A United Coaltion of Cannabis Associations Successfully Advocated Amendements Into AB 45, Establishing A Foundation for Comprehensive Cannabinoid Policy

AB 45 – Industrial  Hemp Products

The mission of the United Cannabis Business Association is to establish a comprehensive, statewide cannabinoid policy. It is in that same spirit that UCBA has spent the last three years advocating for responsible consumable hemp policy.  Responsible policy prioritizes public health and safety and promotes the viability of both California’s legal cannabis industry and the legal hemp industry. 

Comprehensive cannabinoid policy provides for fair and equal regulation of all cannabinoids, regardless of their source or how they were derived.  Such a policy includes equal safety testing requirements to protect public health.  Taxation should be established in a manner that transitions the unregulated market to a viable legal industry that empowers small business owners to thrive.  The Hemp Industry, having only recently been released from the shackles of federal prohibition, has the same responsibility as cannabis to  provide funding towards reparative social justice programs.  Their federal legal status should not exonerate them from having to participate in equity and community programs.

Federal policy is contradictory at best and at more often still tied to a prohibitionary mindset with only brief glimpses of honest scientific basis and consumer habit.

California cannabis advocates led the discussion over 20 years ago in large part out of recognition of the important role cannabis played during the HIV/AIDS epidemic that was for years ignored by the federal government.  

Today we find ourselves in a swiss cheese framework of federal policy around cannabinoids.  Cannabinoids derived from cannabis remain federally illegal with enforcement  carve outs in states that legally allow for it.  Hemp has been federally legalized but the FDA has prohibited any derivatives for consumable products such as CBD while at the same time authorizing a synthetic pharmaceutical version of CBD.  

More often than not, the discussion has centered around hemp vs cannabis industry interests with almost no recognition that cannabinoids remain the same regardless of where they originate; cannabis, hemp, or otherwise. 

The lack of political leadership on comprehensive cannabinoid policy has required UCBA to earnestly engage in a multi-year and ongoing education and advocacy campaign.  From industry participants, to community based organizations, local governments, and state legislature, we have been sharing and listening to concerns and solutions for responsible and comprehensive cannabinoid policy.  

We are pleased to announce that the most recent draft of this year’s hemp bill (AB 45)  finally moves toward establishing a legitimate foundation upon which we can build responsible policies for all cannabinoid products of all origins.

Together with our coalition partners which include The Long Beach Collective Association, The Coachella Valley Cannabis Alliance Network, The San Francisco Cannabis Retailers Alliance, Social Equity LA, The Santa Ana Cannabis Association, and Angeles Emeralds.  As well as our friends at Humboldt County Growers Alliance and Origins Council, we have successfully held back out of state interests and other stakeholders that have pursued language in this and previous bills that would have severely threatened public health and undermined the legal cannabis industry.  


UCBA would like to express its sincerest gratitude to the entire coalition for their diligence, perseverance and commitment to advocating for this issue.  As a united front, we achieved more than we ever could have alone, and it has been an honor working with this multi-regional, California-based cannabis stakeholder alliance.  

We would like to thank Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry, her staff and the Administration for working towards addressing the concerns expressed by us and our coalition partners.  We also wish to acknowledge the primary supporters of AB 45, the Kentucky based National Hemp Roundtable for their inevitable evolution toward publicly supporting these crucial amendments that will protect public safety and work toward protecting our nascent legal cannabis industry.  As well as the California Cannabis Industry Association who only recently changed their years long position from Support of previous policies to now a Neutral position, recognizing there is still much to work toward comprehensive cannabinoid regulation.  

We also wish to express our profound thanks to our Sacramento representatives Evelyn Pineda and Marvin Pineda of California Advocacy for their relentless commitment, guidance and perseverance over the past three years. Finally, we would like to share our appreciation to all our members and concerned citizens who responded to our calls to action, wrote their lawmakers, made phone calls or otherwise engaged on AB 45. 

UCBA and it’s coalition partners welcome all stakeholders who believe in advocating for responsible and comprehensive cannabinoid policies to join us as we continue the effort to prioritize public health and promote the viability of both California’s legal cannabis industry and the hemp industry.

With the amendments made on September 02, 2021 to AB 45, UCBA, The Long Beach Collective Association, The Coachella Valley Cannabis Alliance Network, The San Francisco Cannabis Retailers Alliance, Social Equity LA, The Santa Ana Cannabis Association, and Angeles Emeralds have moved from an OPPOSE position to a NEUTRAL position. 

AB 45 is likely to reach Governor Newsom’s desk for signature.  Should he find it to be responsible policy for California’s businesses and residents we look forward to working with all regulators in establishing comprehensive cannabinoid policy that will be an example for the inevitable federal policies to follow. 

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