California marijuana growers association drops suit over loophole for mega-farms

The California Growers Association (CGA) has dropped a lawsuit it filed a year ago against the state over a regulatory loophole that allowed commercial-scale cannabis farms to begin operating in 2018.

In a Jan. 8 court filing in Superior Court of California in Sacramento, the CGA asked for the case to be dismissed. In a press release, CGA said the move was made to “create a clean-slate and increase engagement with the incoming administration of (Gov.) Gavin Newsom.”

The CGA board approved a resolution to dismiss the suit to “maximize existing Association resources and engage CDFA in 2019.”

The suit’s dismissal was first reported by the Sacramento Business Journal.

Former CGA Executive Director Hezekiah Allen told Marijuana Business Daily last year that he was “torn” about the lawsuit’s chances, however, and said, “I don’t want to fight with growers.”

The case, which never gained much traction in court, focused on a sudden change in course by the CDFA in late 2017 when the agency decided to allow cannabis companies to obtain unlimited numbers of “small” MJ grow permits. Such licenses have a maximum capacity of 10,000 square feet – essentially opening the door to immense cannabis grows.

That allowance, the lawsuit argued, was contrary to Proposition 64, approved by California voters in 2016, which prohibited any “large” cultivation licenses from being issued by the state until 2023.

“Medium” cultivation permits allow for grows between 10,000 square feet and an acre, but those are still limited to one license per company.

Since the loophole went into effect early last year, plenty of growers have obtained scores of “small” grow permits to build out large-capacity marijuana farms. That’s happened most notably in Santa Barbara County, which has emerged as an MJ cultivation epicenter in California.

2 comments on “California marijuana growers association drops suit over loophole for mega-farms
  1. George Bianchini on

    Forget prop 64, California has just finished writing cannabis regulations that will cause our prop 64 to fail. It is failing right before our eyes. No worries though, the black market will supply the consumer just like it always has.

    Reply
  2. Pat on

    CGA said the move was made to “create a clean-slate and increase engagement with the incoming administration of (Gov.) Gavin Newsom.”

    [ Former CGA Executive Director Hezekiah Allen told Marijuana Business Daily last year that he was “torn” about the lawsuit’s chances, however, and said, “I don’t want to fight with growers.” ]

    Here’s the likely bottom line to this: The CGA was never really behind the small cottage grower/cultivator. The people that took the most risk and started the whole thing. It seems as if the CGA was a lead “front” organization/association tricking the 99% that they were going to be part and the leading edge this charge for the opportunity to get square with the state’s new law ( and gladly taking their money in association due/fees, etc.. in the process ). In essence, it seems as if the GCA was an integral part of the bait and switch tactic. Meaning, the GCA was MUCH more in bed with agencies such as the CDFA and others than they let on to their many years members. A huge betrayal; and betrayal of trust. They were following the big money the whole time.

    Follow where many of the past executive team members of the GCA are now and where they’re headed. If the chair “really cared” he would have never dropped the baton/cause for the small grower. What he did do instead, was to through them ( cottage growers other small related businesses ) all under the bus. If the “leadership” of the GCA has any sliver of shame; they’ll never show any of their faces again to those that represent the “bottom of the iceberg.”

    The two reasons for the abandonment mentioned above speak for themselves: It was all BS out the gate. Now, GCA, people like you have given the 99% even less reason to come back out “into the light,” should some other association or any other type of organization pop up with promises to their bidding in any form. Which further recesses this group ( whose intentions were the most noble of the whole lot ) into the shadows/black market. They’re now back to pre-1996 days. Da*n you, GCA.

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