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Governor Brown Vetoes Butane Bill

by Jennifer Karpinski Singh

California Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed Assembly Bill 1120, which would have amended Section 11107 of the Health and Safety Code to add butane as a controlled substance. This proposed amendment, triggered by concerns arising from illegal butane hash oil production, was intended to restrict the sale of butane products and create a database of butane purchasers maintained by the Department of Justice. In Governor Brown’s veto message, he noted that the bill was too “expansive” and placed an undue burden on an industry that has numerous “legitimate uses.”  Governor Brown’s full statement was as follows:

I empathize with the author’s intent to address the tragic explosions that can occur at illegal butane hash-oil production sites.  Unfortunately, I believe this bill takes a very expansive approach that may not ultimately solve the problem.  The Department of Public Health is currently working on regulations that will be finalized at the end of this year that move this type of production out of the shadows and into a safe and regulated environment.  I believe any additional legislation aimed at curbing illegal butane use should be more narrowly tailored, and not place a uniform limit on an industry that has many other legitimate uses.

This is good news for all butane manufacturers, wholesalers, resellers and retailers, who will not be forced to acquire customer information, maintain substantial records or coordinate a database with the Department of Justice.


Jennifer Karpinski Singh, now with Grimaldi Law, has practiced in a broad range of civil litigation since her graduation from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 2005. She has primarily focused on products liability and has successfully defended clients and secured summary judgments in state and federal courts throughout the United States. She is an active member of the California State Bar and the Illinois State Bar.

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Ms. Grimaldi maintains a diverse environmental law practice focusing on chemical and product regulation and litigation defense. Her practice areas include Proposition 65, California's Safer Consumer Products Regulations, California's Rigid Plastic Packaging Container Act and the federal Toxic Substances Control Act. Ms. Grimaldi graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law magna cum laude and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Bacteriology from University of California, Davis. Prior to attending law school, she worked as a research assistant in laboratories at the University of California, San Francisco Cancer Research Institute and at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.