After the California state senate unanimously passed the Homemade Food Operations Act (AB 626) at the end of August, the last step to making the bill into law was the signature of the state’s Governor, Jerry Brown.
Yesterday he provided just that.
With Brown’s signature, AB 626 makes it legal to start a home based food business in California. While it was always likely that Brown would sign the bill, it was not a foregone conclusion. The bill faced strong opposition from public health organizations who believe home based food businesses pose a potential health risk despite the safeguards built into the 626 in the form of home health inspections and permitting.
In the end, however, these voices of opposition weren’t enough to keep Brown from making AB 626 law.
The news is probably bittersweet for the founders of COOK Alliance, the advocacy organization which worked with lawmakers to shepherd 626 through the California state legislature. The group was created by the founders of Josephine, which they shut down earlier this year in large part due to the difficulty of running a marketplace for home cooked meals in states like California where it wasn’t legal to do so.
And while it may be too late for Josephine, other entrepreneurs have been working on platforms to connect would-be home food entrepreneurs with hungry customers. One company, DishDivvy, launched their app this summer and is operating in California.