Local Cannabis Event Bill Filed In California Legislature

By Benjie Cooper

IG: @nuglifenews

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In the days leading up to the commencement of California’s emergency cannabis regulations on January 1, a sense of nervousness and uncertainty was felt throughout the industry regarding the new rules. But marijuana events in particular, which have been a significant and integral part of the culture across the state, were suddenly faced with new restrictions which, among other things, limit the gatherings to agricultural facilities and fairgrounds.

And while some cannabis event organizers have chosen to continue their gatherings, others have opted to put their events on hold until regulations are relaxed.

The San Diego Cannabis Farmers Market canceled a CBD-focused event scheduled for New Year’s Eve in fear of interference from San Diego law enforcement. Organizers recently posted a petition on change.org to demand that the city retract their restrictive cannabis event and consumption policy and grant special permits.

But Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) is stepping up at the state level in hopes of loosening the restrictions on cannabis events and permitting them to continue in a wider variety of venues than California’s regulations currently allow.

Quirk introduced AB 2020 into the legislature yesterday, a bill aimed at providing more options for cities that wish to allow organizers to hold local cannabis-related events.


Bill Quirk

“I am excited to be working with the City of Oakland and the cannabis community on this bill,” said Quirk in a statement. “My office has heard from several cities that wish to allow for the use and sale of cannabis at temporary special events, but are restricted from approving these special permits. AB 2020 will be a great partnership with local governments—it retains local control and includes mechanisms to ensure public safety.”

While the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) restricts cannabis events to fairgrounds and agricultural facilities, AB 2020 would “authorize a local jurisdiction to apply for a temporary event license, and would generally require that local jurisdiction to comply with all existing licensure requirements that apply to any other applicant, except for specified provisions relating to background checks and prior convictions.”

“I want to thank Assemblymember Quirk for authoring this bill,” said Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan in a statement on Quirk’s website. “The City of Oakland is a leader in cannabis development.

Rebecca Kaplan

The current regulations state these events can only take place at county fairgrounds. By making this simple, minor change, it will give greater opportunities to small businesses and allow cities to secure much-needed revenue, while firmly maintaining local control and public safety.”

The bill emphasizes that it is not intended to supersede or limit the authority of local jurisdictions, but instead provide more options for cities wanting to license cannabis events.

Section 2 of the bill states that on-site smoking, vaporizing, and ingestion of cannabis will be allowed as long as the designated areas are 21 and up, not visible from any public place or non-age-restricted space, and “sale or consumption of alcohol or tobacco is not allowed on the premises.”

According to the statement on Quirk’s website, AB 2020 will be eligible to be heard in policy committee sometime in March.