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Bill allows additional venues for temporary cannabis events

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Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill authored by Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, that gives cities the authority to approve temporary cannabis events, Quirk said.

The assemblyman said he authored AB 2020 because he recognized a gap in cannabis licensing and permitting.

He said the bill, which Brown signed on Wednesday, grants local jurisdictions the power to determine what venues temporary cannabis events can happen in.

Quirk said in a statement:

“Cannabis events support local economies and small businesses. Despite the fiscal and communal benefits such events bring to a city or local community, current law prohibits local governments from approving applications for cannabis sales at special events if they are held anywhere but on county fairgrounds.”

He said AB 2020 remedies that gap by allowing local governments to approve temporary cannabis event licenses at any venue they wish to permit.

In some counties, the distance to get to the county fairground can be hundreds of miles away and take hours to get to, according to Quirk.

Several cities have expressed interest in approving temporary events but were frustrated by unnecessary hurdles in statute, Quirk said.

AB 2020 has provisions granting the state Bureau of Cannabis Control and law enforcement the authority to revoke a permit or end an event for any unlawful or un-permitted activity identified at the event.

Additionally, such events must respect any local and state ordinances regarding secondhand smoke.

Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan said:

“I want to thank Assemblymember Quirk for his leadership, hard work and determination in authoring AB 2020 and his efforts with getting the bill to the Governor.”

Kaplan added:

“I also want to thank Governor Brown for signing this landmark legislation. With this bill now law, any local jurisdiction can choose to take part in this robust industry, while supporting small businesses, enhancing regional economic opportunities, and maintaining safety.”

AB 2020 will go into effect on Jan. 1.

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