California cannabis regulator requests staffing help for enforcement

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The California Bureau of Cannabis Control, which oversees all sectors of the legal marijuana industry in the state except for cultivators and manufacturers, has requested more funding to greatly expand its enforcement capabilities.

According to the Sacramento Bee, the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) put forth a budget request to state lawmakers for an 87-member police force to ensure operators are properly following regulations.

If the funding request is approved, the pivot would allow the BCC to absorb 58 positions from the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Cannabis Enforcement Unit and hire another 29 sworn peace officers.

The BCC anticipates having to deal with roughly 2,000 cases each year, the Bee reported, and the agency currently has a lengthy backlog of investigations.

In addition, many of the investigators currently on staff at the BCC are not sworn peace officers, so they are unable to arrest lawbreaking individuals, write search warrants, access criminal databases or perform similar key functions in investigations.

That’s left many of the BCC’s investigations into alleged industry violations either neutered or on hold until officers of some other law enforcement agency can assist, a loophole the budget request aims to fix.