County Fairs Could Sell Marijuana Right Alongside Fried Twinkies in California

A California law would clarify rules around the state's now-legal marijuana.

A new law being proposed in California will help clarify some of the state’s marijuana laws – and even allow marijuana businesses to set up shop at county fairs.

Senate Bill 94 would allow marijuana vendors to apply for temporary licenses to sell their products on fair grounds. That means that next time you’re at a county fair in California, you might find lemonade, hot dog, and funnel cake stands and booths hawking marijuana right next door.

The proposed bill would also allow marijuana home deliveries and set standards for growing organic marijuana.

Unsurprisingly, it's a controversial bill, given that county fairs, home of circus clowns, Ferris wheels, and arcade games, are most often frequented by children and their families.

“The business that’s applying for it will have to meet every regulation and every requirement of the entire regulatory framework,” Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association, told CBS News in San Francisco. “They’ll have to insure that only folks over 21 have access to the area where the cannabis is present and that the area isn’t even visible,” he says.

Under the bill, which will be voted on this Thursday, only people over 21 will be able to smoke, vape or ingest pot, and they’d be restricted to special areas that aren’t visible to the public, meaning that no, you won’t be able to wander freely around the fair or wait in line for the rickety roller coasters, fried Twinkie in one hand, and a joint in the other.

Another restriction states that pot can’t be sold or consumed on the same premises as alcohol and tobacco, presumably creating a safe guard against fair-goers becoming too intoxicated on multiple substances.

Even with all these regulations in place, the proposal is still receiving backlash.

The anti-marijuana legalization group CALM is speaking out against the legislation.

“We’re just allowing a greater exposure to those unhealthy items at a county fair,” Brook Lowe, a member of the group, told CBS. “I think that it is deplorable.”

But given the usual cuisine at fairs – fried, fatty, processed, salty, and covered in powdered sugar – we're not sure "unhealthy" is the complaint to lead with.

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