California is home to some of the largest cannabis events in the world, such as the world-famous Emerald Cup held in Santa Rosa, California. Before 2018, many of these events were forced to target medicinal cannabis patrons as they were the only clientele that could consume cannabis at such events. In the beginning of 2018 California’s MAUCRSA went into effect, and with it a large number of cannabis licenses became available for specific cannabis activities ranging from cultivation to retail sales of cannabis. Two licenses that were approved are having a large impact on the organization and operation of cannabis events; the Cannabis Event Organizer License and the Cannabis Temporary Event License.
In September 2018 AB 2020 was passed and changed the regulations imposed on cannabis events. In order to obtain these licenses under the new bill and subsequently hold cannabis events, a prospective licensee is faced with similar application and licensing obstacles as a typical cannabis retailer or distribution operation. First, an event organizer must obtain a California State Cannabis Event Organizer License through Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) as well as pay for any associated fees, only Cannabis Event Organizers are allowed to host cannabis event. Next, the organizer must obtain a temporary cannabis event license by submitting an application to the BCC 60 days prior to the event. The application for a temporary cannabis event license is required to show proof of local jurisdiction approval for the event, the event location, and the onsite sale and consumption of cannabis by individuals 21 years or older. Once the event is licensed there are additional regulations imposed on the event vendors.
Cannabis event vendors selling cannabis or cannabis infused products must adhere to the typical local and state rules and requirements imposed on them for on-site sales and consumption of cannabis. These include, but are not limited to, all cannabis goods must be properly tested prior to retail sale, only licensed retailers or micro-businesses may sell cannabis goods to a retail customer, consumption of alcohol or tobacco is prohibited if cannabis consumption is permitted, sales of cannabis goods are limited to individuals 21 years or older, and that all cannabis goods must be transported to the event via licensed distributor. While the cannabis event regulations have become more laxed since the beginning of 2018, there are still many rules and regulations imposed on such activities as outlined above. In addition to AB 2020, AB 2640 is awaiting approval. If passed AB 2640 will lighten up the regulations surrounding cannabis events. This bill would allow not only retailer and micro-businesses to sell cannabis and cannabis infused products, but also cultivators as well as manufacturers. The passage of AB 2020 is a win for California’s cannabis industry; the passage of AB 2640 would create a unique opportunity for cultivators and manufacturers to engage directly with consumers.
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