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UDWA News Post

UDW responds to co-sponsored groundbreaking cannabis access legislation becoming two-year bill

SACRAMENTO-In a move supported by the union co-sponsoring AB 1356, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) moved the bill to the inactive file today. Ting plans to bring the bill, which is designed to increase consumer access as well as business opportunities in the developing legal cannabis market, back to the legislature next year.

According to United Domestic Workers of America (UDW/AFSCME 3930), co-sponsor of the historic legislation, their members will continue to educate stakeholders and build support for this important legislation in the interim.

“As a union of 110,000 workers who provide home care to low-income seniors and people with disabilities, UDW members are dedicated to the comfort and dignity of our state’s most vulnerable residents—many of whom experience positive health outcomes through the use of cannabis products,” said Doug Moore, UDW Executive Director.

Access to those positive outcomes, however, is limited by location as 76 percent of local jurisdictions have banned legal dispensaries altogether. AB 1356 would address that lack of access by requiring jurisdictions whose residents voted in favor of statewide adult-use cannabis to permit a reasonable number of dispensaries. AB 1356 provides several avenues to preserve local control, most notably by exempting cities and counties that did not support Proposition 64 from issuing licenses.

Currently, the constrained and uncertain nature of the legal cannabis market rewards large, corporate interests who can afford to operate speculatively and compete with illegal sales. Not only would AB 1356 make it easier for Californians who choose to use cannabis to access safe and legal products, it would also provide opportunities for people of color—the same communities who bore the heaviest burdens of overpolicing and mass incarceration during the decades of cannabis prohibition—to enter in and share the prosperity of the cannabis market.

“Californians passed Proposition 64, not only because they wanted to finally end harassment and incarceration for people who choose to use cannabis, but also because they wanted the fruits of the lucrative market to be distributed fairly,” said Moore. “AB 1356 will be a first step toward fully realizing the will of the voters to create a robust and equitable cannabis market in California. UDW members are fully invested in achieving this goal.”