CannabizDaily has reported last week that California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law two bills that would surely make cannabis businesses happy.
Two bills approved last week
The first bill (Senate Bill 1294) allows California’s local jurisdictions to apply for a grant that would provide aid to cannabis entrepreneurs who are a part of minority groups. This aide may come in the form of waived their license fees or technical assistance.
The second bill (AB 2020) signed into law gives local governments the authority to allow temporary cannabis-related events at any venue they see fit. Current state laws prohibit local jurisdictions from approving applications for the sale of weed products at special events if such events are being held in places other than county fair grounds.
More bills signed into law
Then over the weekend, Brown signed bills that allow for the expansion of hemp farming and that allow for the removal or reduction of previous cannabis convictions.
However, Brown has also rejected some cannabis and drug reform bills, too.
No free cannabis products
The bills he rejected include one that would have allowed cannabis sellers to give away products to low-income people. Senate Bill 829, which was introduced by state Sen. Scott Wiener, would have given licensed cannabis retailers the authority to offer free cannabis or cannabis products to medical cannabis patients.
Brown did not approve the bill on the basis that it violated the state’s voter-approved recreational cannabis law. Specifically, Proponent 64 prohibits licensed medical cannabis retailers from giving away sample marijuana products free-of-charge.
In his rejection message, Brown wrote that providing free cannabis to someone with only a doctor’s recommendation undermines the intent of the voters.
Advocates say Brown’s reasoning is unsound
Cannabis advocates are not happy about Brown’s decision to throw away Bill 829 and described his reasoning as dishonest and unsound.
According to Josh Drayton, California Cannabis Industry Association spokesman, he was “shell-shocked” when he found out about the governor’s rejection of Bill 829. He said that there was no rationale behind the decision other than that it violates statute.
Meanwhile, California NORML executive director Dale Gieringer said that Brown’s veto message was outrageous and off-point. In an e-mail to Marijuana Moment, he wrote that in nowhere does Prop. 64 indicate “that it is intended to impede free donations of medicine to needy patients.”
Other rejected bills
Other bills that the Democrat governor has rejected in recent days include those that would have provided for:
- licensed commercial pot retailers to deduct business expenses
- safe-injection sites that would have alleviated the opiate overdose crisis
- schools to allow sick children access to medical cannabis in the campus
- an expansion of the state’s marijuana research program
- multiple licensed cannabis companies to share in common required resources like lobbies and break rooms