California Cannabis Expungement Guide

California Cannabis Expungement Guide

Discover comprehensive insights into the California cannabis expungement process through these detailed and informative Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

How did California handle expungements for cannabis?

California addressed the expungement of cannabis convictions through Proposition 64, which was enacted in 2016. This proposition allowed individuals with prior marijuana offenses to petition their local courts for expungement, which includes the dismissal, sealing, or redesignation of their convictions​.

The process became more streamlined with the Bonta Bill in 2018, making expungements automatic for past cannabis possession convictions​.

Assembly Bill 1793, effective from January 1, 2019, created a statewide process for automatic review of marijuana-related convictions qualifying for relief under Proposition 64, thus removing the burden from individuals to seek expungement.

All felonies? Only non-violent?

Non-violent, though individual cases with mitigating circumstances may be subject to review. A bill passed by the California legislature allows for automatic expungement of marijuana convictions for acts that are now legal, which likely pertains to non-violent charges such as possession.

Were there any crimes related to cannabis that disqualified someone from applying as a social equity applicant?

This is varied; California has various programs administered at local levels, each with its own eligibility criteria. Generally, eligibility is based on factors like having a qualifying income, a cannabis conviction prior to 2016, or residing in an area adversely affected by cannabis criminalization​.

For instance, Oakland sets aside cannabis business permits for equity applicants meeting specific criteria, such as being city residents with an income of 80% or less than the city’s median, having a cannabis-related arrest or conviction, or living for a considerable duration in historically overpoliced areas​.

Status of Current Social Equity Program:

California supports social equity businesses at both the state and local levels, with each local initiative being designed to best meet the needs of their community.

  • State Support: Through the California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC), equity business owners can get:
    • Their cannabis business state license fees waived (and/or) deferred, and
    • Technical support with navigating the state licensing process.
    • California also directly supports equity business owners through Cannabis Equity Tax Credits.
  • Local Support: California provides grant funding to local equity programs. These programs offer support to those harmed by cannabis criminalization. They provide opportunities tailored to the following:
    • Circumstances of their community and the
    • Experiences of their residents. 

How Can Point Seven Group Help?

The team of cannabis consultants and professionals at Point Seven Group have worked extensively in the U.S. and international cannabis markets and are familiar with the unique challenges of the cannabis industry. Follow us on social media to stay up to date with more cannabis industry updates!

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