Compassionate Care

California: 7 Cannabis Bills Vetoed Including Donated Cannabis and Common Space

California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed 7 cannabis bills including one allowing dispensaries to donate cannabis to patients, which is surprising given the level of public support and precedence in other states such as Washington.

The reasons cited for the Governor’s vetos showed a general deference to the cannabis regulatory agencies. So long as the regulatory agencies take action, the Governor’s approach may work as the industry will be able to provide meaningful input into the final rules.

Below is a description of the bills along with the Governor’s reason reason for vetoing.

  • AB-1863: Personal income tax: deduction: commercial cannabis activity: The bill provided individuals with the ability to deduct expenses associated with a cannabis business. Governor Brown vetoed the bill indicating that it should be considered as a part of the budget process due to the cost to the General Fund.

  • SB 829: Cannabis: Donations: The compassionate care bill permitted dispensaries to provide free marijuana products to medical marijuana patients. Governor Brown vetoed the bill indicating that it conflicted with the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, and undermined the rules and the intent of voters. The bill is currently being considered by California’s Senate, and will need a 2/3 vote to become law.

  • AB-2255: Cannabis: distribution: deliveries: violations: The bill prohibits a licensed distributor from transporting marijuana product that exceeds the shipping manifest, and requires presentation of the shipping manifest upon request. The bill authorized law enforcement agencies to issue citations for violating these provisions. Governor Brown vetoed the bill due to the nascency of the enforcement process, and he indicated that the authority for enforcing the delivery regulations resided with the Bureau of Cannabis Control.

  • AB-2980: Cannabis: premises: common space: The bill allows multiple cannabis licensees to share common spaces in a building such as bathrooms, lunchrooms or hallways. Governor Brown vetoed the bill so that the regulators licensing these entities could address the issue in the regulations rather than in a statute.

  • AB-3069: Cannabis: informational, educational, or training events: The bill permitted cannabis licensees to hold informational and training sessions with state and local employees, among others, without a temporary cannabis event license. Governor Brown vetoed the bill as nothing within the current legal framework would prohibit such an event.

  • AB-2058: Vehicles: driving under the influence: cannabis: The bill required the Department of Motor Vehicles to capture instances in which an individual was driving under the influence of cannabis so that the data could be used for monitoring impact of legal cannabis. Governor Brown vetoed the bill due to the technology burden on the Department of Motor Vehicles and the demand of other priorities.

  • AB-1996: The California Cannabis Research Program: The bill allowed the program to cultivate cannabis for research purposes, expanded the scope of the research and authorized controlled clinical trials to focus on examining testing methods. Governor Brown vetoed the bill citing that it conflicted directly with the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act.


In a flurry of activity, the California Legislature passed twenty-one cannabis bills in the last weeks prior to the end of the regular session on August 31st. The Legislature has presented Governor Jerry Brown with fifteen (15) bills for him to either sign or veto.  An additional six (6) bills will be presented to the governor following the engrossment process.

The scope of the bills passed by the California Legislature in the last couple of weeks of August has been monumental.  The bills address important and meaningful issues raised by constituents.  The highlights include the state driven expungement of marijuana convictions; compassionate care programs that permit the donation of cannabis products to individuals in need; the ban of cannabis in alcoholic beverages; the protection of personal data from the federal government; the expansion in industrial hemp cultivation; restricted provisioning of marijuana to animals;  equitable expansion of the cannabis industry; and the administration of cannabis on to children on schoolsites.

The following fifteen (15) bills were presented to the governor for his signature.  The links below provide the summary article and the final bill text.

The following six (6) bills are being enrolled and will be presented to the governor shortly. The links below provide the summary article and the final bill text.


California has moved one step closer to enacting a compassionate care law. The California Assembly passed SB-829 Cannabis: Donations by a vote of 73 yes to 3 no. The bill has moved back to the Senate to obtain agreement on amendments. The bill will allow retailers to donate cannabis products to individuals who hold a medical marijuana card.  Current law is being amended due to the fact that low income individuals have moved to the black market to obtain free medicinal marijuana.  Retailers participating in compassionate care programs must comply with all regulations including entering the donated medical marijuana into the track and trace systems.  Retailers may also work with an individual or organization to provide the free marijuana on the retailer's premises.