California cannabis farmers sue state over loophole allowing multiple licenses

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

The California Growers Association has filed a lawsuit against the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture for allowing companies to own multiple licenses and operate major grows.

According to The Mendocino Voice, the association has accused the department of allowing a regulatory loophole in which a company could “obtain and aggregate unlimited smaller cultivation licenses to operate a cultivation site larger than the legal limit.”

The issue of multiple licenses also was raised Jan. 12 when California regulators held a public forum for members of the growers association.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The department’s initial regulations included a 1-acre limit on cultivation operations.
  • The growers association asserts that Proposition 64 – the bill voters approved in 2016 – originally gave small- and medium-sized cultivators five years to set up operations before larger operators could begin growing.
  • The association has circulated a petition over the past two months calling for the 1-acre limit to be reinstated, according to The Mendocino Voice. The petition has received 3,200 signatures.
  • California’s cities and counties are allowed to set their own regulations on the size of grows. Mendocino County, for example, caps cultivation operations at 10,000 square feet under its current ordinance.