California May Ban Flavored Cannabis Vapes

Education News

Posted by Dave Kaplan
3 months ago | August 19, 2020

Bill AB 1639
By Griffen Thorne

The California legislature is considering a new law (AB-1639) that, if passed, would restrict how cannabis vape products are made and sold.

AB-1639 would change California law for tobacco and cannabis businesses (for the purposes of this post, we’ll just focus on the cannabis side of the law), and would effectively prohibit almost any kind of flavoring added to vape products in the Golden State.

California cannabis vape infographic

Under existing California laws and regulations, there is no express prohibition on adding flavoring to cannabis vape products, and as any reader knows, there has been a huge pushback across the U.S. to ban any kind of flavored vape product whatsoever. AB-1639 would change existing law by prohibiting cannabis businesses from selling “artificially flavored vape products”, which are defined as “cannabis or a cannabis product that contains flavor not derived or synthesized from the cannabis plant or other natural botanical sources and that can be used to deliver cannabis to a person in aerosolized or vaporized form.”

In other words, if AB-1639 passes, then the only kind of flavor additives that can be used in vape products will be naturally occurring flavors. For good measure, AB-1639 would also prohibit the manufacturing of flavored vape products as well:

Flavors not derived from the cannabis plant or other natural botanical sources shall not be used in the production of cannabis products that can be used to deliver cannabis to a person in aerosolized or vaporized form.

Flavor derived or synthesized from tobacco shall not be used in the production of cannabis products or sale of cannabis products that can be used to deliver cannabis to a person in aerosolized or vaporized form.

Notably, the law would not become effective immediately upon being passed, as it says “This section shall become operative 90 days after the effective date of the act that added this section.”

In other words, if the law passes, businesses will have a short grace period to sell off products that would no longer be authorized under the amended law. Though there is a short grace period, it’s clear that if AB-1639 passes, any cannabis business that makes flavored vape products will need to immediately consider the impact of this law and on products that are already on the market. Failure to do so could lead to far-reaching consequences and huge monetary losses.

AB-1639 has already made it pretty far through the legislative process and there’s a good chance that it becomes law. If it does, cannabis vape brands and extractors in California may need to change their operations, products and hardware to comply with this new regulation.

Contact us today to learn about how the reintroduction of natural terpenes affects extract viscosities and why versatile vape hardware will be more important than ever if AB-1639 comes to fruition.

(Note: Griffen Thorne is an attorney at Harris Bricken, a law firm with lawyers in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Barcelona, and Beijing. This story was originally published on the Canna Law Blog and has been reposted with permission.)