SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A proposal to allow passengers to smoke and vape cannabis products on party buses narrowly passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee despite opposition from the CHP.
Senate Bill 625 would allow passengers 21 and older to use the products on a bus, limousine, or modified limousine as long as certain conditions are met:
- Driver’s compartment is sealed off by a physical barrier
- Driver’s compartment and passenger compartment are ventilated separately
- If the barrier between the driver and passengers is a door, window, partition, or another opening it must remain sealed while passengers are present; an employee (other than the driver) must remain in the passenger compartment while passengers are present
- Cannabis consumption isn’t visible in a public place
- Notice posted stating “CANNABIS USE IS ALLOWED IN THIS VEHICLE. CANNABIS IS A SCHEDULE I DRUG. ONLY PERSONS 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER ARE ALLOWED IN THIS VEHICLE. CANNABIS USE WHILE PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING MAY BE HARMFUL. CONSUMPTION OF CANNABIS IMPAIRS YOUR ABILITY TO DRIVE AND OPERATE MACHINERY. USE EXTREME CAUTION.”
- Vehicle design doesn’t compromise public safety
- Vehicles comply with all safety laws and regulations
- Driver or employee must check ID of every passenger to verify age
- Driver must announce to all passengers that cannabis consumption will take place
- Let all passengers know the locations of all emergency exits and fire extinguishers
Companies face a number of consequences if the rules are not followed, including fines and a revocation of a permit or certificate.
The California Public Utilities Commission and CHP would be tasked with oversight of the vehicles. The CHP opposes the bill saying it “does not have the means to test these barriers.” It also wrote in opposition, “ingestion of secondhand smoke by the driver could have disastrous results.”
Previous legislation, Senate Bill 65, made it legal to consume cannabis on a charter-party carrier licensed by the CPUC. SB 625 would close that loophole and make it illegal unless certain conditions are met.