SB 829 – The Compassion License

What Is SB 829?

SB 829 (as amended) Senator Scott Wiener’s Cannabis: compassion care license.

“(1) The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act of 2016 (AUMA), an initiative measure approved as Proposition 64 at the November 8, 2016, statewide general election, authorizes a person who obtains a state license under AUMA to engage in commercial adult-use cannabis activity pursuant to that license and applicable local ordinances. The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), among other things, consolidates the licensure and regulation of commercial medicinal and adult-use cannabis activities.

This bill would establish a compassion care license under the act issued to an M-licensee who, for no consideration, donates medicinal cannabis, or medicinal cannabis products, to qualified medicinal cannabis patients who possess a physician’s recommendation. The bill would require the Bureau of Cannabis Control to issue and regulate the compassion care licenses.

(2) Existing sales and use tax laws impose a tax on retailers measured by the gross receipts from the sale of tangible personal property sold at retail in this state, or on the storage, use, or other consumption in this state of tangible personal property purchased from a retailer for storage, use, or other consumption in this state. Those laws provide various exemptions from those taxes.

This bill, on and after January 1, 2019, would exempt from those taxes the gross receipts from the sale in this state of, and the storage, use, or other consumption in this state of, medicinal cannabis or medicinal cannabis products that will be donated, for no consideration, to a compassion care licensee.

(3) The Bradley-Burns Uniform Local Sales and Use Tax Law authorizes counties and cities to impose local sales and use taxes in conformity with the Sales and Use Tax Law, and existing laws authorize districts, as specified, to impose transactions and use taxes in accordance with the Transactions and Use Tax Law, which generally conforms to the Sales and Use Tax Law. Amendments to the Sales and Use Tax Law are automatically incorporated into the local tax laws.

Existing law requires the state to reimburse counties and cities for revenue losses caused by the enactment of sales and use tax exemptions.

This bill would provide that, notwithstanding Section 2230 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, no appropriation is made and the state shall not reimburse any local agencies for sales and use tax revenues lost by them pursuant to this bill.

(4) AUMA imposes an excise tax on the purchase of cannabis and cannabis products, as defined, at the rate of 15% of the average market price of any retail sale by a cannabis retailer.

The bill would require that these provisions not be construed to impose an excise tax upon medicinal cannabis, or medicinal cannabis products, donated for no consideration to a compassion care licensee, as defined.

(5) AUMA imposes a cultivation tax on all harvested cannabis that enters the commercial market upon all cultivators. Existing law defines entering the commercial market to mean cannabis or cannabis products, except for immature cannabis plants and seeds, that complete and comply with specified quality assurance review and testing.

This bill would redefine entering the commercial market to mean cannabis or cannabis products intended for sale, in any manner or by any means whatsoever, for consideration. The bill would require that the cultivation tax not be construed to be imposed upon medicinal cannabis, or medicinal cannabis products, donated for no consideration by a cultivator to a compassion care licensee or to a cannabis retailer for subsequent donation to a compassion care licensee.

(6) The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, an initiative measure, authorizes the Legislature to amend the act to further the purposes and intent of the act with a 2/3 vote of the membership of both houses of the Legislature, except as provided.

This bill would declare that its provisions further specified purposes and intent of the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act.”

This Bill is supported by, in part, by the California Compassion Coalition

Who Is The California Compassion Coalition?

The California Compassion Coalition is comprised of a number of known compassion organizations who have functioned by giving donated cannabis medicine to indigent cannabis patients across the State of California. The organizations, who make up the California Compassion Coalition are as follows:

Weed For Warriors Project

Caladrius Network

WAMM

East Bay Canna Compassion

Sweetleaf Collective

Operation EVAC

Magnolia Wellness

How YOU Can Help

 

One battle has been won but we have many more to go. SB 829 was voted out of the Committee on Business and Professions, on Monday. It passed with and 11-1 vote. Next, we move onto the Committee on Revenue and Taxation and WE NEED ALL HANDS ON DECK.

Revenue and Taxation Committee

Monday, June 25, 2018

1430 hours (2:30pm)

California State Capitol – RM 126

Debriefing Video

URGENT CALL TO ACTION

Below you will find a sample letter of support for the Compassion Bill, SB 829. We need this post to not only go viral, but we need that exposure to be converted into emails to Senator Wiener’s office by 5pm today. Cannabis and non-cannabis companies carry the most weight with legislators but we should also encourage letters to be sent from those the most affected by the current lack of compassion embodied in the current regulations.
It will take a village to get this bill passed. We really need to step away from the circular firing squad at least until 5pm today. In order to ensure we all focus our energy here for the next 5 hours, we will not be allowing any other posts through. I hope we can lick our wounds and rise up so that the sickest of the sick, the neediest of the needy, are not the recipients of all of our industry’s current resentments. Please let our industry put all of our hurt feelings aside and rise up to honor what this movement has always been about, compassion.
*****THIS CONTENT BELOW NEEDS TO BE SENT IN A PRINTABLE DOCUMENT.
This means that the support needs to come in the form of a Word Doc, or a PDF. The sender will need to date the letter, add in a business logo (if one is available), a digital signature, and the supporter’s contact information.
****INSERT BUSINESS LOGO
June 11, 2018
Dear Senator Wiener,
On behalf of _______ I write to express our support for Senate Bill 829 (Wiener), which would exempt certified compassion care programs from paying excise and cultivation taxes on cannabis that they give away to compassion use patients, thereby allowing them to restart this service without facing prohibitive costs. Exempting the cultivation and excise taxes from the passage on to qualified compassion care programs will allow these organizations to resume donations of medical cannabis that vulnerable patients rely on to manage their debilitating symptoms.
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 compassion 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 compassion care programs do not operate in the commercial market since no cannabis is bought or sold, ambiguous drafting, unfortunately, does not explicitly exclude them from these taxes. These donation-based programs cannot afford the new taxes attached to cannabis and most have been forced to close their doors. While Proposition 64 did not intend to cut off medical cannabis to these compassion use patients, current policy has forced too many vulnerable people into the unregulated black market.
To rectify this situation, SB 829 would exempt qualifying compassion care programs from the cultivation and excise tax enacted by Proposition 64. After a compassion care program is certified by the state, they would receive a new license exempting them from the cultivation and excise taxes. Doing so will allow them to resume the donations of medical cannabis that compassion use patients rely on to manage their debilitating symptoms.
These programs are essential to the well-being, mental health, and overall quality of life for chronically ill patients. For these reasons, ______ supports SB 829 and requests an “AYE” vote on this important legislation.
Thank you,
****DIGITAL SIGNATURE.  ______________
****SENDER’S CONTACT INFORMATION
cc: Senator Scott Wiener, (11th District)”
COPY & PASTE the above text along with your business or personal name, sign and send to……