– Cannabis/Marijuana Industry News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. California Governor Gavin Newsom this week signed four cannabis bills into law that will directly impact the state-legal marijuana industry. The measures were sent to the governor earlier this month after receiving approval from state lawmakers before the end of the legislative session.

Assembly Bill 1458 raises the THC variance cap on edible products through January 1, 2022. Under the bill, edible products—which must not exceed 10mg THC per serving—are permitted a milligram variance of plus-or-minus 12 percent, up from the previous level of 10 percent. This is considered to be an essential safety net for manufacturers working to abide by California’s strict testing protocols.

Assembly Bill 1525 gives state authorities the power to share financial information about cannabis license holders (with their permission) with federal agencies. The goal of AB 1525 is to make it easier for financial institutions to adhere to federal reporting requirements. 

“I am signing Assembly Bill 1525, which affirmatively protects certain entities providing financial services to the legal cannabis industry and allows licensees to request that specific information about them be shared with financial institutions,” Newsom said. “This bill has the potential to increase the provision of financial services to the legal cannabis industry, and for that reason, I support it.”

Senate Bill 67 will create an appellation program, which should establish transparency in regard to where and how specific cannabis products are produced. Like wine labeling, the appellation program will list environmental factors, including the use of natural sunlight vs. indoor grow lamps, that could provide consumers insight on how cultivation may impact the final product.

“The language of Senate Bill 67 effectively allows only licensed outdoor cultivators—as opposed to mixed-light cultivators or indoor cultivators—to establish officially recognized cannabis appellations,” explained cannabis attorney Omar Figueroa.

Senate Bill 1244 was designed to bolster California’s cannabis testing program. According to SB 1244’s bill language, the new law would “authorize a licensed testing laboratory to receive and test samples of cannabis or cannabis products from a state or local law enforcement or a prosecuting or regulatory agency in order to test the cannabis or cannabis products. The bill would also clarify that testing conducted by a testing laboratory for state or local law enforcement, a prosecuting agency, or a regulatory agency, is not commercial cannabis activity and would prohibit that testing from being arranged or overseen by the bureau.”

California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) seemed pleased with the passage of the bills. 

“We thank Governor Newsom for prioritizing these bills, which seek to reduce regulatory burdens, improve enforcement, expand financial services, and enhance the state’s cannabis appellation’s program,” said CCIA Executive Director Lindsay Robinson. “Like so many, the cannabis industry has faced a series of unexpected challenges and setbacks in 2020. We look forward to continuing to work with the Newsom Administration, and the Legislature, as we pursue a robust policy agenda in 2021.”

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