Senate Bill 34

It’s a great time for civic engagement and your opinion both matters and makes a difference. There are a number of pieces of cannabis legislation in Sacramento that we think you should know about. We hope you will take the time to read the below and, if you support the bill, to send in a letter of support to your local and state representatives.

Senate Bill 34 (click here) passed with a 7-0 vote in committee on March 20 and amended on March 21, 2019. The bill will next be heard by the Sen. Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee on April 1, 2019.

 

Letter of Support for California Senate Bill 34

 

(Date)

The Honorable ___________

Address _________________

Address  _________________

Re: Support for SB 34

Dear (Supervisor/Senator/Assemblyman) _____________:

As a voter in your district/ a cannabis licensee/ farmer seeking a permit, and a member of The Nevada County Cannabis Alliance. I am asking you to support California Senate Bill 34, an act to exempt donations of cannabis and cannabis products to patients holding a valid physician’s recommendation or a state ID card from the use and cultivation tax. SB 34 will also allow compassionate care programs to facilitate donations at a licensed retailer, thereby allowing them to restart this service without facing prohibitive costs. Exempting the cultivation and use tax from passing on to qualified donations of medical cannabis and cannabis products will ensure that the most vulnerable patients may access the medicine they need to manage their health most effectively and appropriately.

In 1996, California passed Proposition 215, which allowed individuals with certain chronic medical conditions to procure medical cannabis. Following the enactment of Proposition 215, donation-based compassionate care programs emerged to meet the needs of individuals who had a physician’s recommendation, but also needed help accessing medical cannabis.

The enactment of Proposition 64 in 2018 placed new taxes on all recreational and medical cannabis. While compassionate care programs do not operate in the commercial market since no cannabis is bought or sold, ambiguous language unfortunately does not explicitly exclude their donations from these taxes. These donation-based programs cannot afford the costs of obtaining a retail license which forced them to close their doors. Similarly, these former compassionate care patients cannot afford the high costs of retail cannabis and cannabis products. While Proposition 64 did not intend to cut off medicine to these patients, current policy has forced too many of the most vulnerable people into the unregulated marketplace.

SB 34 would exempt all qualifying donations from the cultivation and use tax. SB 34 would also allow compassionate care programs to partner with existing retailers to facilitate the donation of medicinal cannabis or cannabis products on the licensed premise. These changes will ensure that our most vulnerable patients who rely on compassionate donations to access their medicine can get the medicine they need to manage their needs.

These programs are essential to the quality of life for chronically-ill patients. For these reasons we support SB 34 and strongly encourage your support of SB 34.

 

Sincerely,

(your legal name)

(your business name)

(your email)

 

Please send your individualized letters of support by email to: