The Senate narrowly approved a hotly-debated cannabis labeling and advertising bill, AB 1207, late Thursday, amidst intense opposition spearheaded by CCIA. Authored by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), AB 1207 seeks to legally define items deemed “attractive to children.”

While early reports yesterday signaled that the bill lacked sufficient votes to pass, AB 1207 was ultimately approved with 23 votes – a mere two votes above the requisite 21  – despite strong legislative support up to that point. The bill now heads to the governor.

If signed, AB 1207 will set unreasonable guidelines for cannabis packaging, labeling, advertising, and marketing. While its intention to safeguard children is noble — a sentiment echoed across the regulated cannabis sector — its sweeping definition would wrongly categorize numerous existing cannabis products as attractive to children, as well as many existing marketing including existing marketing and digital promotions, placing added financial strain on an already pressured industry.

In a proactive step to strengthen consumer safety, CCIA is proudly sponsoring an alternate proposal – SB 540 (Laird) – which unanimously passed the Legislature and is pending action by the governor. SB 540 directs the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) to continuously evaluate cannabis labeling requirements. It also directs the DCC, in partnership with the California Department of Public Health, to create a brochure promoting responsible cannabis use.

While AB 1207’s passage was a disappointment, CCIA wishes to extend its gratitude to you – our members – who responded to our calls to action, by making calls and sending letters. With your help, we swayed a number of Senators!

Special acknowledgment goes to the Senators listed below who responded positively to our outreach and held firm in support of legal cannabis:

CCIA’s next steps involve a comprehensive strategy to persuade the governor to veto AB 1207. Stay tuned for our latest updates – including ways you can get involved – in our forthcoming announcements, and look out for further updates detailing outcomes from the final days of the legislative session.

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