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Bill Legalizing Amsterdam-Style Cannabis Cafes Passes Assembly with Bipartisan Support

Assemblymember Haney’s AB 1775 will allow licensed cannabis retailers to diversify their businesses to boost legal cannabis industry

For immediate release:
  • Nate Allbee
  • (415) 756-0561

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, Assemblymember Matt Haney’s (D-San Francisco) legislation that allows local California governments to license Amsterdam-style cannabis cafes has reached a critical milestone in the legislative process, having passed out of the Assembly with a 49-4 vote, and is heading to the Senate with bipartisan support. The bill previously passed the Assembly Business and Professions Committee 14-2 and the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee 13-2. A previous version of this bill, AB 374, was passed last year by the Legislature and vetoed by the Governor. Assemblymember Haney has been working diligently with the Governor’s Office to address concerns raised in the veto message.

California is known worldwide as the birthplace of cannabis culture with its early adoption of medical cannabis and its expertise in cultivation. But there’s another location that competes with California for the title of the world capital of cannabis: Amsterdam. While cannabis cafes in the Netherlands thrive and capitalize on the social experience of cannabis by offering coffee, food, and live music, all of those opportunities are currently illegal under California law. AB 1775 simply allows cannabis retailers to diversify their business and move away from the struggling and limited dispensary model by selling non-cannabis-infused foods.

“Lots of people want to enjoy legal cannabis in the company of others,” said Haney. “And many people want to do that while sipping coffee, eating a scone, or listening to music. There’s absolutely no good reason from an economic, health or safety standpoint that the state should make that illegal. If an authorized cannabis retail store wants to also sell a cup of coffee and a sandwich, we should allow cities to make that possible and stop holding back these small businesses.”