Salas Leads Assembly Hearing on Cannabis Regulation

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Assembly Committees will guide discussion on path forward after Proposition 64

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), Chair of the Assembly committee on Business and Professions hosted a Joint Informational Hearing with the Assembly Committees on Agriculture and Health bringing together key stakeholders to discuss the path forward for cannabis regulation.

“Today’s hearing was a great step toward identifying solutions to responsibly regulate the cannabis industry to help ensure Californians are safe and that everything is being done to keep these products out of the hands of children,” said Assemblymember Salas. “The passage of Proposition 64 largely elevates the need for strong oversight and consistent communication between the legislature, state regulators, and the cannabis industry.  As the Chair of the Business and Professions Committee I look forward to being fully engaged in the oversight and regulatory framework of this industry as it develops.”

In attendance were representatives from the state agencies responsible for regulating cannabis, as well as representatives from law enforcement, cities, counties, and all segments of the cannabis industry.  Many issues, challenges, and solutions regarding the future of regulating the cannabis industry were discussed.

“One of the biggest challenges we anticipate is detecting, apprehending, and prosecuting marijuana impaired drivers,” said Captain Richard Desmond, Legislative Representative for California Highway Patrol. “Fortunately, there is research funding available that CHP intends to utilize to help develop better field sobriety tests to detect those drivers.”

Issues about the licensure of cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution of cannabis were also covered with a focus on state, local, and industry perspectives.

“We think it is essential to establish a means of verifying local compliance prior to the issuance of a state license,” said Tim Cromartie, Legislative Representative, League of California Cities. “The Medical Act was clear on this: local approval was absolutely required prior to applying for a state license.  Proposition 64, on the other hand, expressly states that applicants are not required to submit evidence of local approval. As written, Prop. 64 places state regulators in the position of having to chase down individual ordinances.”

This hearing was one of a series of hearings that will be conducted as regulations are developed.  The state agencies responsible for developing the regulatory framework are required notify the legislature as the regulations are developed. Regulations are required to be implemented by January 1, 2018.

Assemblymember Salas also introduced legislation today intended to bolster regulations and protect California consumers.

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Assemblymember Salas represents part of the City of Bakersfield, the cities of Arvin, Avenal, Corcoran, Delano, Hanford, Lemoore, McFarland, Shafter, Wasco, and the communities of Armona, Buttonwillow, Home Garden, Kettleman City, Lamont, Lost Hills, Stratford and Weedpatch.

CONTACT: Teodoro Martinez, (916) 319-2032