California Bans Drug Test Masking Products; Cal NORML Calls for Protection of Legal MJ Consumers

July 8, 2019 – Gov. Newsom has signed a little-noticed bill to ban drug-test masking aids such as additives and synthetic urine.  The bill, AB 851 by Jim Cooper (Sacramento), passed quietly and unanimously through both houses with no debate or input from opponents. Cal NORML  blasted the bill as a gift to the powerful drug testing industry. “Drug tests have never been FDA proven to be safe or effective for preventing drug abuse or judging employment fitness,” says Cal NORML director Dale Gieringer.   “This bill criminalizes  products used to protect consumers against an unproven and widely abused technology

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Marijuana Arrests Decline Again in CA in 2018

July 5, 2019 – The number of marijuana arrests in California continued to decline toward new lows in 2018 according to data released by the Criminal Justice Statistics Center. The total number of felony arrests was 1,617, down 22% from 2017 and the lowest since the 1950s. Misdemeanor arrests totaled 3,835, down 4% since 2017. Total arrests numbered 5,452, the lowest since 1962. Whites accounted for 25% of marijuana arrests, Hispanics 44% and blacks 16%. DUI arrests rose slightly by 2% to 128,053, interrupting a decade-long decline, but still over 40% lower than their peak in 2007. Felony drug arrests

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Plumas County Declines to Ban Hemp Cultivation

A 45-day emergency moratorium on hemp cultivation failed to carry by a narrow vote at a meeting of the in Plumas County Board of Supervisors on June 4. Cal NORML was contacted by members in the county and sent a letter to Supervisors asking them not to pass the moratorium. We also alerted supporters in the area about the meeting. Plumas County residents voted 52% in favor of Prop. 64 to legalize marijuana in California, but the county has banned all commercial marijuana business in their borders. Measure B, a voter measure to tax and regulate cannabis businesses in Plumas, failed

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National Guard Joins Local, Fed & State Agencies in Anza Raids

June 6, 2019 – Yesterday, multijurisdictional force of more than 700 personnel from the Army National Guard, the FBI, US Drug Enforcement, and numerous other police and government agencies descended on the Anza Valley region in Riverside County at daybreak and worked throughout the day. Police and military helicopters, and trucks pulling trailers were spotted removing marijuana from the various alleged illegal grows. Warrants were served 118 locations and eight people including one Mexican national were arrested for “related crimes,” according to the Riverside Sheriff’s Department. The raids reportedly resulted in the confiscation of: • 140,877 marijuana plants (which the sheriff’s

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FDA Holds Hearing on CBD as CA Moves Forward on Hemp

About 100 people testified at a public hearing held on May 31 by the FDA “in order to inform the regulatory path forward” on CBD. Manufacturers, researchers, doctors, laboratory representatives, lawyers and advocates (pro and con) were among those who spoke. Speakers expressed concern over the lack of uniformity and purity of available CBD preparations, and a lack of safety studies on vulnerable populations like children, seniors, pregnant women, and those taking other drugs. NORML submitted comments to the FDA  asking the agency to “craft benchmark safety and quality standards for hemp-derived CBD products in order to increase consumer satisfaction

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Report Estimates AB 1356 Could Lead to $2.1 Billion More in Cannabis Sales in CA

UPDATE 5/30 – Assemblyman Ting could not muster the two-thirds vote of the Assembly required to alter the voter-approved initiative to prevent cities and counties from banning pot shops. Read more.  A new report from Applied Development Economics (ADE) in Walnut Creek, CA estimates that the passage of AB 1356, a bill currently before the California Assembly, will allow between 1,195 and 3,472 additional cannabis retailers in the 392 incorporated cities and unincorporated county areas that voted in favor of Prop. 64. The potential increase in sales of regulated and taxed cannabis could be $1.5 and 2.1 billion and potentially support

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Bill to Open Local Markets for Regulated Cannabis Fails

UPDATE 5/30 – Assemblyman Ting could not muster the two-thirds vote of the Assembly required to alter the voter-approved initiative to prevent cities and counties from banning pot shops. He plans to try again with the bill next year, a representative told the LA Times.  Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, earned more than 57% of the vote in the November 2016 election and passed in 2/3 of California counties. Yet 75% of California cities and counties have banned retail cannabis businesses within their borders. Consequently, many Californians, including those with serious illnesses, are unable to safely access

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Study Shows CA Leads “Legal, Not Local” Status of Cannabis

A review of 42 scientific studies conducted by Leafly.com has found that the broad body of published research suggests crime near licensed dispensaries has generally stayed flat or decreased, teen cannabis use in legalization states has fallen since legalization, and property values near cannabis outlets generally are not affected or even rise. Leafly editors David Downs and Bruce Barcott worked with cannabis policy expert Dominic Corva, co-director of the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research (HIIMR) at Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA on the study. Leafly has shared the literature review, “Debunking Dispensary Myths,” with elected officials, legislative aides,

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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

UPDATE 5/27/19 – AB 1465 has stalled in the Assembly appropriations committee for the year, after an incomplete analysis by committee staff looked only at the cost to produce a new license, instead of also examining potential revenues that could be generated by the bill. We hope to see it reintroduced next year.  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.

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