Capitol Alert

Businesses, experts push workplace marijuana rules

Yolo marijuana farmers embrace new 'track-and trace' program

Under a pilot program in Yolo County, local cannabis growers are getting a crash course in accounting for their plants, products and shipping under California 'track and trace' rules to prevent diversion to the black market.
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Under a pilot program in Yolo County, local cannabis growers are getting a crash course in accounting for their plants, products and shipping under California 'track and trace' rules to prevent diversion to the black market.

Welcome to the AM Alert, your morning rundown on California policy and politics. To receive it regularly, please sign up here.

It’s 4/20 today, and using recreational marijuana is legal in California.

But employers can still impose drug-free work rules.

Despite Proposition 64, passed by voters last November, employers are allowed to prohibit drug use, possession and impairment at work, and require employees to undergo drug testing.

The California Chamber of Commerce is advocating for businesses to communicate and “consistently” enforce policies to help clear up confusion over what’s allowed under the measure. Employment and legal experts with the Chamber will explain details during an online forum beginning at 11:30 a.m. today. Cost is $200 to register.

JERRY BROWN’S MISSION: Gov. Jerry Brown is back at his favorite topic today, expected to deliver a strong message on California’s efforts to rein in heat-trapping emissions at an all-day climate change summit in San Francisco.

Hosted by Climate Action Reserve, an organization that helps “develop, promote and climate solutions,” the conference will address international and domestic climate policy, carbon markets and green investments. Other listed speakers include billionaire environmental activist and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León and Catherine McKenna, Canada’s minister of the environment and climate change.

Brown, who has made climate change his signature issue, will likely champion the state’s cap-and-trade program and other environmental policies. He’s expected to speak at 9:40 a.m. at the InterContinental San Francisco hotel at 888 Howard St.

Brown had spirited comments for climate scientists in December, saying at a conference that California would launch “its own damn satellite” in response to threats by President Donald Trump roll back federal actions on climate change.

With Trump’s promises to withdraw from the Paris climate accords, the discussion on his proposals could arise at the San Francisco event.

Gov. Jerry Brown promised California would continue to vigorously pursue climate science the annual American Geophysical Union fall meeting in San Francisco. Video courtesy of American Geophysical Union

WORTH REPEATING: “The existing workers’ compensation system failed the survivors of the Dec. 2 attack.” –Assemblywoman Eloise Reyes, D-Grand Terrance, on her bill to help workers injured in terrorist attacks, referring to the San Bernardino attack in 2015.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Brown explains the difference between bribery and democracy.

BORDER WALL BILLS: Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego, and Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, are set to hold a 2:30 p.m. press conference in San Diego to draw attention to a pair of bills aimed at preventing the construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

Assembly Bill 946, authored by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, and Gonzalez Fletcher, would prevent CalPERS and CalSTRS from investing public employee retirement funds in border wall construction companies. Lara’s Senate Bill 30 would prohibit the state from awarding or renewing any contract with a contractor working on the border wall.

FEINSTEIN TOWN HALL, ROUND TWO: Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein holds her second town hall this week, this time in Los Angeles at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church.

California’s senior senator appeared poised and calm at the town hall in San Francisco on Monday, but she faced public backlash for not taking a stronger stance against Trump and his administration. Protesters outside the town hall, and questioners inside, repeatedly asked Feinstein to denounce Trump’s actions, but she took a more measured approach.

Tickets for the Los Angeles event, from 11 a.m. to noon, were quickly snapped up online.

HARRIS BACK ON HOME TURF: Democratic U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris is expected to host an economic roundtable discussion with union and trades representatives in Los Angeles about Trump’s proposed cuts to federal employment programs, before hosting a town hall at the Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles Friday – her first since Trump took office. The town hall is set for 3:30 to 5 p.m. It’s maxed out.

The economic roundtable is not open to the public.

RESISTING TRUMP: Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, will hold a town hall at 7 p.m. in Santa Monica to discuss “how we can resist, organize and stop the president’s radical agenda.” Lieu has been forceful in his criticism of Trump, and has taken to Twitter to counter Trump’s tweets with his own.

In one, Lieu was pictured with comedian Chelsea Handler in Santa Monica, and both wore shirts reading “Trump, Putin ‘16.”

CALIFORNIA AIR QUALITY: Los Angeles, Bakersfield and Visalia ranked among the most polluted areas in California, according to a new American Lung Association report. And more than 35 million Californians – roughly 90 percent of the state’s population – live in counties with unhealthy air during the year, affecting children, seniors and people with asthma, among others.

The report urges California to boost investments in zero-emission vehicles, renewable power and air pollution control programs.

REDUCING RECIDIVISM: California’s Board of State and Community Corrections will consider awarding $11.8 million in grant funding to San Francisco and Los Angeles for programs aimed at reducing recidivism. Local programs allow police to divert low-level drug offenders and prostitutes into treatment programs that offer housing, counseling and other services, instead of sending them to prison.

Angela Hart: 916-326-5528, @ahartreports