New California Cannabis Regulations Approved
OAL Approves Cannabis Delivery and Other Regulations
California’s Office of Administrative Law has approved state cannabis regulations to permanently replace the previous emergency regulations, effective immediately. The new regulations — totaling 138 pages — regulate cannabis businesses across the supply chain, including dispensaries, manufacturing and processing facilities.
In November 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64 (the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act — known as AUMA). Shortly thereafter, the Legislature adopted the Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulations and Safety Act, known as MAUCRSA, creating a single regulatory scheme that addressed both medical cannabis and the recreational adult-use cannabis that was approved under Proposition 64.
Emergency regulations were adopted in December 2017 by the Bureau of Cannabis Control, the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The emergency regulations were originally issued to meet the legislative mandate to open and regulate the California cannabis market on Jan. 1, 2018. The emergency regulations, which were readopted in June 2018, are no longer in effect.
One of the most controversial new regulations affecting local agencies is California Code of Regulations section 5416(d), which provides that deliveries may be made to “any jurisdiction within the State of California.” This regulation applies even if a local jurisdiction prohibits cannabis deliveries in its community.
This regulation was strongly opposed by local governments and the League of California Cities. The regulation undercuts cannabis control by cities and counties and has the potential to conflict with local regulations and bans of commercial cannabis activity.
In addition to authorizing the delivery of cannabis, the new regulations also:
- Prohibit the use of certain advertisement techniques that may be attractive to minors and prohibits the advertisement of free cannabis goods or giveaways of any type of product;
- Allow peace officers to use a person under 21 years old as minor decoys;
- Strictly control the handling of cannabis waste;
- Allow a retailer who holds multiple retailer licenses to transfer cannabis goods from one licensed retail premise to another;
- Impose stricter enforcement of temporary cannabis events;
- Update the definition of “owner” for purposes of cannabis license applications;
- Clarify the CEQA compliance process for cannabis license applications;
- Clarify the definition of licensed premises;
- Provide that any temporary license shall not be renewed and is valid until its expiration date;
- Give priority to applicants for state licenses who can demonstrate that their commercial cannabis business was in operation under the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, as of Sept. 1, 2016;
- Update manufacturing processes and procedures;
- Update cannabis labeling requirements for all cannabis products, including required government warnings and
- Set allowable THC concentration limits for edible cannabis products.
To view the permanent Cannabis Regulations, click here.
If you have any questions about the new permanent regulations or how they may affect your agency’s current cannabis regulations, please contact the authors of this Legal Alert listed to the right in the firm’s Municipal Law practice group, or your BB&K attorney.
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