In the next few weeks, California will hopefully be a very different place.
SB 1326 from Sen. Anna Caballero (D) and AB 1706 from Assemblymember Mia Bonta (D) will set up the framework for interstate marijuana commerce, streamline record sealing for cannabis convictions, and safeguard firms that provide insurance to businesses in the legal industry—all while preventing localities from banning medical marijuana deliveries or employment protections for people who use cannabis off the job.
And that’s just a small slice of what’s happening in Sacramento these days: tons of cannabis bills are passing through government desks as we prepare for an upcoming election. But in recent days, lawmakers have given final passage a number of key reforms that are now being transmitted to Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).
California is finally getting ready to open up its doors for interstate marijuana commerce.
SB 1326 would set the stage for California to allow for interstate marijuana commerce from California to and from other legal states, contingent on an official assurance the activity would not put the state at risk of federal enforcement action.
“The bill would prohibit an entity with a commercial cannabis license issued under the laws of another state from engaging in commercial cannabis activity within the boundaries of this state without a state license, or within a local jurisdiction without a license, permit, or other authorization issued by the local jurisdiction,” stated a legislative analysis.
This is a huge step forward for legalization efforts around the country: it opens up trade between states, which means more revenue streams for business owners and more options for consumers. It’s also a potential first step towards federal legislation down the road—not to mention an exciting time for cannabis enthusiasts everywhere!
Assemblymember Mia Bonta (D) introduced bill AB 1706, an initiative that would require courts to process record sealings and other forms of relief for people with eligible cannabis convictions on their records in a specified time period.
“On or before March 1, 2023, the court shall update its records in accordance with this section, and shall report all convictions that have been recalled, dismissed, redesignated, or sealed to the Department of Justice for adjustment of the state summary criminal history information database,” read bill AB 1706.
The legislation would enhance the judicial reform provisions of the state’s marijuana law by directing courts to update their records and report all convictions that have been recalled, dismissed, redesignated, or sealed to the Department of Justice for adjustment of the state summary criminal history information database.
It’s no secret that the criminal justice system in California has been broken for years. Inmates are left to languish in overcrowded prisons where they’re forced to live in filth and violence. But it seems like things might be starting to change.
The bill goes alongside expungement clauses presented in legalization bills across the country which are meant to help people who were convicted of nonviolent drug crimes get back on their feet after they’ve served their time.
This is a good step towards justice. We hope other states follow suit!
California has been a pioneer in marijuana reform since legalizing medical marijuana in 1996, but many have been waiting for legalization to go further than just medical use.
Lately, California has been making headlines with all of their new cannabis bills as we approach the end of the session. Lawmakers are pushing to make the state the most progressive in the country when it comes to marijuana policy. Will this pay off? Is California’s future as a leader in cannabis bright? We certainly hope so.
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