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Nossaman LLP


Jennifer Capitolo And Ashley Walker Help County of Monterey Secure Passage For SB 1459 (Cannella)

Jennifer Capitolo and Ashley Walker, policy advisors in the Sacramento office, worked closely with the County of Monterey to help craft and ensure passage of SB 1459 by Senator Cannella—which was recently signed by California Governor Jerry Brown.  Working in conjunction with representatives from the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) and the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC), Ms. Capitolo and Ms. Walker helped shepherd the bill through the process, which enables cannabis businesses with temporary licenses to continue to operate an additional 12 months without receiving local approval.  

The bill was an “urgency statute” that immediately became effective in order to head off a crisis in California’s burgeoning legal cannabis industry.  Such a bill was necessary due to a disconnect between state and local licensing regulation timelines that would have led to a large-scale shutdown of cannabis-related business in California—and had a severe impact on many local economies as well as the overall state economy. 

Ms. Capitolo and Ms. Walker had been working with the County of Monterey on related issues when the County received notice from the state regarding the inconsistencies in state and local regulations and indicated that cannabis-related businesses in the County would shortly be shut down if they were not properly licensed. 

In order to meet the immediate needs of their client, they redirected their efforts, teamed with the CSAC and RCRC, and in a period of several weeks, helped write SB 1459’s language and shepherd it through two policy committees and two floors, with the final action taking place on the last day of session.  Without the efforts of Ms. Capitolo and Ms. Walker, it is likely that the cannabis-related businesses in Monterey (and much of California) would have been forced to halt operations.  

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