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Invoice to legalize ‘hashish cafés’ heading to Newsom’s desk

A invoice that may clear the way in which for hashish companies to open leisure “cafés” to take pleasure in their product in public with others has superior out of the California legislature and is headed to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.

Meeting Invoice 374 was drafted by Assemblymember Matt Haney (D-San Francisco) and would enable native California governments to license the “Amersterdam-style” cafés to permit leisure hashish customers to get excessive in a chosen enterprise the place they’ll additionally take pleasure in espresso, meals and stay leisure.

“A lot of individuals wish to take pleasure in authorized hashish within the firm of others,” Haney mentioned. “And many individuals wish to do this whereas sipping espresso, consuming a scone, or listening to music. There’s completely no good cause from an financial, well being, or security standpoint that the state ought to make that unlawful.”

Haney mentioned he drafted the invoice to assist out struggling hashish companies that have been struggling as a result of “over-saturation, excessive taxes, and the thriving black market.”

The Meeting member’s workplace says California’s authorized hashish gross sales reached $4 billion in 2020, whereas unlawful gross sales are believed to have greater than doubled that.

Whereas adults are technically allowed to devour hashish at a dispensary, the companies are usually not allowed to promote any “non-cannabis-infused” merchandise, i.e., espresso, pastries or different objects. If Newsom indicators the invoice into regulation, it could enable cities and counties the flexibility to vary that, making California’s hashish business look a bit extra like Amsterdam’s.

Some cities already enable for hashish lounges, together with West Hollywood, the place two hashish consumption lounges at present function. In Amsterdam, in the meantime, there are greater than 700 cafés.

Haney hopes that by making it simpler for different cities and counties to observe their lead, struggling hashish companies will get a lift and California can seize the title of the world’s hashish capital.

“If a certified hashish retail retailer needs to additionally promote a cup of espresso and a sandwich, we should always enable cities to make that potential and cease holding again these small companies,” Haney mentioned.

Newsom has not publicly signaled any intentions to signal the invoice into regulation, however the laws did obtain bipartisan assist all through the method, passing the California State Senate with a 33 to three vote and the Meeting with a 66 to 9 tally.

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