Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 1244, authored by Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena). This bill authorizes state-licensed cannabis laboratories to test samples of cannabis or cannabis products for a state or local regulatory, law enforcement, or prosecuting agency. SB 1244 was sponsored by Los Angles City Attorney Mike Feuer.
“This timely legislation will increase consumer safety at a time when COVID-19 has proven how essential the cannabis industry is,” said Senator Bradford. “This bill closes a void in existing law that blocks public agencies from identifying unsafe cannabis products that endanger their users. Good actors in the cannabis industry should not have to compete with those selling unsafe products. Whether for medicinal or adult use this measure assures that the product is safe for human consumption. I thank Los Angeles City Attorney Feuer for sponsoring this legislation.”
“Untested cannabis products sold by unlicensed operators can put consumers’ health at great risk,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Feuer. “By providing offices such as mine with access to State-licensed cannabis testing laboratories, SB 1244 creates an effective model for testing cannabis for contaminants like pesticides and heavy metals. And that will enable us to take strong legal action to protect consumers. I would like to thank Sen. Bradford for authoring this significant legislation, and Governor Newsom, for signing it.”
Existing law directs the Bureau of Cannabis Control to license laboratories authorized to test cannabis and cannabis products. However, existing law prevents state and local agencies from utilizing these labs. The expertise in state- licensed labs would be prohibitively expensive for most, if not all, state and local regulatory, law enforcement, and prosecuting agencies to duplicate. SB 1244 thus authorizes state and local agencies to use existing labs, efficiently resolving this problem in existing law and increasing consumer safety in the process.
SB 1244 is the latest part of Senator Bradford’s work to ensure equitable growth in the legal cannabis industry, including his authorship of the Cannabis Equity Act of 2018 (SB 1294, Statutes of 2018, Chapter 794). As a result of that legislation, earlier this year the Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development and the Bureau of Cannabis Control jointly awarded $30 million in grants through the Cannabis Equity Grants Program for Local Jurisdictions. Los Angeles specifically was awarded $6,042,014.23 in funding to support individuals in the cannabis industry who are from communities disproportionately impacted by the prior criminalization of cannabis.