Gov. Newsom Signs Bill to Protect Employment Rights of Cannabis Consumers, Other Reform Measures

SACRAMENTO, September 18 – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that he has signed several measures to strengthen California’s cannabis laws, expand the legal cannabis market and redress the harms of cannabis prohibition.

Among the bills signed were AB 2188 by Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), a Cal NORML-sponsored bill that protects Californians from employment discrimination based on their use of cannabis off-the-clock and away from the workplace.

“On behalf of our members, and all Californians, we thank Governor Newsom for his commitment to cannabis legalization, human rights, and workers’ rights,” said Cal NORML deputy director Ellen Komp.

The Governor also signed:

• AB 1706 by Assemblymember Mia Bonta (D-Oakland) ensures that Californians with old cannabis-related convictions will finally have those convictions sealed. This and AB 2188 were signed to “further unwind California’s failed history of cannabis prohibition,” a press release from the Governor’s office said.

• SB 1186 by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) preempts local bans on medicinal cannabis delivery, expanding patients’ access to legal, regulated cannabis products. Cal NORML testified in favor of the bill at its hearings.

• SB 1326 by Senator Anna Caballero (D-Merced), which creates a process for California to enter into agreements with other states to allow cannabis transactions with entities outside California.

• AB 1885 by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) to allow veterinarians to recommend cannabis for pets.

• AB 2210 by Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) to allow venues with liquor licenses to host cannabis events.

• AB 1894 by Assemblymember Luz Rivas (D-Arleta) – Integrated cannabis vaporizer: packaging, labeling, advertisement, and marketing.

 

The Governor formerly signed:

• AB 1954 (Quirk) to protect the right of patients to medical treatment if they use marijuana, and the right of physicians and clinics to treat them. The bill was sponsored by Cal NORML and co-sponsored by Americans for Safe Access.

• AB 2595 (Jones-Sawyer) would require the State Department of Social Services to treat a parent’s use of cannabis in the same manner as alcohol or legally prescribed medication.

• SB 988 (Hueso) to clarify “Ryan’s Law,” allowing terminally ill patients to use cannabis in healthcare facilities.

For the text of the bills, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.

 

Thanks to all of our supporters who sent thousands of letters in support of many of these bills, and those who lobbied with us at Lobby Day and throughout the year for reform. Please consider supporting Cal NORML in our work moving forward to implement these new laws.

 

The Governor’s release from today stated:

Though the state has made significant progress since the legalization of cannabis, local opposition, rigid bureaucracy and federal prohibition continue to pose challenges to the industry and consumers. The Governor is calling on legislators and other policymakers to redouble efforts to address and eliminate these barriers.

“For too many Californians, the promise of cannabis legalization remains out of reach,” said Governor Newsom. “These measures build on the important strides our state has made toward this goal, but much work remains to build an equitable, safe and sustainable legal cannabis industry. I look forward to partnering with the Legislature and policymakers to fully realize cannabis legalization in communities across California.”

These bills build on the Administration’s efforts to strengthen California’s cannabis legalization framework. As part of this year’s state budget, the Governor signed legislation to provide tax relief to consumers and the cannabis industry; support equity businesses; strengthen enforcement tools against illegal cannabis operators; bolster worker protections; expand access to legal retail; and protect youth, environmental and public safety programs funded by cannabis tax revenue.

To expedite policy reforms that prioritize and protect California consumers’ health and safety, the Governor has directed the California Department of Public Health to convene subject matter experts to survey current scientific research and policy mechanisms to address the growing emergence of high-potency cannabis and hemp products. The Governor has also directed the Department of Cannabis Control to further the scientific understanding of potency and its related health impacts by prioritizing the funding of research related to cannabis potency through its existing public university grants. [Cal NORML is working with a group of doctors and others to address this issue and provide recommendations for public education and policy.]

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