The California Cannabis Control Appeals Panel is finishing its own formal comment period for regulations on appeals procedures (see our August 2018 update for more details); written comments will be accepted until 5pm on October 15, 2018. They will also conduct a public hearing starting at 9:00 a.m., Wednesday October 17, 2018, at the State Personnel Board Building, 1st Floor Auditorium, 801 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA 95814. If you didn’t get your written comments in on time, this is a final opportunity on their original proposal. (If they modify the regulations, there will be a separate comment period on the modifications.)
The appeals procedures are statutorily required to consider the procedures used by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board, with which the attorneys at Simas & Associates are very familiar. Simas & Associates has submitted a few comments on these proposed regulations – if you are interested, you can see them HERE. If you would like assistance putting together your thoughts for regulation comment periods, give us a call.
For more information on any of the above regulations, visit the state Cannabis portal for regulations, at https://cannabis.ca.gov/cannabis-regulations.
Speaking of the link between alcohol and cannabis, AB 2914 was approved by the Governor on September 27, 2018. This bill prohibits an alcoholic beverage licensee from selling, offering, or providing any cannabis product at the licensed premises. No alcoholic beverage may be manufactured, sold, or offered for sale if it contains THC or cannabinoids, regardless of source. The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has been consistent in advising that drinks may not be mixed, infused, or brewed with cannabis. See ABC’s prior advisory for reference – http://abc.ca.gov/trade/INDUSTRY%20ADVISORY_CannabisAndAlcoholicBeverages07252018.pdf
In other legislative news, Governor Brown has approved and vetoed a number of bills regarding cannabis. Immediate fines and penalties were approved for local violations of building codes or zoning requirements in AB 2164, which was approved September 10, 2018.
Citing a backlog with local authorities issuing licenses, SB 1459, approved on September 27, 2018 and effective immediately, allows state licensing agencies to issue 12-month provisional commercial cannabis licenses.
AB 1793 was signed by the Governor on September 30, 2018, which requires the Department of Justice to review convictions for which a lesser offense or no offense would be imposed under the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). This would pave the way for courts to expunge records of Californians convicted of offenses that are now legal under Proposition 64, such as possession of up to an ounce of cannabis or growing up to six plants for personal use, and to resentence other offenses (such as cannabis sales), reducing them from felonies to misdemeanors. While the bill provides for some local government reimbursement, it is unclear whether or not the Department of Justice can review all of the records before July 1, 2019, and courts can reduce or dismiss convictions before July 1, 2020.
Simas & Associates has successfully handled expungements for many individuals – if you have a conviction not covered by AB 1793, or have one covered but don’t want to wait for the government to act on your behalf, give us a call to get that process started for you.