Cannabis cafes are back on the menu in California.
While Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill last year that would legalize cannabis cafes, the bill’s author is bringing it back to the Legislature for another try.
The backstory: Last year Asm. Matt Haney (D–San Francisco) introduced Assembly Bill 374 to legalize Amsterdam-style lounges where cannabis, food and drinks could all be sold in the same place.
- AB 374 passed the Assembly and the Senate with over three-quarters support, but Newsom issued a veto on the basis that it would undermine California’s smoke-free workplace protections.
The big picture: In his second attempt, Haney had introduced Assembly Bill 1775, which would do the same as AB 374.
- However, Haney is looking to alleviate Newsom’s concerns, telling the San Francisco Standard that the bill will include amendments over the coming months to find a path forward.
What they’re saying: “I appreciate the author’s intent to provide cannabis retailers with increased business opportunities and an avenue to attract new customers. However, I am concerned this bill could undermine California’s long-standing smoke-free workplace protections,” Newsom said when he vetoed AB 374.
- Newsom added, “Protecting the health and safety of workers is paramount. I encourage the author to address this concern in subsequent legislation. For this reason, I cannot sign this bill.”
- Haney told the Standard that Newsom’s office believes there is a path forward to legalizing cannabis cafes.
- “To be clear, we’re not saying that coffee shops should be allowed to sell cannabis; we’re saying that cannabis shops should be allowed to sell coffee,” Haney told the Standard. “It shouldn’t be illegal for an existing cannabis business that already allows onsite smoking to move away from only selling marijuana and instead have the opportunity to grow and create jobs by offering coffee or live jazz.”