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New state laws taking effect in 2019

Legislation concerning cannabis, law enforcement, environment and more.

With the new year comes new laws, including one that bans bump stocks and burst triggers and one that allows medical technicians to give your pet mouth-to-mouth. Here are some of the laws taking effect in 2019.


Recreational cannabis was legalized by voters in 2016 and California lawmakers are still making tweaks to the system. While some individual jurisdictions have taken steps toward reducing and expunging prior cannabis convictions, AB 1793 requires the California Department of Justice to review eligible cases across the state. The deadline for review is July 1.

In addition, local lawmakers can now license venues for temporary cannabis-related events thanks to AB 2020.

Law enforcement

The state took steps this year toward more transparency regarding law enforcement agencies. SB 1421 requires public disclosure of records involving investigations into officer-involved shootings, sexual assault, and use of force by peace officers. AB 748, which goes into effect July 1, requires release of recordings from body cameras within 45 days of shootings or cases of extreme use of force.

Law enforcement is getting tougher on those convicted of drunken driving. With SB 1046, drivers with two or more DUI convictions are required to install breathalyzer ignition interlock devices in order to start their vehicles.


Although handgun purchases are already limited to persons 21 or older, SB 1100 makes 21 the minimum age to purchase all legal firearms in California. Exemptions to that include members of law enforcement and the military. SB 1346 bans bump stocks and burst triggers, and AB 3129 asserts a lifetime ban on gun ownership for misdemeanor domestic violence convictions.

Health and environment

A new federal law requires hospitals to list their standard pricing online. While the state offers a pricing database, the law requires hospitals to make the information available on their website.

While there has been a recent movement to avoid using plastic straws commonly found at restaurants, it looks like 2019 is the year to invest in something reusable to carry around. AB 1884 prohibits restaurants from freely providing single-use plastic straws, though they can still be provided upon request.

Home cooks might have gained a small step toward getting their catering services off the ground thanks to AB 626. This new law allows “microenterprise home kitchen operations” to sell their homemade goods via permit.

Street food vendors also won some gains this new year with SB 946, prohibiting local governments from banning street vendors selling food and/or other products. Local governments can still set up a licensing system to regulate these businesses.


Animal lovers no longer need to question where their furry friends came from. AB 458 prevents pet stores from selling dogs, cats or rabbits unless they were obtained via an animal control agency, animal shelter or rescue group. SB 1305 also allows first responders to provide emergency medical assistance to a dog or cat. Before the law’s passage, only licensed veterinarians were allowed to do so.



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