California: Five High Priority Marijuana Bills Await Legislative Action

California legislators are back at work after their summer recess, and they’re prepared to address five critical issues governing marijuana legalization in the Golden State.

Sponsored by two Northern California policymakers, Assemblyman Jim Wood (D- Healdsburg) and Sen. Mike McGuire (D- Healdsburg), the proposed bills are intended to help cultivate and regulate California’s new legal marijuana market.


Marijuana Marketing and Advertising: Senate Bill 175

Introduced by Sen. Mark McGuire, SB 175 would regulate the marketing and advertising of all marijuana products. Senate Bill 175 would disallow the use of any California county name, or their homonyms, unless the marijuana product was cultivated/produced in that specific county. Passed on 4/20/2017, the bill has advanced to the committee on agriculture.


Prop 64 Clarifications: AB 64

Co-authored by Assemblyman Jim Wood, Assembly Bill 64 provides greater clarity to some of the provisions spelled out in Proposition 64. AB 64 states that a licensed medical marijuana business or collective can operate either as a for-profit or as a nonprofit; specifies a dispensary does not need to have a storefront (read: delivery service); prohibits marijuana advertising on interstates and highways; permits California’s Secretary of State to issue trademarks for cannabis products, and lends $3 million from the General Fund to the California Highway Patrol to perform marijuana DUI detection research. Passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 21, the bill was sent to what is called a ‘suspense file.’  


Marijuana, Law Enforcement, and Federal Interaction: AB 1578

Co-authored by Assemblyman Jim Wood, Assembly Bill 1578 would prevent local law enforcement from working with federal authorities to “investigate, detain, detect, report, or arrest a person for commercial or noncommercial marijuana or medical cannabis activity,” absent a court order signed by a judge. The bill was granted a third reading on June 28, 2017.


Marijuana Tax Deductions: AB 420

Introduced by Assemblyman Jim Wood, Assembly Bill 420 would permit marijuana-related businesses to deduct ongoing business expenses on their California state income taxes – in direct contrast to the current federal rules on marijuana-related businesses. AB 420 was passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 21 and was also sent to the suspense file.


Marijuana Tax Payments – State Board of Equalization: AB 1410

A collaborative effort between Assemblymen Wood and Sen. McGuire, Assembly Bill 1410 would allow a licensed distributor to remit taxes to the State Board of Equalization. According to the Fort Bragg Advocate, Assembly Bill 1410 “is supported by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, which wrote a letter of support for the legislation last March.”

SUSPENSE FILE: “A bill or set of bills, with a fiscal impact, set aside in Appropriations Committee by a majority of Members present and voting. These bills may be heard at a later hearing.”


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