Hemp Products, Cannabis Cafes, and Worker Rights Legislation are Among the Cannabis Bills Set Before the California Legislature in 2024

In the 2024 legislative session, legislators are set to consider over a dozen bills addressing the cannabis industry in California. Some of these bills, like AB 3165 (to make a non-substantive change regarding local authority) and AB 2850 (to make a non-substantive change to Health & Safety Code Section 11358 regarding the 6-plant rule), seek modest changes to California’s cannabis laws while others, like AB 2223 (to provide a pathway for hemp products into the California cannabis market) and AB 1775 (to allow for cannabis cafes), propose more substantial changes. In the California Senate, legislators have introduced SB 1503 (to, inter alia, bolster the labor peace agreement requirement and to require cannabis businesses to apply the Dynamex law to their workers), a “spot” bill (SB 1064) to strengthen the state’s legal cannabis market, as well as bills to make non-substantive changes to existing tax law (SB 1059), employment nondiscrimination law (SB 1264), and cannabis licensure provisions (SB 1109). Senator Alvarado-Gil has brought back SB 820 from last year’s legislative session to authorize the Department of Cannabis Control or any local jurisdiction to seize specified property where commercial cannabis activity is conducted without a license. In the California Assembly, legislators have introduced AB 2888 (requiring licensees to pay for goods and services within 15 days), AB 2540 (granting the DCC the sole authority to transfer, assign, or reassign cannabis licenses), AB 2296 (adding a sentencing enhancement for illegally manufacturing concentrated cannabis if it occurs in a structure where a child under 16 years of age is present or injured), and AB 3054 (adding certain of the DCC’s leadership to the list of individuals prohibited from receiving any commission or profit from any person applying for any license or permit). And Assemblymember Quirk-Silva has introduced AB 2555 to renew tax-free cannabis compassion programs for indigent patients, which were put into place with SB 34 (Wiener, 2019) and are set to expire next year. The assemblymembers and senators sponsoring these bills have until May 24 to get these bills passed out of their chamber of origin and sent on to the opposite chamber for consideration.