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SB-631 Nitrous oxide: retail sales.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 06/08/2017 09:00 PM
SB631:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  June 08, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  April 17, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 631


Introduced by Senator Nielsen

February 17, 2017


An act to add Section 381f to the Penal Division 8.7 (commencing with Section 22995) to the Business and Professions Code, relating to nitrous oxide.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 631, as amended, Nielsen. Nitrous oxide: retail sales.
Existing law prohibits the possession of nitrous oxide with the intent of inhaling it for specified purposes, including to cause intoxication. Existing law also prohibits the sale of nitrous oxide to any person under 18 years of age. Existing law makes it a misdemeanor to knowingly dispense nitrous oxide to a person who will use it for specified prohibited purposes, if that person then causes death or great bodily injury to himself or herself or another person. Finally, existing law requires a seller of nitrous oxide to keep a record of persons who purchase nitrous oxide from it and also to provide certain written warnings to the purchaser.
This bill would prohibit a retailer of tobacco or tobacco-related products, as defined, from selling, offering, or exposing for sale nitrous oxide, as specified. The bill would authorize a civil penalty to be assessed against a retailer who violates this prohibition and would require the suspension of the retailer’s license to engage in the sale of cigarettes or tobacco products, if the retailer possesses that license.

By creating a new crime or infraction, this bill would create a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YESNO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Division 8.7 (commencing with Section 22995) is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

DIVISION 8.7. Sale of Nitrous Oxide by Retailers of Tobacco and Tobacco-related Products

22995.
 (a) It is unlawful for any retailer of tobacco or tobacco-related products to sell, offer for sale, or expose for sale any device, canister, tank, or receptacle either exclusively containing nitrous oxide or exclusively containing a chemical compound mixed with nitrous oxide.
(b) This section does not apply to the sale of nitrous oxide contained in food products for use as a propellant.
(c) The Attorney General, a city attorney, a county counsel, or a district attorney may bring a civil action to enforce this section.
(d) Any person or business that violates subdivision (a) is subject to a civil penalty of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500).
(e) The civil penalty shall be deposited into the General Fund if the action is brought by the Attorney General. If the action is brought by a city attorney, the civil penalty shall be paid to the treasurer of the city in which the judgment is entered. If the action is brought by a county counsel, the civil penalty shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in which the judgment is entered.
(f) In addition to the penalty described in subdivision (a), if the person or business holds a license issued pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 22972) of Division 8.6, the enforcing agency shall, within 60 days of the final adjudication of the civil penalty in favor of the enforcing agency, or the payment of the civil penalty for an uncontested violation, notify the State Board of Equalization of the violation. The State Board of Equalization shall then suspend that license for a period of 90 days.

22996.
 As used in this division, “retailer of tobacco or tobacco-related products” means a retail business that meets both of the following requirements:
(a) Primarily engages in the retail sale to consumers of cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, or snuff, or any liquid containing nicotine for use in an electronic vaporizing device, or any cigarette lighters, cigar cutters, rolling papers, smoking pipes, water pipes, hookahs, electronic cigarettes or electronic vaporizing devices, or any other paraphernalia associated with the smoking or ingesting of tobacco.
(b) Generates more than 50 percent of its gross revenues annually from the sale of products described in subdivision (a).

SECTION 1.Section 381f is added to the Penal Code, to read:
381f.

(a)A retailer of tobacco or tobacco-related products that sells, offers for sale, or exposes for sale any device, canister, tank, or receptacle either exclusively containing nitrous oxide or exclusively containing a chemical compound mixed with nitrous oxide is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(b)The court shall order the suspension of the business license, for a period of up to one year, of a person who knowingly violates this section after having been previously convicted of a violation of this section, unless the owner of the business license can demonstrate a good faith attempt to prevent illegal sales by the owner’s employees.

(c)This section does not apply to the sale of nitrous oxide contained in food products for use as a propellant.

(d)A retailer of tobacco or tobacco-related products includes any business that primarily engages in the retail sale to consumers of cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, or snuff, or any liquid containing nicotine for use in an electronic vaporizing device, or any cigarette lighters, cigar cutters, rolling papers, smoking pipes, water pipes, hookahs, electronic cigarettes or electronic vaporizing device, or any other paraphernalia associated with the smoking or ingesting of tobacco.

SEC. 2.

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.