California Governor Signs Bill Benefiting Cannabis Manufacturers

Assembly Bill 2679

Last week California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 2679, which exempts collectives or cooperatives that manufacture medical cannabis products from state criminal sanctions if specific standards are met.  This iteration of the law will only remain in effect until one year after the Bureau of Medial Cannabis Regulation begins issuing licenses pursuant to the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA).

AB 2679 should help alleviate the fear of criminal prosecution, law enforcement harassment, and asset forfeiture for current and prospective medical cannabis manufacturers while the rules and regulations of MCRSA and Prop 64 are finalized over the next fifteen months.  However, AB 2679 does not give medical cannabis manufacturers the freedom to operate with impunity. 

It is still necessary that a medical cannabis manufacturer obtain a permit from their local municipality to operate in accordance with local law.  Also, under MCRSA a local permit is required to apply for a state license.

Staying Compliant with AB 2679

AB 2679 lays out the following guidelines for a medical cannabis manufacturer to abide by in order to avoid state criminal sanctions.  

  • Utilizes only manufacturing processes that are either solventless or that employ only nonflammable, nontoxic solvents that are generally recognized as safe pursuant to the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

  • Utilizes only manufacturing processes that use solvents exclusively within a closed-loop system that meets all of the following requirements:

  • The system uses only solvents that are generally recognized as safe pursuant to the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

  • The system is designed to recapture and contain solvents during the manufacturing process, and otherwise prevent the off-gassing of solvents into the ambient atmosphere to mitigate the risks of ignition and explosion during the manufacturing process.

  • A licensed engineer certifies that the system was commercially manufactured, safe for its intended use, and built to codes of recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices

  • The system has a certification document that contains the signature and stamp of a professional engineer and the serial number of the extraction unit being certified.

  • The collective or cooperative receives and maintains approval from the local fire official for the closed-loop system, other equipment, the extraction operation, and the facility.

  • The collective or cooperative meets required fire, safety, and building code requirements

  • Other applicable standards, including complying with all applicable fire, safety, and building codes in processing, handling, and storage of solvents or gasses.

  • The collective or cooperative is in possession of a valid seller’s permit issued by the State Board of Equalization.

  • The collective or cooperative is in possession of a valid local license, permit, or other authorization specific to the manufacturing of medical cannabis products, and in compliance with any additional conditions imposed by the city or county issuing the local license, permit, or other authorization.

  • For purposes of this section, “manufacturing” means compounding, converting, producing, deriving, processing, or preparing, either directly or indirectly by chemical extraction or independently by means of chemical synthesis, medical cannabis products.