California Law Could Open Door To Marijuana At County Fairs


SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Californians could order up some pot with their cotton candy and corn dog at the county fair if a budget trailer bill becomes law.

Senate Bill 94 brings the rules and regulations for medical marijuana and recreational marijuana together. In doing so, there is some language in the bill the would allow cannabis sales at fairgrounds. Proponents say it fixes a restriction on marijuana-related events at fairgrounds that were previously legal.

“It is on-site sales and consumption, so think beer garden,” said Hezekiah Allen, the head of the California Growers Association.

According to a trailer bill attached to the state’s budget, cannabis businesses could apply for a temporary licenses to sell their products at fairgrounds.

“The business that’s applying for it will have to meet every regulation and every requirement of the entire regulatory framework,” explained Allen.

He says the pot shops at fairs would still need to have state mandated protections.

“They’ll have to insure that only folks over 21 have access to the area where the cannabis is present and that the area isn’t even visible,” said Allen.

SB94 does leave room for interpretation. For example, if alcohol is sold on the premises can marijuana be sold as well? Or would the fair have to choose one or the other?

“I think the regulatory agencies will deal with those questions in the next couple of months,” said Allen.

Right now, most marijuana sales are done from a dispensary. The trailer bill would take the product outside those walls.

“We’re just allowing a greater exposure to those unhealthy items at a county fair,” said Brook Lowe, a member of CALM, which is a group opposing marijuana legislation.

“I think that is deplorable,” said Lowe.

He worries there may be unintended consequences by having cannabis businesses included in fairs.

“It sends a message to the kids that this is normal,” said Lowe.

The main caveat to seeing weed at your county fair is local control.

Allen says if a city our county government doesn’t approve cannabis at fairgrounds, then the state won’t issue a permit.

The budget still must be signed by Gov. Jerry Brown before becoming law.

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