As we move forward into this new year, there’s a lot coming up in the cannabis world. As a cannabis fan and supporter, it’s important to stay aware of any upcoming changes or events involving your favorite herb. Here are 3 cannabis news for California 2022 you should be aware of. These include several different topics, such as new laws and changes to cannabis, updates within the cannabis industry, and much more. 

3 Cannabis News for California 2022

New Cannabis Laws in California

As we entered the new year, nearly a dozen cannabis bills were signed into law. As the cannabis market and industry continues to develop, it’s important for old law to be revised, and new ones to be installed. 

Some of these new laws affect the type of products consumers now have access to. For example, cannabis drinks will now be able to be sold in glass bottles. Additionally, another bill was approved to set up a regulatory framework for products made from industrial hemp. For those who don’t know, hemp is a type of cannabis plant that’s bred to have no THC. These types of products do not give you the sensation of being high. 

On the other side, we have new laws that will attempt to directly hurt the illicit cannabis market. For example, one law will let the state fine people up to $30,000 for aiding and assisting illegal marijuana businesses. This is an effort by the state to fight the black market in California. 

Lastly, new bills that affect the medical cannabis field have also been approved. Gov. Gavin Newson signed into law a bill that requires some health care facilities to allow their terminally ill patients to use medicinal cannabis. Although smoking or vaping cannabis is prohibited in these facilities, they will be required to allow the use of edibles, beverages, topicals, tinctures, and capsules. Patients will be able to use medical cannabis in this form with a doctor’s recommendation. 

Cannabis Businesses Upset

As previously mentioned, the illicit cannabis market is still thriving to this day. This and the raising of taxes for cannabis businesses are making them frustrated and angry at the state’s lack of aid. Although the state has recently passed new laws catered to help the battle against the illegal cannabis market, is it too late? 

After years of frustration due to high taxes and competing against the illegal market, many cannabis business leaders are considering taking matters into their own hands. This action will be seen in the form of withholding tax payments. 

Cannabis businesses earn a substantial amount in taxes for the state. This year’s tax revenue from cannabis businesses is an estimated $1.3 billion. Business leaders hope this action will force the state to reform its system into helping legal and licensed businesses. 

On the other hand, we have those who advise cannabis business leaders against this plan. Hilary Bricken, a cannabis industry attorney from Los Angeles, does not recommend this financial move. She warns cannabis businesses that they would be in violation of “all kinds of tax laws and regulations. This could result in their licenses getting suspended by the state. 

Cannabis Competition at State Fair

In lighter news, the first-ever state-sanctioned cannabis competition will take place at the State Fair in Sacramento in July. This is a big step for the licensed cannabis industry in California. 

The competition was announced by the California Exposition and State Fair Board of Director Jess Durfee back in September. Durfee explained that judging the cannabis cultivation alongside wine, cheese, craft beer, and olive oil would make sense within the culture of the fair. The fair has been annually active for over a century and is considered “a first mover”, according to Durfee, so it makes sense it’s planning to include cannabis.  

The idea of hosting a cannabis competition is not a new concept. In fact, private festivals have often hosted their own cannabis competitions. In these events, cannabis flowers were usually judged based on how high consumers can get, or on how it tasted. 

In the state fair competition, judges will be looking for other criteria. 77 medals will be awarded to contestants based on test results. They will be looking for products that have the highest concentrations and nest ratios of certain compounds. These compounds will be ones that impact the quality of the flower and its effects. 

It’s important to note that there will be no cannabis sales or consumption allowed at the State Fair. The area that showcases the award winners and features educational information regarding cannabis will be exclusively for those 21 and over.