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Key California marijuana bills face June 1 hurdle at state Capitol

The California marijuana industry suffered a significant setback in the statehouse last week when a bill to reduce a statewide excise tax died in committee.

Although that bill was considered the top legislative priority for the California Cannabis Industry Association, it’s far from the only measure the CCIA is tracking. Industry watchers should note:

  • The organization’s internal bill roundup identifies an eye-popping 50 marijuana-related bills that have been introduced so far at the state Capitol. That’s a reminder to the industry the regulations under which it operates will likely continue to evolve throughout 2018 and into 2019.
  • Each of this year’s bills faces another hurdle on June 1, when any measure that hasn’t passed either the full Senate or full Assembly is formally dead for the current legislative session.

Marijuana Business Daily spoke with the CCIA’s chief lobbyist, Amy Jenkins of Platinum Advisors, to get an update on which bills may have the biggest impact on the cannabis industry.

But, she said, changes are still on their way – and coming soon.It appears both lawmakers and regulators are trying to ease burdens on businesses rather than install new rules for them to deal with, which is generally a positive sign for the industry, Jenkins observed.

“The industry needs to be prepared to adjust and pivot as new changes come online, and I don’t see that ending this year,” Jenkins noted.

She emphasized that industry officials who want to see any of the bills succeed should contact lawmakers themselves.

“A lot of your readers should be prepared to see letters and emails that are going to be coming out from CCIA, urging them to engage directly,” Jenkins said. “Legislators want to hear from their locals.”

Jenkins singled out seven bills as CCIA’s top business-oriented priorities for the year:

Assembly Bill 3157  

What it would do: This is the tax reduction bill that technically died in the Assembly Appropriations Committee last week. If it had been approved, it would have lowered the statewide cannabis excise tax to 11% from 15% temporarily through June 2021.

Primary sponsors: Assemblymen Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova), Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) and Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg)

Status: The bill has been killed, but Jenkins said the issue may be resurrected later this year as an amendment to the state budget or in some other fashion. “The fight is not over, as far as we’re concerned,” she stressed.

Senate Bill 1302

What it would do: Prohibit municipalities and counties from banning marijuana delivery companies from performing deliveries into jurisdictions that have banned MJ businesses, essentially giving delivery operators more leeway into where they can service customers.

Primary sponsors: Sens. Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood), Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) and Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont)

Status: Awaiting approval by the full Senate.

Assembly Bill 2020

To Read The Rest Of This Article By John Schroyer on MJ Biz Daily

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Published: May 30, 2018

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