In a much-anticipated move, Governor Gavin Newsom has vetoed Assembly Bill 1207, echoing the sentiments expressed by legal cannabis operators, advocacy organizations, and members of the National Diversity and Inclusion Cannabis Alliance (NDICA).
The Governor’s Statement
Governor Newsom acknowledged the bill’s intent to protect children from exposure to cannabis marketing but expressed concerns over the overly broad definition of what is deemed “attractive to children.” He noted that existing regulations already address these concerns and that the bill’s language could unnecessarily limit commonplace designs.
Implications for the Cannabis Industry
The veto represents a significant win for California’s legal cannabis industry. The industry had contended that the bill’s stringent requirements would stifle growth, hinder competitive differentiation, and do little to protect public safety. Furthermore, the bill posed additional hurdles for businesses led by minorities, impeding ongoing efforts to make the industry more diverse and inclusive.
What’s Next: Strengthening Existing Regulations
Governor Newsom has directed the Department of Cannabis Control to bolster and extend existing protections against youth-related cannabis exposure, including enhanced enforcement measures. This suggests that while AB 1207’s approach was flawed, the state is committed to refining regulations in a more nuanced and effective manner.
An Ongoing Commitment to Equity and Inclusion
As NDICA continues to focus on fostering an equitable, diverse, and inclusive cannabis industry, we welcome Governor Newsom’s decision. It reaffirms the need for a more balanced approach that safeguards public health without compromising the market’s competitive landscape or our commitment to social justice.
While the vetoing of AB 1207 is indeed a milestone, the journey towards a truly equitable cannabis industry continues. NDICA remains dedicated to working with the Department of Cannabis Control and other stakeholders to shape policies that align with our mission.
Your voice and advocacy were crucial in reaching this pivotal moment. Let’s continue to unite and engage in meaningful dialogue to ensure the cannabis industry in California evolves as a model of equity, safety, and innovation.
For more on how you can be part of this transformative journey, stay tuned to NDICA’s updates and initiatives. Together, we’ll continue to make a meaningful impact in shaping the future of cannabis in California.