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WINTER LLP UPDATE: 2018 Cannabis Legislation

2018 CANNABIS LEGISLATION

The California State Legislature has passed numerous cannabis-related bills this legislative session. Several of these bills were signed into law by Governor Brown in the final moments of the session. Many take effect immediately, while others take effect January 1, 2019. We will be closely tracking additional cannabis-related bills as they wind their way through both houses of State Congress next year.

The new laws that affect the cannabis industry in California include the following:

ALL CANNABIS LICENSE TYPES

SB 1459 – Provisional Cannabis License:

Effective immediately, all licensing authorities (BCC, MCSB, CalCannabis) may issue “provisional cannabis licenses,” as a bridge between temporary and annual licenses. A provisional license will act in the same manner as an annual license, except that it is not renewable.

To qualify for a provisional commercial cannabis cultivation license, an annual applicant must:

  • Hold, or have held, a temporary cannabis cultivation license for the same premises and the same commercial cannabis activity for which the provisional license will be issued; and
  • Submit a completed state annual cultivation license application (all applicable requirements pursuant to California Code of Regulations section 8102 still apply), including evidence that compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is underway; and
  • Pay the application fee for the associated license type.

AB 1741 – Payment of State Taxes by Means Other than Electronic Funds Transfer:

Effective immediately, state taxing authorities must temporarily accept money for cultivation, sales and excise taxes by means other than electronic funds transfer. This law temporarily waives the current 10% penalty for paying taxes in cash.

AB 2799, CalOSHA Requirements:

Effective January 1, 2019, licensed cannabis business that have at least one employee and manager must complete a 30-hour course from the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (CalOSHA) to ensure compliance with job-related safety and health hazards.

AB 2899, No Advertising During License Suspension:

Effective January 1, 2019, the new law prohibits a cannabis licensee from publishing or disseminating advertising or marketing (including web sites) while the licensee’s license is suspended.

CULTIVATION LICENSES

AB 873, CalCannabis Peace Officer Duties:

Effective January 1, 2009, investigators with the California Department of Food and Agriculture to have arrest and search warrant powers with regard to enforcement of cannabis laws.

DISTRIBUTION LICENSES

SB 311, Distribution to Other Licensed Distributors:

Effective immediately, all licensed distributors are able to transport to other licensed distributors after the required cannabis testing.

RETAIL LICENSES / SPECIAL EVENTS

AB 2020, Temporary Event Licenses:

Effective January 1, 2019, provides that a state temporary event license can be issued in places other than county fairgrounds or district agricultural association events by the local authority, including the retail sale and consumption of cannabis, with the appropriate licenses by its participants. Starting January 1, 2019, cannabis special events can be held at any other venue approved by a city or county.

Winter LLP Update: State Licensing Regulations; and Packaging and Labeling Compliance

Hello all,

As many of you are already aware, California’s three state cannabis licensing authorities (Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Cannabis Control; Department of Public Health’s Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch; and Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division) released proposed emergency licensing regulations on Thursday, November 16, 2017. We will be providing comprehensive summaries for each license type in the coming days.

We understand that many of you are anxious to order compliant labels and packages per the updated regulations. Therefore, attached please find the revised Packaging and Labeling Compliance Check Worksheet per the Department of Public Health’s Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch’s newly released regulations. Please review carefully and ensure that your packages and labels will meet these standards. Although we will try to keep you informed with the most up-to-date regulations, they are subject to further change.

Additionally, please note the following important updates:

THC Limits

  • Edibles
    • 10 mg serving
    • 100 mg per package
  • Tinctures, Capsules, Topicals
    • 10000 mg/package for adult-use
    • 2,000 mg/package for medicinal-use

Universal Symbol

california triangle symbol 1

Prohibited Products

  • Products cannot be infused with nicotine or alcohol or have added caffeine.
  • Edible products cannot be shaped like a human, animal, insect, or fruit.
  • The label may not refer to the product as a candy.
  • Meat and seafood, and other products requiring refrigeration, are prohibited for sale as cannabis products. Juice and dried meat made in accordance with requirements are allowed.

What is “child resistant” packaging?

A package is deemed child-resistant if it satisfies the standard for “special packaging” under the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 (16 C.F.R. §1700.1(b)(4)).

  • 16 C.F.R. §1700.1(b)(4): Special packaging means packaging that is designed or constructed to be significantly difficult for children under 5 years of age to open or obtain a toxic or harmful amount of the substance contained therein within a reasonable time and not difficult for normal adults to use properly, but does not mean packaging which all such children cannot open or obtain a toxic or harmful amount within a reasonable time.

Transition Period

During the Transition Period between January 1, 2018 – July 1, 2018, licensees may do the following:

  • Conduct business with other licensees irrespective of the M or A designation on their licenses.
  • Transport cannabis goods that do not meet the labeling requirements (prescribed by MAUCRSA or the California Department of Public Health) if a sticker with the appropriate warning statement is affixed.
  • Sell cannabis goods held in inventory that are not in child-resistant packaging if they are placed into child-resistant packaging by the retailer at the time of sale.
  • Sell cannabis products that do not meet the medicinal THC limits per package established by the state Department of Public Health.
  • Sell and transport cannabis goods that have not undergone laboratory testing if a label stating that they have not been tested is affixed to each package containing the goods prior to transport by a distributor or prior to sale if held by a retailer. “These cannabis goods have not been tested as required under BPC Section 26070(1).”
  • Individually package and sell dried flower held in inventory by a retailer at the time of licensure.
  • Cannabis products held in inventory by a retailer that do not meet the requirements set by the state Department of Public Health for ingredients or appearance may be sold by a retailer.

Products in possession of a manufacturer prior to January 1, 2018 may enter the commercial cannabis market provided that all of the following conditions are met:

  • The cannabis product is packaged in child-resistant packaging.
  • The cannabis product contains the government warning required (GOVERNMENT WARNING: THIS PRODUCT CONTAINS CANNABIS, A SCHEDULE I CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN AND ANIMALS. CANNABIS PRODUCTS MAY ONLY BE POSSESSED OR CONSUMED BY PERSONS 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER UNLESS THE PERSON IS A QUALIFIED PATIENT. THE INTOXICATING EFFECTS OF CANNABIS PRODUCTS MAY BE DELAYED UP TO TWO HOURS. CANNABIS USE WHILE PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING MAY BE HARMFUL. CONSUMPTION OF CANNABIS PRODUCTS IMPAIRS YOUR ABILITY TO DRIVE AND OPERATE MACHINERY. PLEASE USE EXTREME CAUTION.)
  • The cannabis product contains the amount of THC and, if applicable, CBD per serving and per package.

Therefore all inventory prior to January 1, 2018, should be date-stamped to ensure that they are able to transported and sold during the Transition Period.

Should you have any questions about any of the above, or would like us to review your specific packages/labels to ensure compliance, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team.

Thank you, stay safe, and good luck out there! Todd Winter, WINTER LLP.