Governor Releases Revised State Budget, Statutory Changes Affecting Cannabis in California

Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a revised state budget with several cannabis provisions, according to the budget summary. The revised budget forecasts the state cannabis excise tax will generate $288 million in 2018-19 and $359 million in 2019-20, a reduction of $67 million and $156 million, respectively, from the original Governor’s Budget forecast. It states, “The forecast assumes continued growth of more than 15 percent annually as new businesses continue to enter the marketplace and local jurisdictions adjust to the state’s legal framework. It is important to note that for the near term, revenue estimates will be subject to significant

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Cal NORML Opposes Prop 65 Warnings on Reproductive Effects of Marijuana as Unwarranted

May 8, 2019 – California NORML has submitted testimony to the state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) opposing the inclusion of cannabis on the state’s Prop 65 list of known reproductive hazards.   Prop 65 requires businesses to post warning signs regarding the presence of substances known to pose a risk of reproductive harm or cancer. Marijuana smoke has already been classified as a carcinogen by OEHHA in spite of human studies showing it doesn’t cause respiratory cancer. In written testimony, Cal NORML argued that existing scientific evidence on the risks of prenatal cannabis use is unclear, and that

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Cal NORML Holds Lobby Day in Sacramento

Around 100 citizen lobbyists from across California visited scores of legislative offices in Sacramento as part of the Third Annual Cal NORML / ASA Lobby Day on Monday, May 6, 2019.   NORML chapter members from Orange County, the Central Valley, the Inland Empire, and Contra Costa county joined Americans for Safe Access chapter members from Sonoma and San Diego, along with other supporters from the North Coast and the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas to lobby in their elected officials’ offices.  California state Senator Scott Wiener, sponsor of a bill to exempt compassion programs that give away

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Cannabis Café Bill Advances on Close Vote

SACRAMENTO, Apr 23 – A bill to create a new state license type for cannabis consumption café/lounges was approved by the Assembly Business and Professions Committee. The bill, AB 1465  by Asm. Bloom (Santa Monica) would finally let California have public cannabis coffee shops as in Amsterdam. Under current law, the only public places where it is legal to consume cannabis publicly are licensed dispensaries with on-site consumption permits; however, these facilities cannot serve non-cannabis products. Under AB 1465, cannabis cafes and lounges could be permitted by local governments to serve and sell food, beverages, cannabis, and other products except

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Epic Mountain View Meeting Leads to Cannabis Ordinance Changes

UPDATE: The Mountain View planning commission voted to amend the ordinance to only allow one cannabis business in the city’s downtown area, prohibit the businesses in and around the San Antonio Center shopping area and mandate a 600-foot buffer zone between storefront cannabis businesses. The Mountain View City Council will take an initial vote on the changes at its May 23 meeting. Source.  March 6, 2019 – At a six-hour hearing held on March 5 in Mountain View, the city council voted against banning cannabis dispensaries in the city, and directed staff to bring back potential amendments to their ordinance allowing for

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San Francisco to Present Over 9,000 Past Marijuana Convictions for Resentencing or Expungement

February 25 – As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle and the LA Times, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced that his office will move to wipe out more than 9,000 marijuana-related convictions, following California’s vote for legalization in 2016. Teaming with the nonprofit technology company Code for America, the DA’s office said it has identified 9,362 eligible cases dating back to 1975 using the company’s “Clear My Record” technology. Gascón will present the cases to a judge in the coming weeks for final approval. “It was the morally right thing to do,” said Gascón. “If you have a

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Gov. Newsom to Deploy the National Guard Against Marijuana Grows in California

February 20 – Governor Gavin Newsom plans to reassign 360 of the state’s California National Guard from the US-Mexico border to tackle wildfire preparedness and illicit marijuana grows in Northern California. In a February 11 press release and his State of the State speech on February 12, the governor announced that at least 150 California National Guard troops will join a federally funded Counterdrug Task Force he said he will be “redeploying up north to go after all these illegal cannabis farms, many of which are run by the cartels that are devastating our pristine forests and increasingly themselves becoming

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Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris Says She Smoked Marijuana, Favors Legalization

California Senator and Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris has admitted she smoked pot in her past, and says she is “absolutely in favor of legalizing marijuana,” harkening to her half-Jamaican heritage and citing the mass incarceration resulting from cannabis prohibition, particularly of young black men. Interviewed on The Breakfast Club radio show in NYC, Harris called for more research into marijuana’s effect on developing brains, and into measuring impairment of drivers using cannabis. Harris said she smoked joints (not blunts) when she was in college, while listening to music by marijuana-lover Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur. (Except that those two didn’t start

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Cannabis Compassion Program Bill Re-Introduced in California Legislature

Take Action In Support of Cannabis Compassion Programs UPDATE 12/3 – The bill number is SB 34. November 29 – Joined by co-sponsor Sen. Nancy Skinner (Berkeley), Senator Scott Wiener (San Francisco) announced he will re-introduce his bill to protect cannabis compassion programs in California at a press conference at the SPARC dispensary in SF. A coalition of caregivers, veterans groups, and other patient advocates including Cal NORML worked with Wiener’s office last year to pass SB 829 through the state legislature. However, Governor Brown callously vetoed the measure. This year, Gavin Newsom will be Governor and it’s hoped our

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California Cannabis Collective Law to Sunset on January 9, 2019

December 19, 2018 – A little-noticed looming deadline will make nonprofit collectives and cooperatives dispensing cannabis to medical patients illegal in California starting on January 9, 2019. Proposition 215, passed by the voters of California in 1996 and still in effect today, protects only the personal use and cultivation of medical marijuana for patients, or their primary caregivers who cultivate for them. Recognizing the need for systems of distribution, the California legislature passed SB420 in 2004, allowing patients to form nonprofit medical cannabis collectives or cooperatives, under which cultivation and distribution were protected under state law. Hundreds of medical cannabis

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Contra Costa Pot Giveaway Celebration and Protest

On the courthouse steps December 8 – Cannabis advocates handed out free marijuana to grateful recipients on the Contra Costa County Courthouse steps today in protest of the county’s lack of legal, affordable dispensaries. Organizers, including Contra Costa County NORML and PotPride.com, took advantage of California’s legalization law, which makes it legal to possess and give away up to one ounce of cannabis (or 8 grams of concentrate) to adults over 21.   Santa helps himself to a gift The handout attracted a few score of appreciative locals, who lined up to help themselves to free samples of marijuana, canna-caps,

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CANORML

Cal NORML’s 2018 Accomplishments and Plans for 2019

PLEASE JOIN CAL NORML OR RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP TO HELP US CONTINUE OUR WORK IN 2019. As California enters new territory with the opening of adult-use sales this year, Cal NORML continues its fight to secure consumers’ rights to use cannabis freely, legally, and affordably. We are glad to have made some progress with the state’s lawmakers and regulators this year, but much work remains to be done. While the year got off to a bang with the first legal sales on January 1, 2018, progress has been rocky, fraught with glitches and bottlenecks, costly new taxes and regulations, and

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