Latest News from California

Bill Allowing Locals to Ban All Cannabis Deliveries Defeated in Committee
April 9, 2019 - AB 1530, a bill that would have allowed local jurisdictions to ban cannabis deliveries originating outside their jurisdictional borders, was defeated in its first committee hearing today after cannabis activists and industry representatives objected to the proposed legislation.

Epic Mountain View Meeting Leads to Cannabis Ordinance Changes
March 6 - 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 four cannabis businesses that has already seen 10 Phase 1 applicants for licenses.

San Francisco to Clear Over 9,000 Past Marijuana Convictions
February 25 - San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced that his office will move to resentence or expunge more than 9,000 past marijuana-related convictions, following California’s vote for legalization in 2016.

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.

Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris Says She Smoked Marijuana, Favors Legalization
February 11 - 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."

Poll Shows California Voters Approve of Marijuana Legalization, Don't Want To Punish Pot Offenders
February 7 - In a new poll from Quinnipiac University, California voters say legalizing marijuana has been good for the state, by a margin of 54 - 31 percent.

Cal NORML's 2018 Accomplishments and Plans for 2019
December 1 - 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.

California Cannabis Collective Law to Sunset on January 9
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.

Contra Costa Pot Giveaway Celebration and Protest
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.

Cannabis Compassion Program Bill Re-Introduced in California Legislature
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.

Pro-Cannabis Candidates and Measures Carry Across California
November 7 - Gavin Newsom, a cannabis supporter who pushed for the passage of Prop. 64 to legalize adult recreational use in California, will be the new governor of the state, and other pro-cannabis candidates and measures also prevailed in yesterday's election. The Democrats taking control of the House means cannabis-friendly SF Rep. Nancy Pelosi will again be Speaker.

Local Restrictions on Personal Cannabis Cultivation Struck Down in Court
November 2 - San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge David Cohn has issued a ruling striking down parts of a City of Fontana ordinance placing restrictions on residential marijuana growers in the first court case limiting a local jurisdiction’s ability to regulate personal cultivation rights in California under Proposition 64.

NCIA/CCIA Conference Report: Day One
October 22 - The NCIA/CCIA conference in Anaheim got off to a rousing start when the crowd was reminded that California was still the biggest potential market for the cannabis industry, even now that Canada has become the second country to legalize it.

CA Cannabis Regulations Issued for Final 15-Day Comment Period
October 19 - Regulations for cannabis businesses in California have been issued by the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), the CA Dept of Food of Agriculture (CDFA), and the CA Dept. of Public Health (CDPH). A final 15-day comment period on the proposed regulations has opened.

AG Becerra Announces Campaign Against Marijuana Planting Data for 2018
October 8 - The Campaign Against Marijuana Planting claims to have eradicated 614,267 illegal marijuana plants on public lands in California this year, half the number taken in 2017.

Governor Brown Signs, Vetoes Cannabis Bills for 2018
October 1 - Governor Brown met his deadline of Sunday, Sept. 30 to sign or veto bills from this year's legislative session. He signed a bill to automatically repentance past marijuana convictions, but vetoed one to protect cannabis compassion programs that give away medicine to indigent patients.

Cal NORML Submits Comments to Bureau of Cannabis Control on Pending Regulations
August 27, 2018 - On behalf of its members and cannabis consumers across the state, California NORML has submitted comments to the state Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) on their proposed final regulations for cannabis businesses in the state.

ONDCP Grantee Sends Mailer to Fairfax Residents Against Adult-Use Cannabis Sales
September 14 - A Marin County organization funded by the US Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sent a mailer to every resident in Fairfax, California urging them to come out and oppose the approval of adult-use cannabis sales at a town council meeting last August 15.

Marijuana Resentencing Bill Passes CA Senate, Awaits Governor's Signature
August 22, 2018 - AB 1793 (Bonta), a bill to create a simpler and expedited pathway for Californians to have certain criminal convictions for cannabis-related offenses removed or reduced from their records, has passed the California Senate and is heading to the Governor's desk for his signature.

Final Hearings on Proposed Cannabis Regulations for California
August 21, 2018 - Leading up to the close of public comments on Monday, August 27, the Bureau of Cannabis control and other entities are holding hearings on proposed final regulations for cannabis businesses in California.

California Teen Marijuana Use Declines Sharply Post Legalization

August 21, 2018 - Marijuana use by adolescents continues to decline in California, according to statewide data provided by the California Healthy Kids Survey, a biennial survey funded by the Departments of Health and Education.

Cal NORML Backs Home Deliveries of Cannabis in California
August 16, 2018 - In testimony submitted to state Bureau of Cannabis Control, Cal NORML strongly backed a proposed regulation to allow home delivery of cannabis from licensed businesses to households throughout California.

Marijuana Arrests in CA Drop 56% Following Passage of Prop. 64; Felony Arrests Drop 74%
July 9, 2018 - Arrests for marijuana offenses dropped precipitously in California in 2017, with felony arrests taking the biggest dive.

How Cannabis Fared in the June 2018 Primary Election in California
June 6, 2018 - Local ballot measures to allow and/or tax cannabis businesses mostly prevailed across California.

Lobby Day 2018 a Success
June 5, 2018 - The Cal NORML / ASA annual Lobby Day, held June 4 in Sacramento, was well attended and well received. Constituent advocates from Humboldt county to San Diego and all across the state visited dozens of Legislators’ offices to lobby on several key bills affecting cannabis consumers and the industry.

Employment Rights and Tax Relief Bills Held in Assembly Committee; Resentencing Bill Advances and Compassion Bill Introduced
May 25 - The Cal NORML-sponsored bill to protect employment rights for medical marijuana users in California, AB 2069, has been held in the Assembly Appropriations committee, meaning it won’t advance in the legislature this year.

Bill to Protect Cannabis Deliveries Passes Committee
May 2 - Senator Lara’s bill SB 1302 to disallow local bans on cannabis deliveries squeaked by the Senate Governance and Finance committee today on the understanding that further amendments will be needed to address opponents’ concerns.
Medical Cannabis Worker Protections Act Advances in CA Assembly
April 25 - The CA Assembly Labor Committee approved a Cal NORML-sponsored bill to curb employment discrimination against workers who use medical cannabis to treat a disability or medical condition.

Bill to Reduce Cannabis Taxes Introduced in CA
March 15 - Assemblymembers Tom Lackey and Rob Bonta have introduced AB 3157 to reduce existing state taxes on cannabis for three years.

Cal NORML Opposes Bill to Suspend Licenses of Underage Drivers
February 25 - Cal NORML is opposing a bill, SB 1273 by Sen. Jerry Hill (San Mateo), that would authorize police to test any drivers under 21 for marijuana and automatically suspend their licenses for one year if any detectible amount of THC is found in their systems.

Bill To Protect Medical Marijuana Patients from Employment Discrimination Introduced in California
February 7 - Asm. Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) has introduced AB 2069, to protect employment rights for medical cannabis patients in California. The bill would specifically bar employers from discriminating against workers because of their status as a medical cannabis patient.

Bill to Expand Cannabis Special Event Venues Introduced in Sacramento
February 5 - The sale and consumption of cannabis at temporary special events could soon become legal with a bill introduced today by Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward).

San Francisco To Automatically Erase Minor Marijuana Convictions
February 1 - San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon has announced that his office plans to retroactively apply Proposition 64 to past marijuana convictions by expunging and sealing all related records dating back to 1975. San Diego is reportedly following suit, and a statewide effort to require state courts to automatically expunge past marijuana convictions is underway.

RIP Dennis Peron, Compassionate Warrior and Medical Marijuana Champion
January 27 - We are sad to report that medical marijuana activist Dennis Peron died today at the VA hospital in
San Francisco.

California Gubernatorial Candidates Asked If They Smoked Pot
January 26 - At a California Gubernatorial debate, Jorge Ramos of Univision asked the candidates to raise their hands if they had ever smoked marijuana.

Rep. Bonta Announces Marijuana Reform Measures for California in 2018
January 9 - Rep. Rob Bonta, the California Assembly's Assistant Majority Leader, announced that he has introduced AB 1793, to create a simpler and expedited pathway for Californians to have certain criminal convictions for cannabis-related offenses removed or reduced from their records.

California Responds to Jeff Sessions's Memo on Marijuana Prosecution
January 4, 2018 - Reaction has been swift from public officials in California following the announcement that AG Jeff Sessions has issued a memo to federal prosecutors.

Where Can I Buy Marijuana in California for Recreational Use?
December 2017 - The Bureau of Cannabis Control has issued the first group of commercial cannabis temporary licenses for retailers and others. Adults over 21 will be able to purchase up to one ounce of cannabis starting on January 1, 2018.

CaNORML Recommends Priority Licensing for Cannabis Cultivation
December 5 - Cal NORML has sent comments to state regulators regarding their emergency licensing regulations for cannabis cultivation which "open the doors to large-scale, industrial mega-grows that could monopolize California’s
limited available acreage, exacerbate environmental harm, and stifle participation by smaller growers."
Cal NORML's 2017 Accomplishments and Plans for 2018
December 2017 - As California begins recreational marijuana sales on January 1, much work remains to be done, in the legal and regulatory arenas at the state and local levels, and in the realm of human rights.
Recreational Marijuana Sales to Begin January 1 in California
November 2017 - New Year’s 2018 is ushering in a new era in California, as the first state-licensed cannabis stores open their doors and adult-use sales begin on Jan. 1.
November 16 - California’s three state cannabis licensing authorities announced today that proposed emergency licensing regulations for commercial medicinal and adult-use cannabis have been posted online and are available to the public for review.
Opioid Commission Refuses to Consider Cannabis
November 2 - The US Opioid Commission has jettisoned the voluminous research showing that cannabis serves as an exit drug to opioid use in favor of a study looking at 12-year-old data.
Marijuana Legalization and the Opioid Crisis
November 1 - The evidence is mounting that allowing access to marijuana, used medicinally or recreationally, could be an answer to the opioid crisis.

California Takes Action on Cannabis Bills
September 18 - The California legislature has approved SJR-5 (Stone), a joint resolution calling for Congress to reschedule cannabis. The legislature did not take final action on AB 1578, to require a state or local agency to obtain a court order for federal cooperation. Other regulatory and human rights legislation was acted on.
Lake County Agrees to Pay Medical Marijuana Patients $250,000 and Change Its Policy to Prevent Warrantless Raids
August 17 - After years of litigation in federal court and a scathing injunction issued against the County of Lake, the County fulfilled its court-ordered obligation to abide by the Constitution.
State Water Board Issues Draft Regulations for Cannabis Cultivation
July 11 - The State Water Resources Control Board will accept public comments on a draft regulations for cannabis cultivation until September 6.

California Marijuana Regulation Moves Forward
July 2017 - Legislation to improve the state’s cannabis regulations in time for the January 2018 deadline has moved forward expeditiously in Sacramento, with the legislature approving the Governor’s comprehensive budget trailer bill to unify the regulation of medical and adult-use cannabis.

California Releases Environmental Impact Report on Cannabis Cultivation

June 14 - The California Department of Food and Agriculture CalCannabis Licensing Program has issued a Cultivation Licensing Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) for public review and comment. The comment period will end on July 31.

  • Marijuana Reform Bills Advance in California Legislature
    June 2, 2017 - The state Assembly voted 41-33 to approve a bill by Asm. Reggie Jones-Sawyer (AB 1578) barring California law enforcement officials from cooperating with federal officials seeking to interfere with California’s marijuana laws.

    May 16 - Cannabis consumers across California are urged to attend Lobby Day on June 5 in Sacramento and make their views known to their elected officials.
    May 2017 - California is racing to enact new rules to regulate marijuana before January 1, 2018, when state licensing and taxation of the industry is set to begin, along with adult-use sales in localities that permit it. Meanwhile, dozens of regulation bills are pending in the state legislature.
  • Senate Public Safety Committee Waters Down Marijuana DUI Bills
    April 25 - Two bills by Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) to create stricter laws against drivers testing positive for marijuana were watered down substantially before being passed by the California Senate Public Safety Committee today.
  • Governor Releases Draft Language to Reconcile MCRSA and AUMA
    April 4 - The Governor’s office has released a draft trailer budget bill, attempting to reconcile MCRSA (medical marijuana law passed by the legislature in 2015) and AUMA (passed by the voters as Prop. 64 in November 2016).
  • Spicer Misspeaks on Cannabis
    and Opiates

    February 24 - It is widely understood that overuse of prescription opioids, not marijuana use, is what's driving the opiate crisis in the US. In fact, states with medical marijuana laws are seeing positive trends regarding opiates.
  • 2017 Bills Submitted to Legislature
    The final bills for this year's legislative session have been introduced in Sacramento. There are 44 bills that could affect cannabis law and policy in California that we will be tracking and announcing hearings and votes on.

  • Sen. Hill and Asm. Low Propose Criminal Penalties for Smoking While Driving
    January 1, 2017 - Senator Jerry Hill (San Mateo) & Asm Evan Low (San Jose) are proposing that smoking while driving explicitly be made a "wobbler" - an alternative misdemeanor or infraction.
  • Cal NORML's 2016 Accomplishments and Plans for 2017
    December 2016 - This year Cal NORML helped defeat DUID and tax bills, while supporting reasonable regulations. In 2017 we hope to sponsor bills to protect employment rights, pain patients rights, and access to medical marijuana for all.
  • Thousands to Receive Lesser Charges, Sentence Reductions Under Prop. 64
    November 28 - Several Cal NORML legal committee attorneys have reported that their clients have avoided jail time by having charges reduced under the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. The biggest group affected by Prop. 64—those who have already been punished for past pot convictions —may number in the hundreds of thousands.
  • Employment Rights for Marijuana Users a Priority for Cal NORML
    November 11 - As we expected, one of the most frequently asked questions we have been getting since Prop. 64 passed legalizing adult marijuana use in California is, "Am I now protected against drug testing on my job?"
  • What's Legal, and What Isn't, After Prop. 64
    November 9, 2016 - Californians have approved Prop. 64 to legalize adult use of marijuana by a margin of 56-44%.
  • Cal NORML's Post Prop. 64 Reform Agenda
    Versions of this proposal have been endorsed by the San Francisco and Alameda County Democratic Central Committees, and the Oakland Cannabis Commission.
  • Two Thirds of California's Counties Vote for Marijuana Legalization
    UPDATED 11/28 - Proposition 64 carried in 38 of California’s 58 counties, with 19 counties voting against and Trinity County too close to call at latest report.
  • Under Prop. 64, Locals That Ban Personal Outdoor Cultivation or Cannabis Commerce Would Lose Tax Dollars
    October 31, 2016 - Although cultivation for personal use will be legal as of November 9, 2016 if the AUMA is approved by voters, local governments will not lose any regulatory authority if they do not have an ordinance in place addressing personal cultivation before the election.

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