Newsom Vetoes Cannabis Cafes

This time it is over to Green Market Report

California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill on Friday that sought to permit Amsterdam-style cannabis cafes in the state, despite widespread bipartisan support in both legislative chambers.

Assembly Bill 374, championed by San Francisco Assemblymember Matt Haney, would have allowed cannabis dispensaries to transition into cafes, offering food and cannabis products, and featuring live concerts, upon receiving local government approval. The intent behind the bill was to give the legal cannabis industry, which faces stiff competition from the state’s thriving illicit market, an even playing field.

Cannabis lounges, where customers can consume on-site, are already lawful. However, selling non-cannabis items, such as food, remains prohibited in these establishments. Supporters highlighted the bill as a necessary step to tackle huge unlicensed competition.

Haney previously compared the measure to how the Netherlands, recognized alongside California as a hub of cannabis culture, successfully eradicated its illicit cannabis market post the 1970s by legalizing cannabis cafes. He stressed the importance of bolstering the state’s legal cannabis businesses, pointing to the industry’s cultural and financial significance.

Newsom’s veto cited potential threats to the state’s smoke-free workplace policies.

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