CA bill proposes crackdown on illicit marijuana firms’ ads through Weedmaps, others

California marijuana, CA bill proposes crackdown on illicit marijuana firms’ ads through Weedmaps, others

A new bill in the California Legislature is attempting to do what state regulators could not accomplish in 2018: Quash postings for illegal cannabis retailers by advertising giant Weedmaps and others.

The measure, Assembly Bill 1417, was amended to include language that would:

  • Require any ad for a marijuana company in California to include that company’s state license number.
  • Allow for a penalty of up to $2,500 per violation per day.
  • Allow for a wide array of stakeholders to bring civil suits against perpetrators for illegal cannabis ads.

The United Cannabis Business Association (UCBA), which represents licensed Los Angeles marijuana companies, said in a news release that it’s sponsoring the bill, which is being run in the Legislature by Assembly Member Blanca Rubio, a Los Angeles-area Democrat.

The UCBA specifically identified Weedmaps in a news release and noted that the bill would also allow for “a civil class action lawsuit because of the large number of potentially aggrieved persons who have been impacted by the illegal advertisements.”

“This unchecked ability to advertise has given these illegal activities a huge advantage over legal operators,” UCBA President Jerred Kiloh said in the release.

Weedmaps did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

John Schroyer can be reached at [email protected]

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10 comments on “CA bill proposes crackdown on illicit marijuana firms’ ads through Weedmaps, others
  1. George Bianchini on

    This is just masking a failed regulatory attempt to displace the same cannabis marketplace that fought for legalization and the freedom to sell a flower.
    The results of this failed attempt will not stand. The corporate dominated cannabis new comers looking for their pot of green gold are to late to the party. The black market, I mean the original mom and pop owner/operators of the cannabis market place have left for more fertile grounds. When I say left, I am referring to “not regulated”. Call it what ever you want. They “not me YET” have the most important component. The trust and support of the customer.
    The state’s version of prop 64 is a con job. I am waiting for the BCC to fix it by tripling the taxes.

  2. Gerald on

    The state is over stepping with this bill. If the illegal dispensaries are advertising then it should be easy to shut them down but to go after Weedmaps is a joke.

  3. Kenny on

    It’s as if California doesn’t want the drug war to end. Not enough retailers, too many taxes, too much regulation. Of course we’ll go back to black market weed, which is cheaper. Learn from Colorado. They got it right. Everybody’s legal, weed’s plentiful and affordable, and the state is raking in the dough. Cali is run by idiots.

  4. Joel on

    I agree with previous comment about not going after Weedmaps. But there are now unlicensed businesses showing fake license numbers on Weedmaps.

    It’s not Weemaps’ place to police, but if they accept revenue to promote then they should be responsible to ensure accuracy of promotions and that it’s a valid license number showing. They shouldn’t stick their head in the sand, in the end it’s consumers being duped.

  5. Noah on

    As retailers in Los Angeles for the last 13 years, it is impossible to describe the number of hoops we have had to jump through to comply with city regulation and now state regulation. We have paid taxes, federal, city and State that whole time. Meanwhile everyone else has opened up, with the help of Weedmaps, and paid no taxes. Followed no rules. While we have virtually gone broke trying to stay open, Weedmaps has gotten stinking rich advertising businesses which are not licensed. They don’t charge taxes. So they are cheaper. Who doesn’t like cheaper? We pay Weedmaps to advertise and they provide our illegal competition the means to flourish. No one may care about the sacrifices that we’ve made to get us to where we are now. But we were the ones who kept the flame alive when all authorities were on the verge of permanently banning all Cannabis activity. Anyone who thinks we are whining rich people would be quite surprised to have a look at our books. This is about our survival. Back Page. Silk Road. Weedmaps.

    • Pat on

      Noah, I’m one of those “whiner’s.” I see it this way: It’s a !% vs 99% thing. I take it you’re not in the !%. But, you might be in the top 9% ( before that 1% ). The point is this: Very likely the 1% or so are the one’s that crafted this law to keep the rest at bay, or suffering like you, and those worse/much worse off as you go down to the 99th percentile, whom never got a chance; that includes though many of those lost a fortune ( AND, made the sacrifices you allude to ) in preparation for the roll out of a law that was going to allow all to compete fairly ( I’m one of those ).

      The Ca. BCC is even more corrupt than the big boy cartels that they teamed up with to kill the competition. That’s what it boils down to. It’s all meant to keep the price at historical black market prices ( Have you seen prices go down since legalization w/this “law??” ). Have you ever once seen ANY state of ca. agency charged w/regulating this market ever comment on this site or any other mainstream cannabis news site with regard to complaints/concerns from the industry and/or it’s citizens whom have been adversely impacted by their policies/regs? No, you haven’t.

      Sounds like you’ve inadvertently joined the whiner crowd. And the thing is, at least you’re in business. But, not in business the way you expected to be in busine$$. A distant “cry” perhaps… I can guarantee you that those ahead of you on the percentage curve are not operating in survival mode.

      • Noah on

        You are completely incorrect. This law has not been crafted by the 1%. It has been introduced by the people who have run storefronts in the city for the last decade and a half and are incapable of continuing in the face of an illegal marketplace fueled by Weedmaps. Weedmaps is the 1%

  6. stuart carter on

    Licensed dispensaries in Michigan are suffering the same fate. Unlicensed dispensaries and delivery services are running rampant. They don’t deal in tested products. They have no continuing regulatory set up costs. They don’t pay State or Federal taxes. Licensed facilities are getting burned in the market place trying to compete. It’s a sham that is primarily perpetrated by Weedmaps. Weedmaps has an incredible choke hold on the market. They need to act like responsible, ethical business people. However, we know that they’re driven by greed so the solution is to enact legislation that holds them accountable for responsible advertising. Without Weedmaps and their advertising empire, the unlicensed companies will not have a leg up on those companies that are trying to do the right thing for themselves and their customers.

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