California looks to legalize cannabis cafes with a new bill that is heading towards Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk.
California recently passed a new bill which would legalize cannabis cafes in the golden state where it also boasts a population greater than the entire country of Canada and was the first US state to legalize cannabis for medical use. The new legislation would allow dispensaries to provide consumers with food and drinks at their establishment if local approval is received (1).
First the bill passed an amended version from Assembly member Matt Haney (D). The Assembly then agreed with the Senate with a vote of 48-7. The cannabis cafe legislation, also known as, AB 374 (1), now heads to Governor Gavin Newsom’s (D) desk where it will then be signed into law.
Once Governor Newsom’s signature is in place, local governments would be allowed to authorize cannabis cafes (or cannabis consumption lounges) to provide soft drinks and freshly prepared food at their dispensaries. Establishments would continue though to be limited on the sale of prepackaged food to retailers. Alcoholic beverage sales would still be illegal, along with smoking tobacco.
The bill specifically mentions (2), “This bill would authorize a local jurisdiction, if specified conditions are met, to allow for the preparation or sale of noncannabis food or beverage products, as specified, by a licensed retailer or microbusiness in the area where the consumption of cannabis is allowed, to allow for the sale of prepackaged, noncannabis-infused, nonalcoholic food and beverages by a licensed retailer, and to allow, and to sell tickets for, live musical or other performances on the premises of a licensed retailer or microbusiness in the area where the consumption of cannabis is allowed.”
AB 374 also will also grant (2), “live musical or other performances on the premises of a retailer or microbusiness licensed under this division in the area where the consumption of cannabis is allowed, and the sale of tickets for those performances.”
Businesses have been using “workarounds” to offer on-site consumption and food to patrons but this has all been taking place in a gray area where they have been working with separate licensed restaurants.
Goveror Newsom has not yet commented publicly on AB 374 but has repeatedly been a support of cannabis and pieces of legislation that move the plant forward.