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Administration Trailer Bill Implementing Prop. 64 Undermines Local Control over Cannabis Businesses

April 25, 2017
The League of California Cities® would like to make all cities aware of how the Administration’s Cannabis Regulation Trailer Bill, up for a hearing in Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 4 today, proposes to implement Proposition 64. 
It will undermine local control and local enforcement. The issues are presented in the form of questions, which are listed below, that local officials can pose to their statewide elected representatives.
  1. Why is the League-sponsored Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act being repealed in its entirety, given that it expressly empowered local governments to a) conduct their own enforcement, and b) enforce state health & safety and other standards, if they requested and were granted that authority from the relevant state agency? There is no comparable enforcement provision for locals in the trailer bill. 
  2. Why does the trailer bill fail to expressly empower locals to conduct audits and inspections, which will be necessary given that cannabis is an all-cash business, especially if there are local tax measures? Local audits will be necessary to assess total volume of traffic and the appropriate revenue yield from any local tax measures. Absent such authorization, locals can anticipate being sued in some jurisdictions. 
  3. Why are fire safety standards being repealed?  Locals have an interest in seeing to it that businesses adhere to those standards. And if locals try to unilaterally enforce those standards absent express statutory authorization, they will have to deal with litigation. 
  4. Why is there no provision for enforcement of health and safety standards in regard to whether businesses are adhering to packaging and labelling standards? If there is to be state-only enforcement, how can local governments be certain it will be systematic and timely? The League and the police chiefs have asked to have this addressed by either an independent auditor-inspector, or by having this function delegated to local governments. 
  5. Why is the requirement for potency/concentration being repealed? This can and should remain in statute, and be enforced either by locals, either county health inspectors or municipal code enforcement offices. The latter are already performing compliance checks in communities like Rancho Cordova (Assembly Member Cooley’s district). 
The League of California Cities and California Police Chiefs Association’s position letter and attachment are available online.

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