California Governor Gavin Newsom has vetoed a bill aiming to establish Amsterdam-like cannabis cafes in the state.
Proposed by San Francisco Assemblymember Matt Haney, AB 374 would have permitted cannabis dispensaries, with local government approval, to transform into cafes selling both food and cannabis, and hosting concerts. Current laws allow on-site cannabis consumption in lounges but prohibit the sale of non-cannabis items like food. Despite broad bipartisan support, with a 66 to 9 vote in the Assembly and a 33 to 3 Senate approval, the bill was rejected, reports NBC News.
The legislation aimed to support the legal cannabis industry competing with California’s lucrative cannabis black market. While legal cannabis sales hit $4 billion in 2020, illegal sales exceeded $8 billion, Global Cannabis Times reported in September. Haney emphasized the bill’s intent: “It’s about fairness and supporting rule-abiding businesses.” Haney also compared California’s pride in its wine culture to its cannabis industry and warned against letting other states take the lead.
The Netherlands legalized cannabis cafes in the 1970s, successfully eliminating their black market while boosting tourism.
Governor Newsom cited concerns about potentially undermining California’s current smoke-free workplace standards. Looking forward, Haney says his intent is to work with the Governor’s office and labor leaders and present a more detailed, worker-focused version in the coming year.
Cannaconvo with Peter Su of Green Check Verified
Cannabis Last Week with Jon Purow interviews Peter Su of Green Check Verified. Peter Su is a Senior Vice President with Green Check Verified, the top cannabis banking compliance software/consultancy in the space. A 20+ year veteran of the banking industry, Peter serves on the Banking & Financial Services committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association. He chairs the Banking and Financial Services Committee for the NYCCIA & HVCIA. He is an official member of the Rolling Stone Cannabis Culture Council. And, he is on the board of the Asian Cannabis Roundtable, serving as treasurer.