Cannabis Reg. Update: CA Gov. Newsom Signs Bill Removing Marijuana Grow Tax, Cannabis Banking Reform Advances In PA & More

CA Gov. Gavin Newsom Signs Bill To Remove Marijuana Grow Tax

Gov. Newsom (D) signed a wide-ranging bill, AB 195, that seeks to eliminate a cannabis cultivation tax on Thursday.

The measure, which builds on his amended budget proposal, previously advanced through both chambers last week.

“Building a better future for all, we’ll continue to model what progressive and responsible governance can look like, the California way,” Newsom said.

The measure aims to minimize the influence of illicit operators, reduce pressure on licit operators and stimulate competition in the formal market.

Major changes include setting the cultivation tax rate at zero beginning July 1, 2022; shifting the point of collection and remittance for excise tax from distribution to retail on January 1, 2023 -maintaining a 15 percent excise tax rate; and “strengthening tax enforcement policies to increase tax compliance and collection and reduce unfair competition.”

Pennsylvania Cannabis Banking Reform Heads To Gov’s Desk As Part Of Broader Bill

A measure that includes a provision to protect banks and insurers against being penalized by state regulators for working with state-legal medical cannabis businesses has advanced through the Pennsylvania legislature and is heading to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk.

House Bill 311 was approved by House members on Friday in a 173-27 vote, reported Marijuana Moment.

As a standalone bill, the cannabis reform legislation, sponsored by Sens. John DiSanto (R) and Sharif Street (D) was passed by the state’s Senate earlier this year.

DiSanto filed the measure as an amendment to HB 311. The now passed bill tackles the issue of authorization of certain financial institutions to conduct savings promotion programs.

“These financial institutions and insurers are still to follow the rules and regulations applicable to all their other customers and consumer protection laws in the Commonwealth,” House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R) said.

Hemp Remains Legal In North Carolina As Gov. Cooper Signs Bill

Gov. Cooper signed a bill on Thursday that will keep hemp legal in the state.

Senate Bill 455, previously approved in a 41-2 vote by the state’s General Assembly aligns state hemp law with federal law, legalizing the production and sale of industrial hemp and products like CBD.

Despite being legalized under federal law under the 2018 Farm Bill, North Carolina had allowed hemp farming only under a previous pilot program that is set to end on June 30.

“Agriculture is North Carolina’s largest industry and giving North Carolina farmers certainty that they can continue to participate in this growing market is the right thing to do for rural communities and our economy,” Cooper said in a press release. “Currently, there is no law for the protection of banking or funds, or protection for insurers, for the legitimate cannabis businesses in the Commonwealth.”

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