Refugees and Asylum Seekers Eligible for Expedited Cannabis Licensing in CA

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control began reaching out to cannabis business applicants this month to let them know that refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers are eligible for expedited licensing. It’s part of a new law that took effect Jan 1.

Under AB 2113, state agencies are required to expedite and assist in the business licensing process for applicants with special immigrant visas or asylum, or who can otherwise prove they’re a refugee. The bill, authored by Assemblymember Evan Low (D–Silicon Valley), was partly a response to the Trump administration’s treatment of immigrants.

“Since taking office, the Trump administration continues to maliciously scapegoat immigrants to promote its dangerous xenophobic agenda – making it harder for refugee families fleeing violence to build new and productive lives” Low said at the time his bill was introduced. “While the President continues its cruel policies towards immigrants, AB 2113 will ensure that California is a place where the most vulnerable can find the opportunities to thrive and succeed.”

AB 2113 does not guarantee that immigrant applicants will get the approvals they seek. It merely entitles them to a quicker and smoother process.


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