferred by another licensee no later than 15 days following the final date set forth in the invoice. 

Please support Cal NORML with a personal or business membership to help us advance cannabis consumers’ rights in California!

Stay Informed! Join California NORML’s Email Alert List