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AB-1527 State and local marijuana regulatory agencies: employees.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/17/2017 09:00 PM
AB1527:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1527


Introduced by Assembly Member Cooley
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Lackey)

February 17, 2017


An act to add Sections 19302.3, 19328.3, 26012.3, 26041.3, and 26052.3 to the Business and Professions Code, relating to marijuana.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1527, as introduced, Cooley. State and local marijuana regulatory agencies: employees.
Existing law, the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act, makes various acts involving marijuana a crime except as authorized by law. Existing law, the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA), authorizes a person who obtains both a state license under MCRSA and an authorization under the relevant local license regulations to engage in commercial medical cannabis activity pursuant to those licenses, as specified. MCRSA generally divides responsibility for the state licensure and regulation of commercial medical cannabis activity between the Bureau of Marijuana Control (bureau) within the Department of Consumer Affairs, which serves as the lead state agency and administers provisions relating to the transportation, storage unrelated to manufacturing activities, testing, distribution, and sale of medical cannabis; the Department of Food and Agriculture, which administers provisions relating to the cultivation of medical cannabis; and the State Department of Public Health, which administers provisions relating to the manufacturing of medical cannabis. MCRSA specifies that criminal penalties continue to apply to an unlicensed person engaging in cannabis activity in violation of MCRSA.
Existing law, the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), an initiative measure enacted by the approval of Proposition 64 at the November 8, 2016, statewide general election, authorizes a person 21 years of age or older to possess and use specified amounts of marijuana. AUMA also authorizes a person who obtains a state license under AUMA to engage in commercial marijuana activity, which does not include commercial medical cannabis activity, pursuant to that license and applicable local ordinances. AUMA generally divides responsibility for the state licensure and regulation of commercial nonmedical marijuana activity among the bureau, which serves as the lead state agency and administers provisions relating to the transportation, storage unrelated to manufacturing activities, distribution, and sale of nonmedical marijuana; the Department of Food and Agriculture, which administers provisions relating to the cultivation of nonmedical marijuana; and the State Department of Public Health, which administers provisions relating to the manufacturing and testing of nonmedical marijuana. AUMA requires those state licensing authorities to begin issuing licenses by January 1, 2018. AUMA establishes the Marijuana Control Appeals Panel to administer the provisions relating to appeals of a decision of the bureau or any licensing agency. AUMA prohibits the chief of the bureau and the Marijuana Control Appeals Panel (panel) from specified acts that would create a conflict of interest. AUMA specifies that criminal penalties continue to apply to an unlicensed person engaging in commercial nonmedical marijuana activity in violation of specified provisions. AUMA authorizes legislative amendment of its provisions with a 2/3 vote of both houses of the Legislature, without submission to the voters, to further its purposes and intent.
This bill would prohibit a former employee of the bureau, a licensing authority, the panel, or a local jurisdiction who had specified regulatory or licensing responsibilities from being employed by a person or entity licensed under AUMA or MCRSA for a period of one year from the last date of employment by the bureau, licensing authority, panel, or local jurisdiction. The bill would prohibit a person or entity licensed under AUMA or MCRSA from employing a former employee of the bureau, a licensing authority, the panel, or a local jurisdiction who had specified regulatory or licensing responsibilities within one year of the last date of employment by the bureau, licensing authority, panel, or local jurisdiction. The bill would authorize the bureau or the licensing authority to suspend immediately the license of a licensee who violates this provision and to investigate and determine whether to revoke the license and whether to bar the licensee, or any person or entity acting as an agent of the licensee, from obtaining a license in the future. The bill would specify that a violation of these employment restrictions is not a crime.
This bill would declare that its provisions further the purposes and intent of AUMA as specified.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 19302.3 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

19302.3.
 (a) A former employee of the bureau, a licensing authority, or a local jurisdiction who had commercial medical cannabis regulatory or licensing responsibilities shall not work for or represent a person or entity that holds a license under this chapter or Division 10 (commencing with Section 26000) for one year following his or her last date of employment with the bureau or licensing authority.
(b) Notwithstanding Article 2 (commencing with Section 11357) of Chapter 6 of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code and subdivision (c) of Section 19360, a violation of subdivision (a) shall not be a crime.

SEC. 2.

 Section 19328.3 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

19328.3.
 (a) A licensee shall not employ a former employee of the bureau, a licensing authority, the Marijuana Control Appeals Panel established in Section 26040, or a local jurisdiction who had commercial medical cannabis regulatory or licensing responsibilities or commercial nonmedical marijuana regulatory or licensing responsibilities within one year of the last date of employment with the bureau, licensing authority, panel, or local jurisdiction.
(b) The bureau or the licensing authority may suspend immediately the license of a licensee who violates subdivision (a) and shall investigate whether to revoke the license and whether to bar the licensee, or any person or entity acting as an agent or employee of the licensee, from obtaining a license in the future.
(c) Notwithstanding Article 2 (commencing with Section 11357) of Chapter 6 of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code, a violation of subdivision (a) shall not be a crime.

SEC. 3.

 Section 26012.3 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

26012.3.
 (a) A former employee of the bureau, a licensing authority, or a local jurisdiction who had commercial marijuana regulatory or licensing responsibilities shall not work for or represent a person or entity that holds a license under this division or Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 19300) of Division 8 for one year following his or her last date of employment with the bureau or licensing authority.
(b) Notwithstanding Article 2 (commencing with Section 11357) of Chapter 6 of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code and subdivision (c) of Section 26038, a violation of subdivision (a) shall not be a crime.

SEC. 4.

 Section 26041.3 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

26041.3.
 (a) A former employee of the Marijuana Control Appeals Panel who had regulatory or licensing responsibilities shall not work for or represent a person or entity that holds a license under this division or Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 19300) of Division 8 for one year following his or her last date of employment with the panel.
(b) Notwithstanding Article 2 (commencing with Section 11357) of Chapter 6 of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code and subdivision (c) of Section 26038, a violation of subdivision (a) shall not be a crime.

SEC. 5.

 Section 26052.3 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

26052.3.
 (a) A licensee shall not employ a former employee of the bureau, a licensing authority, the Marijuana Control Appeals Panel, or a local jurisdiction who had commercial medical cannabis regulatory or licensing responsibilities or who had commercial nonmedical marijuana regulatory or licensing responsibilities within one year of the last date of employment with the bureau, licensing authority, panel, or local jurisdiction.
(b) The bureau or the licensing authority may suspend immediately the license of a licensee who violates subdivision (a) and shall investigate whether to revoke the license and whether to bar the licensee, or any person or entity acting as an agent or employee of the licensee, from ever obtaining a license.
(c) Notwithstanding Article 2 (commencing with Section 11357) of Chapter 6 of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code, a violation of subdivision (a) shall not be a crime.

SEC. 6.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Sections 3, 4, and 5 of this act, respectively adding Sections 26012.3, 26041.3, and 26052.3 to the Business and Professions Code, further the purposes and intent of the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, because these amendments prevent licensees from hiring former employees of the Bureau of Marijuana Control, a licensing authority, the Marijuana Control Appeals Panel, or a local jurisdiction with regulatory or licensing responsibilities to circumvent and undermine the system of state licensing, regulation, and enforcement.