Governor Newsom Vetoed AB374, Upholding Smokefree Air
California workers can breathe easier now that Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a cannabis café bill that would have created a significant roll-back to the state’s long-standing smokefree workplace protections.
Assembly Bill 374 would have allowed marijuana/cannabis retailers to sell food, non-alcoholic beverages, and sell tickets to concerts and other events. The bill would have created restaurants, cafes, and entertainment venues that allow indoor smoking and vaping—meaning that workers at these marijuana hospitality venues would be breathing toxic secondhand smoke on the job.
Read more about the threats posed by AB374 in ANRF’s blog post from August 2023.
AB374 passed through the legislature this 2022-2023 session, despite opposition from tobacco control and other public health partners. The majority of the messages heard at the legislature and in the media promoted the bill as a way to create more economic opportunity for marijuana retailers, which would have been at the expense of the health and safety of California’s workforce. ANR thanks Governor Newsom for vetoing the bill on October 10 to upheld the right of California workers to breathe smokefree air on the job.
In his veto message, Governor Newsom said: "I am concerned this bill could undermine California's long-standing smoke-free workplace protections. Protecting the health and safety of workers is paramount."
All workers should have equal protection on the job, and no one should have to sacrifice their health for a paycheck. Just like any other form of smoking and vaping, marijuana shouldn’t be used in ways that harm other people.
California’s smokefree workplace protections are intact for now, but advocates in California and every other state that has legalized adult-use marijuana needs to stay attuned to potential efforts in 2024 to weaken smokefree air laws to expand where cannabis can be smoked or vaped, especially in indoor environments like hospitality venues. The marijuana industry will continue their work to chip away at public health protections in order to normalize their product and maximize their profits.
Tobacco Industry Continues to Fight California’s Flavored Tobacco Law
In the latest example of the tobacco industry continuing its dirty tricks to prevent meaningful public health protections, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco filed an emergency application with the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent California’s new flavored tobacco products from going into effect, claiming that California’s law violates federal tobacco product laws.
In response, ANR joined a group of 23 public health, medical, and community organizations in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court opposing R.J. Reynolds' injunction, spelling out the critical public health justification and need for California’s law and explaining how the law is not in violation of any federal laws.
Previously, R.J. Reynolds filed a lawsuit challenging California’s flavored tobacco law the day after it was upheld by voters on the November 2022 ballot, but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied Reynolds’ attempt to block the law.
Background: In August 2020, the California legislature adopted SB793 to end the sale of flavored tobacco products with a few exemptions. As soon as SB793 was signed into law, tobacco companies began working to overturn this important public health legislation and spent millions of dollars to gather enough signatures to put the issue on the November 2022 ballot as Proposition 31. California voters saw through the tobacco industry’s deceptive actions and upheld the decision to end the sale of flavored tobacco products with Proposition 31 receiving 63.4% of the vote.
Public Health Groups Amicus Motion & Amicus Brief
MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE BRIEF AS AMICI CURIAE AND BRIEF OF PUBLIC HEALTH, MEDICAL, AND COMMUNITY GROUPS AS AMICI CURIAE IN OPPOSITION TO THE EMERGENCY APPLICATIONS FOR WRIT OF INJUNCTION
State's Opposition Brief
OPPOSITION TO EMERGENCY APPLICATION FOR WRIT OF INJUNCTION
Three Dangerous Marijuana Bills
September 15, 2021
California legalized the adult use of marijuana in 2016, and now communities and the state are facing threats to smokefree air laws and other public health protections. Read more on our Marijuana page about three bills that have been introduced regarding marijuana in California.
IN THE NEWS
OCTOBER 20, 2020
The Los Angeles Times outlined a complaint of illegal signature gathering filed by the Tobacco Free Kids Action Fund in its article "Campaign to overturn California’s flavored tobacco sales ban accused of misleading voters."
OCTOBER 14, 2020