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2022 announcements

New cannabis bills signed by Governor Newsom to strengthen the legal market

CALIFORNIA – The signing of nearly a dozen cannabis-related bills by Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday will continue to strengthen California’s cannabis industry by expanding access to the licensed market.

Governor Newsom also reiterated calls on legislators and other policymakers to redouble efforts to remove regulatory bureaucracy stifling operators and address challenges presented by local prohibitions.  Based on local data last updated in August 2022, 61 percent of cities and counties in the state do not allow the licensing of any retail cannabis businesses, while 56 percent of cities and counties do not allow the licensing of any type of cannabis business.

“Californians have overwhelmingly embraced the legal, regulated market. Areas of prohibition challenge this reality and lend to an environment where illegal activity can thrive, threatening consumer safety and the vision of legalization,” said Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) Director Nicole Elliott. “I am grateful the Governor has clearly prioritized policy changes this year that will help expand safe access to regulated cannabis products, diminish economic incentives to engage in illegal activity, and better support our ability to create a safe, sustainable and equitable cannabis market.”

In response to the Governor’s call to redouble efforts to tackle barriers to access, the Department stands ready to support the Legislature and other policymakers in moving forward significant reforms in the year ahead, Director Elliott added.

SB 1326, by Senator Anna M. Caballero (D-Merced), creates a process for California to enter into agreements with other states to allow cannabis transactions with entities outside California. And SB 1186, by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), expands patients’ access to regulated cannabis products by preempting local bans on medicinal cannabis delivery.

These bills build on the Governor’s prior efforts to strengthen California’s cannabis-legalization framework. Earlier this year, as part of the 2022-23 Budget, the Governor signed legislation to provide tax relief to consumers and the cannabis industry; support equity businesses; strengthen enforcement tools against illegal cannabis operators; bolster worker protections; expand access to legal retail; and protect youth, environmental, and public safety programs funded by cannabis tax revenue.

A full list of the signed cannabis bills can be found in the Governor’s press release.