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The flag of California flying in the wind.

Mario Sánchez Prada

California lawmakers have introduced legislation to amend Proposition 64 — the voter-enacted initiative to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state — which would impose stricter rules for cannabis advertising, provide a loan for driving under the influence of cannabis research, and permit state trademarks for cannabis products. The measure also aims to clarify rules for cooperatives.

Under Assembly Bill 64 “advertising or marketing on all interstate highways or state highways” would be prohibited; however, the measure also authorizes “the use of specified classifications for marks related to medical cannabis and nonmedical cannabis goods and services that are lawfully in commerce under state law in the state.”

The proposal would see $3 million loaned to the Department of the California Highway Patrol from the state’s General Fund for use in fiscal year 2017/2018 “for the purposes of establishing and adopting protocols to determine whether a driver is operating a vehicle while impaired.” Provisions of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act provide for an annual allocation of taxes from the sector to the CHP for this purpose; however, those funds aren’t available until 2018. The loan would be repaid to the General Fund by the California Marijuana Tax Fund.

Additionally, the legislation would authorize “collectives and cooperatives to operate for profit or not for profit” but only allows protection for for-profit entities if they hold a valid seller’s permit from the state. Medical cannabis cooperatives legally operating under the medical cannabis law would not be affected by the measure.

The bill may be heard by the state Fiscal Committee on Jan. 12.

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