California Governor Signs Bill Allowing Temporary Cannabis Events

By Benjie Cooper

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Ever since Californians voted to pass Prop 64, the future of cannabis events, or seshes, has somewhat been in question. While the law allows marijuana events to take place at agricultural facilities, there has been a shortage of such venues willing to host an event where cannabis products are bought, sold, and consumed.

Smaller, local seshes have been an integral part of the state’s cannabis community for years, fulfilling Prop 215 patients’ medical cannabis needs through farmer’s market style vending. But under Prop 64, there were no allowances made for these kinds of events to happen.

On Wednesday, September 28, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB2020, a bill to amend Section 26200 of the Business and Professions Code to allow organizers to obtain state licenses and hold temporary events at any location approved by a local jurisdiction.

The measure was authored by Assemblyman Bill Quirk [D-Hayward] and introduced in February before sailing through the legislature and landing on the governor’s desk on September 10.

“Cannabis events support local economies and small businesses,” said Quirk in a statement. “Despite the fiscal and communal benefits such events bring to a city or local community, current law prohibits local governments from approving applications for cannabis sales at special events if they are held anywhere but on county fairgrounds.”

Applicants are required to submit their application, including a list of all licensed vendors, 60 days prior to their event. The rules also state that cannabis consumption must not be publicly visible and alcohol and tobacco cannot be consumed on the premises during the sesh.

Provisions included in AB2020 allow the Bureau of Cannabis Control to revoke permits and shut down events entirely if they discover unlawful or un-permitted activity taking place onsite.