State Senate Expands AB2149 to Allow Cash Collection by Counties
The California State Sentate on June 22 amended AB2149, the cash fee-collection bill sponsored by Assembly Member Bonilla.
AB2149 originally allowed the State Board of Equalizaiton to collect cash payments from cannabis business licensees for payment of fees and other amounts owing to state agencies. This important measure is necessary because, as a practical matter, banking services are just not available to cannabis businesses.
AB2149 passed the Assembly and moved onto the state Senate, where it was referred to the Committee on Government and Finance.
On June 22, the bill was amended to allow counties, as well as the State Board of Equalization, to collect those fees in cash and to collect a fee for cash transactions. Expanding cash collection to counties provides a practical benefit to operators, who would not be limited to paying cash to Board of Equalization offices. County offices would almost certainly be closer and more convenient, especially for more rural operations. This also provides a security benefit, as transportation of large amounts of cash across the state is less than ideal.
The ability to collect a fee for cash processing also gives counties another financial incentive to support and license cannabis businesses.