California government report finds regulators are unable to fully oversee the state’s marijuana market

California cannabis, California government report finds regulators are unable to fully oversee the state’s marijuana market

A new audit by California’s Department of Finance found regulators have a long way to go before they have a solid handle on the state’s cannabis industry.

The report concluded – despite having established a “structural foundation” for managing the legal marijuana industry – the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC)’s “current status and location of personnel is not sustainable to provide effective and comprehensive oversight of cannabis activities.”

It noted the agency’s enforcement staff has dozens of unfilled positions and a vacancy rate approaching 80%, making it harder for regulators to ensure the legal supply chain is running the way it’s supposed to.

Here are the basics of the situation:

  • The audit was aimed at determining the effectiveness of the BCC’s enforcement program and cost.
  • The report, released in early July, focused solely on the BCC, which is responsible for licensing and overseeing marijuana retailers, testing labs, distributors, microbusinesses and events.
  • The other two agencies that regulate growers and manufacturers were not part of the audit.
  • The audit period was July 2016 to January 2019.

The report highlighted that as of January, only 75 out of 219 authorized personnel had been hired at the BCC and suggested that more staff is required before the agency can do its job properly.

BCC spokesman Alex Traverso said that, as of early July, staffing had increased to 87, meaning the BCC still had 132 positions to fill.

The report also found that revenues to the BCC were lagging far behind projected income.

The audit found that as of January, the BCC had brought in just about $2 million in business licensing fees, far short of the total $201 million that was expected to materialize by June 2019.

As of July, Traverso said, revenues had grown to a total of $15.3 million, out of which more than $10 million was collected last month.

The BCC was founded in 2016 as part of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA).

The agency originally was designed to oversee the state’s medical marijuana industry but then was also tasked with regulating recreational cannabis businesses after voters approved adult-use MJ in November 2016.

Since then, the industry landscape has transformed substantially, with final regulations adopted in January and thousands of temporary MJ business licenses expired or transitioned to provisional or annual licenses.

The illicit market, meanwhile, has continued to flourish as agencies such as the BCC ramp up.

Limited picture

The audit’s scope did not extend to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), which regulates marijuana growers, or the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), which oversees cannabis manufacturers.

No audits of those two agencies regarding their cannabis-industry duties are being performed, a Department of Finance spokesman said.

The audit also didn’t take into account enforcement efforts by the Division of Investigations (DOI) at the Department of Consumer Affairs, which is where industry complaints about unlicensed MJ operators are forwarded, BCC chief Lori Ajax noted.

That means the audit doesn’t offer a complete accounting of the BCC, according to Ajax.

“Close to 80% of our complaints are on unlicensed (operators) and get referred to the (DOI), but they didn’t look into that or how effective that is, and they didn’t look at CDFA or CDPH, so it was just on one portion of enforcement,” Ajax said.

She also noted that a big reason the BCC hasn’t completed staffing is because it is still working on opening new regional offices around the state, including in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.

“The biggest takeaway is … how much work got done, how we constantly – even though the priorities may have changed and the statute may have changed – we still got the job done,” Ajax said.

Enforcement issues

Perhaps most notable in the audit is the picture painted of the BCC’s inability to effectively combat lawbreaking cannabis operators, a situation expected to change over time and a job shared with the Division of Investigations.

Out of 68 authorized enforcement staff positions, only 15 had been hired as of January – a 78% vacancy rate, the audit noted.

In a response letter to the audit, Consumer Affairs Chief Deputy Director Christopher Shultz noted the number of authorized staff positions has increased every year since the BCC was founded.

The authorized staffing:

  • Originally was fewer than 10 staff positions but went to 10 in the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
  • Was 102 in 2017-2018.
  • Stands at 219 in the current fiscal year.

Shultz defended the performance of BCC staff, writing: “The Bureau has consistently met and exceeded its statutory mandates.”

The report also found the BCC had, as of January, not taken any “formal disciplinary actions” against any MJ companies but had initiated 120 investigations and performed 824 license inspections.

By the end of January, 5,680 business complaints had been filed with the BCC. Of those, 3,232 were resolved or referred to another agency, leaving “a backlog of in-progress complaints totaling 2,448 … with 559 complaints greater than six months old.”

A majority of the complaints filed were from Los Angeles County.

BCC’s Traverso reported:

  • The latest figures include 8,665 complaints filed with 6,097 closed and 245 still open.
  • Of the total, 2,323 were forwarded to the Division of Investigations.

Shultz objected to a finding in the audit that the BCC wasn’t prioritizing certain complaints that could impact consumers, stressing: “Complaints that are determined to be under the Bureau’s purview are reviewed and prioritized by the potential impact on public health and safety.”

The BCC also expects the number of complaints to keep increasing as the industry grows, according to the audit.

Regulatory expansion

The BCC has continuously expanded its staff and capabilities since 2016, Shultz wrote in his response.

“The Bureau’s management strategy has been, and continues to be, to meet its constantly changing statutory mandates,” Shultz noted, adding that laws surrounding the BCC’s responsibilities and specific authority “have changed significantly multiple times each year the Bureau has been in existence.”

The audit also reported “revenues are projected to increase as the program becomes more established and additional annual licenses are issued.”

Not only is the BCC ramping up staffing, enforcement and licensing efforts and more, Ajax said, but the Department of Investigations also will be expanded, meaning there will be more search warrants served on unlicensed MJ businesses as time goes on.

John Schroyer can be reached at [email protected]

22 comments on “California government report finds regulators are unable to fully oversee the state’s marijuana market
  1. George Cornelson on

    I work in the cannabis industry as a real estate broker and I have seen California bungle the rollout of its legal cannabis market in numerous ways. This audit reveals how bad the situation is on the ground and does not give much hope for any improvement for years to come. The states inability to enforce the law, while simultaneously dragging their feet on licensing legitimate businesses has created an impossible situation for cannabis businesses. As of today, the legal cannabis market only controls 20% of the market share and it looks like that number may shrink even more. These market conditions have effectively killed my business and with no hope of change on the horizon I am moving back to Colorado. This audit is the last straw for me. I am done with California.

  2. Rod Gass on

    John Schroyer quote …

    “The illicit market, meanwhile, has continued to flourish as agencies like the BCC ramp up.” Why is that John ?

    I think a big-time reporter, well within his domain, should be professional. Being a BCC promoter, as this article is, exemplifies your lack of commitment to reporting facts. You strung together a lengthy list of stats and excuses for why the BCC is failing. You failed to explore why the illicit side is soaring.

    John, it’s honesty, not from you, but from the people. The people hate the BCC. They started by defrauding the voters and now believe we didn’t take notice. We see the daily conflicts $64 dumped on cannabis advocates, it’s become an embarrassment.

    Honestly, due to government corruption, $64 will dissolve.

    • Sabrina Fendrick on

      The purpose of this article is to highlight a bureaucratic review of a government agency that was established under the MMRSA – legislation, and then it was rolled into prop 64. If you had an issue with the establishment of the Bureau, your time to complain was in 2015. The BCC’s job is to interpret and execute the law as written, not create policy. This article has nothing to do with, nor should it opine on, why the illicit market is thriving – the majority of which is due to local control/local prohibition. If you don’t like the law, don’t shoot the messenger, write your lawmaker.

      • Rod Gass on

        I assume by your tone, you participated in the $64 voter fraud. I did. I couldn’t get a license to participate. I didn’t have an extra $40,000 to waste on a fools’ errand. You and yours lied.

        John Schroyer used to be a highly respected cannabis writer. Now he’s a lacky for corruption. Present both sides and be professional.

        Surely even you can see that, this California Governor, has shown his intentions. Tax and punish. CAMP 2.0. My answer to that is tar and feather the creep.

        As to your timeline, I worked hard on passing 215. I again pushed the load against the 420 judgements. And of course, $64 was easy to comprehend prior to election. I actually read the proposition and campaigned against. On that I missed about half of the deceptions. Why the Newsom/Ajax loophole is being supported by you is quite informative.

        Your inability to discuss why the California illicit side is brutalizing the “legal” side is denial of truth. Cannabis rules.

        Care to add to your misunderstanding of me?

        • John Schroyer on

          I’m a “lacky for corruption,” eh? That’s a new one. Thanks for reading, Rod.

          If you’re interested in a civil discussion about the overall situation, feel free to email me directly and I’ll be happy to talk.

        • Pat on

          Rod. My heart goes out to you, man. But, my opinion… this isn’t the way to handle it. I’ve disagreed with journalist’s in the past. But, unless they’ve really gone out on a limb to outright lie to the public, you should probably write to the journalist directly with your concerns. Why?

          1 ) It’s just the decent thing to do. Esp. if they’re performing a relatively good job over time.

          2 ) We should be very thankful that a forum like this has been provided to all of us ( anyone concerned ) to put their thoughts to paper and have it printed. It’s a great service. And, it’s good for democracy. Note: NPR has removed this service from all of their programming. So, that if anyone has a comment, neg./pos. for all to see and learn from; it doesn’t happen anymore as of 2 yrs ago. So, I’d be real appreciative and extend a kind of reverence to these folks that often ( and increasingly ) stick their necks out for us, in an increasingly dissolving democratic environment.

          Where would any of us be without them?

          • Rod Gass on

            Point well taken Pat. I was shocked by this article. I’ve enjoyed and benefitted from the work of Schroyer. I’m certain I regret my words.

            It surely is a normal reaction to use words against words over cannabis. The accumulated frustration of dealing with California for decades of nonsense and deceptions made the BCC an easy whipping post.

            And yes, never before have we used such a great communication method in the defense of cannabis.

      • Pat on

        Sabrina: You’re wrong.

        You make it sound so cut and dry/black and white. Yes; lot’s of people had issue with how this now “law” was morphing into something ugly as it was moving through a bureaucratic snake. And, since it was anaconda, it ate up all of those voices/statements/emails/letters along the way. And the only thing that was produced at the other end was what the original group wanted at the beginning…the way the law is now. So what was taken in by the snake ( a giant rat ); came out the remnants of one. Everyone else that was given the “opportunity” to “participate in the purported “democratic” process, as you allude to, were lied to/summarily dismissed. This was just a process that the bad guys had to go through. Not because they really wanted to.

        The BCC’s job is just that. Do their job. And, it’s clear from the audit that it’s been a catastrophic disaster. I believe it’s in the BCC’s purview to create policy. So what exactly are you talking about?

        This article has EVERYTHING to do with why the black market is thriving. Why? The gov. on all fronts has pulled the rug out from everyone else that’s not them or their oligarch/nepotistic business partners. Of course, if you were really paying attention, you’d know this already. Maybe you do know. Again, the majority of the problem is not due to local control/prohibition. It is the template that the state created to allow that condition to exist; when it didn’t under 215/420. And its provision didn’t need to be included in state law, but it was.

        At this point, what kind of advice are you trying to give to a group of people that have stood by this kind of corruption for decades? Yeah, the elites knew the masses weren’t going to like the law. Writing to one’s lawmaker, re the cannabis question? In hopes of getting any kind of reasonable resolution in a timely fashion? Answer: That person will be dead and gone as will the original “lawmaker’s” grandchildren. The writing’s on the wall for all to see. But, your advice is exactly the advice that the elites in gov. like to have people like you give out. Unless, of course, you are the Sabrina Fendrick’s, Director of Government Affairs at Berkeley Patients Group? Hmmm…Now what would this mean to the 99%?

        The only thing I agree with you on this, is to not shoot the messenger. This job; and esp w/regard to this topic is a tight rope walk. Trying to put it out there as well as you can and let the public draw their own conclusions to hopefully get closer to the truth/correct answers for all to see.

        The word lackey is being used a lot lately to characterize certain people that are brought up in these articles. And I hate to be trite. But Sabrina, you’re a shining example of one. Schroyer isn’t.

    • Fred Stump on

      I give Calif regulators approx. 1 year more before general public recognition that the regulatory scheme has benefited the big fat cats at the expense of the 98 or 99%. Public gets angry with government for encouraging greed among the few and not considering the majority who should be encouraged to develop what should be a craft industry. Shame on the bureaucrats and regulators for riding the the regulatory wave in a dishonest way as to not call out and be honest when the Emperor has no clothes/regulation is a general failure to respect the otherwise future potential for a craft industry which would be inclusive instead of exclusive.

      • Pat on

        Fred, with the passage of this “law” the die was cast. That means that the 99% got their signal that they were excluded from the process. Forever, in their minds. One more year doesn’t in figure into it, because the govt./special interest’s intentions around this issue will not change soon enough.

        The special interest’s/and their gov. facilitator’s don’t bother to put themselves in the general public’s shoes because they already know what they want. And that is to expense the general public to their undeserved and often illegal benefit. In other words, it’s called fleecing.

      • Pat on

        I just want to add to your response, Fred. I agree w/you whole heartedly. I just wanted to add, that these government employees often times forget that they are just that: Public servants. Being paid primarily by the ca. tax payer. Therefore they have primary duty to that tax payer, first and foremost; and not their organization. That is, if their organization is so corrupt in it’s mandate and in its management of public funds. they have not a choice, but a duty to blow the whistle ( in comparison to an employee working for a private firm ). No one’s done it, that the press has been made aware of. Hmmm… I wonder why that is. Don’t all ca. state agencies have whistle blower policies in place? With no retribution clauses in the fine print? Meaning, they’ll be rewarded by the highest level govt. people for exercising their ( patriotic/civic ) duty to the public and exposing something that has gone off the handle? What’s stopping them? Hey, we’re at a 50+ year unemployment ( a plethora “great” jobs ) rate low. Right?

        If the relevant state, and perhaps federal agencies whom have purview in investigating this kind of thing and don’t do it; what should that be telling the rest of us. About them?

  3. Lee Eisenstein on

    This article reads like an endorsement for REPEALING THE CANNABIS PROHIBITION (including “Legalization” and “Decriminalization”) LAWS, entirely. Outside of issuing standard business licenses, reasonable product safety testing for commercial outlets, standard sales tax and currently existing physical impairment tests for the road, the political class should have NO say in what people do with marijuana and they should be legally barred from doing so in the future. The political, governmental class and the “authority figures”, long ago lost any moral or authoritative standing to have any say in this. None. Repeal Cannabis Prohibition.

  4. mcdaib on

    I’m not a California resident,but from Oregon where we are going through similar growing pains. Our issues aren’t so much interpretation and implementation of the existing laws but an over supply of legal product which has reduced prices to the point where any producer, whether legally licensed or not, will lose money growing cannabis. I’m a retired legal grower of 20+ years and can say with certainty that quality indoor MJ cannot be profitably produced and sold when the retail dispensary price per OZ is around $50.

    One thing I do know is that the Federal DEA is watching the legal states efforts to manage “the experiment” of states legalizing MJ. If a state can’t manage production and prevent it from being exported to other states (across state lines) then the DEA will have a major problem and we’ll end up back in DEA enforced prohibition nationwide. We need to remember that this herb is still illegal at the federal level and the Feds still have the ability to control the ballgame.

    I can only hope that these growing pains can be managed and that our favorite herb comes out the other side legal and available to all adults in the US, whether it’s used medicinally or for recreational purposes.

    • Pat on

      The rationale for “managing production” is a big part of the problem. Everyone whom gets into any kind of business takes the risk of not making it. Meaning you get paid what the market will reasonably bear. Controlling the price by artificial means just because you want to make a lot of money is totally against what this country states what it’s about on paper.

      All the licensing barriers that have been put up don’t have their basis in evidence backed proof that this that or the other thing is required from you in order to participate. ( Not even close. It’s mostly made up. ). And then, price that requirement at such a point where you shake out the anticipated number of prospective applicants to get to the retail price that you/they ( the gov. and the special interest groups ) want. It turns out that the original black market price is what the gov/special interest groups settled on because that’s what the general public was accustomed to pay before all of this became legally bastardized.

      Do you think that the demand for cannabis is going to change all that much if tons more were spilled out onto the free market? Under the current constraints the answer is: No. How much weed can one possibly use over what anyone’s particular habit is? That means the price has less to do with demand in this case. Whether you’re selling it at $400/oz or $25/oz, that client/customer/patient is only going to buy what they’re used to utilizing. What will happen, is that purchaser will find other goods and services to buy with the differential in price. Meaning, that person now has an extra $375 dollars in their pockets to do with what they will. Maybe to have enough to pay for better health insurance ( esp. for those true medical users; whose necessity of cannabis is essential ) ; food; spend down other bills for essentials; and other basics needed for survival in a country where the dollar has fallen in value over the past 45 yrs. So, really, “safe and compassionate access” is a bunch of b*ll sh*t. And the gov./special interest stands behind it; because it suits their $$ needs and not at all the general public’s. But, the gov. is the manager/facilitator/overseer over all of it. They are the most to blame.

      This whole idea of artificially inflating the price just because some people/gov. entities don’t want to compete ( but they expect everyone else to, that’s not them ) AND want to completely control/dominate the marketplace is as un-american as it gets. It’s wrong. It’s anti-competitive. And it’s often the basis that the federal govt. uses to go to war against other countries. But, it’s ok to do it here. People, the real enemy is here. It’s not “over there.”

  5. Maxcatski on

    Surprise, surprise. The USA (California in this case) is still conflicted about legal cannabis.

    Prohibition continues at the federal level for the whole country. It’s no wonder the pot market is a mess. Put first things first. LEGALIZE!

  6. mike on

    my first thought on the article was, well duh. i attended a very early state meeting on implementation of the new laws. after 30 min and the state woman in charge admitting that she had no knowledge of the pot business and was relying on the audience to enlighten her, i knew it was gonna be another gov snafu. and sho’nuff it has been a giant screw up from the start. any interest i had for a legal medical start up left long ago. it is easier to build a large multi million dollar public works project than to open a legal mj grow or sale business. im convinced after watching the mess by state and locals that the real goal is to force out and bk any small honest people wanting to participate in a legal mj business. this then will clear the way for giant corps to take up the slack, make their campaign contributions. the state and locals will then see the light that mj can be run and controlled like the booze and medical industries are now. the complete lack of any reasonable respect the public has for the licensing efforts so far is probably why the underground continues to thrive. the govs have excluded the many, so they just have found another way, the way it always has been.

  7. Indio on

    I just spoke to a company yesterday that drew me a picture of taxes from growing to their final cannabis product in our city. From a $100 start to roughly a final $170 product, with all that money pumped out, punctured, and removed, we find out yet again our elected officials can’t balance budgets nor build intelligent redundant infrastructures to foster market growth? Isn’t that why we elect them in the first place?

    This market is punctured by too many taxes at too many levels. It’s gotten to the point where there is double and sometimes triple dipping. And now, we find out what pretty much everyone knows that no one handles anything?

    Try explaining your councilmember that lowering taxes speed up markets.

    Treat this market the way the food and health industry is treated. If not, these politicians and “lawmakers” are wasting our time.

    I get paid to deliver, not to give excuses and ask others to shoulder the burden I cannot handle. Let’s have the adults back in charge now. This has lasted enough decades.

  8. Pat on

    My concerns about the content of this article ( will follow the article’s progression ):

    1 ) How is it that 60% ( as of July 2019 BCC statement ) of BCC position’s remain unfilled? How is that possible? There are a lot of people out there looking for work and good jobs. The BCC never gave a reason why this is. “It just is” is NOT an answer. The Bay Area and L.A. haven’t gone anywhere in the past three years; just like Sacramento hasn’t.

    2 ) How is it that there can be a discrepancy that is exponential in number? Between two state agencies just down the street from each other? Not just a 10x, but a 100x discrepancy!!! How is that at all possible? Where is the State of Ca. Auditor’s Office/State Attorney General’s Office on this? It’s absolutely insane. The Dept. of Finance ( DOF ) wouldn’t have brought it up if they didn’t think something “funny” was going on. Even with all the excuses coming from BCC. Why is this coming in now? Maybe the BCC wasn’t talking ( over a 3 year period! ) when they needed to be; and knew they should have. It’s bad. Real bad.

    3 ) Now, you have to ask ( but it wasn’t divulged ); how is it that the DOF didn’t audit or say why they didn’t audit two other very important arms of the state’s regulatory framework? The Ca. Dept. of Food and Ag ( CDFA ) and The Dept. of Ca. Public Health ( CDPH ). They act in similar ways even though their mandates/areas of expertise are different. They’re just as important and arguably more important/relevant agencies when it comes to cannabis regulation. They can inspect; assess and collect permit fees; assess collect fines; enforce; make policy, etc.. Same with the Div. of Investigations ( DOI ) under Ca. Dept. Consumer Affairs ( CDA ). Again, with no explanation why the DOF didn’t audit them or refer to another agency that would have this authority to do. How is THAT possible? It’s an outrage that seems to be leading to a huge scandal in short order at the state capitol. The DOF looks just as bad ( or worse ) here. And no one’s talking.

    4 ) If Ajax is correct in her assessment of the percentage of complaints ( 80% was cited ) being forwarded to DCA and the DOF knowing this the whole time; yet not auditing the DCA…. What does that tell you about the DOF? And its relationship with not just the DCA, but how it oversees these kinds of concerns within the CDFA and CDPH?? Could it be that the CDFA,CDPH and DCA are really BIG and historically stalwart agencies that have been around forever, and that BCC is the easy target because of what it represents and its newness on the scene? Even though it’s arguably the smallest player as well? Who’s attention is this escaping?

    5 ) A 78% enforcement personnel vacancy rate. An enforcement task apparently shared by BCC and CDA. Hmmm… Isn’t that what they’ve always been talking about/promoting with this new “law”? Enforcement? 78% vacancy rate three years into the game. No disciplinary actions following any and all of those complaints. That means that 100% of those complaints are frivolous or unworthy of the state’s attention. Even with 15 fully employed investigators. All those complainants are either liars and/or idiots. All of them. Right? Probably not. Maybe the ( some key state employees ) state’s protecting some of their cash cows for exactly the wrong reasons. Regardless, someone should look into that. And it need not be the DOF.

    6 ) Mr. Shultz. I love this guy: “Complaints that are determined to be under the Bureau’s purview are reviewed and prioritized by the potential impact on public health and safety.” You’re a joke. Shouldn’t that statement be emanating from the person heading up CDPH and not you? Of course. You’re being used as a fall guy. But, you don’t seem to mind. And you really don’t seem to understand the concept of REAL and relevant public health/public safety concerns.

    In summary, as I’ve mentioned in previous responses, the state program is not just a joke; it’s criminal in its execution. There is no real gov. leadership. Just court jesters and their apprentices. A lot of statements made by high level dept. individuals with no real evidence to support what they’re saying. If they’ve said it, it’s gotta be true. B*ll Sh*t.

    If these same dept. heads are allowed to continue on the path that they’re on, that $700.00 hammer I alluded to in a recent response to a post, will get jacked up to a $14,000 hammer. Meaning, this scheme is going to make Lockheed Martin look completely innocent when it comes to gouging the unwitting tax payer to support yet another corporate welfare entity that does not need to exist in the manner in which it does. The law is what it is now. It’s not going to work no matter what is done/how it’s further implemented. The “law” needs to be thrown out completely and redrawn. Re-start/re-set button needs to be hit: now. For everything related to this mess.

    And, yes, in the meantime, YOU the state of ca. are giving ( and have already more than given… at the office ) all the more reason to give the grey/black marketeer to sleep better at night. Many of whom were once legal and whose product is pristine and of high quality and safe, in most cases. You pulled this on them. And they saw it coming. The state has created their own “monster.” A monster windmill created for no good reason. Have fun with Sancho Panza. But, do it on your time and nickel.

  9. Brett on

    What a giant embarrassing mess. Over-regulation has made a mockery of this once fine industry. Why would anyone pay 3x what’s needed to get a simple agricultural product? Why is this plant regulated like plutonium?

    The Oregon problem (over-supply) will be solved the moment the contrived walls between states come down. The California problem of over-regulation will, and already has, stifle the entire industry, leaving Canadian investors an easy path to putting us all out of business. Shame on you, incompetent California.

  10. Pat on

    [ This is post is meant to be directed more to the members of the state of ca. legislature for grist, prior to their return from recess on August 12, 2019. That gives ANYONE whom is part of the legislature over two weeks to read this. But for all to read and comment on. ]

    1 ) The Ca. Dept. of Finance ( DOF ) needs to be looked into for acts of collusion with various agencies that fall under their purview to conduct audits; whose acts of collusion may have lead to acts of corruption worthy of a Ca. Dept. of Justice ( DOJ ) investigation. This all related to how the recent audit of the BCC was conducted, at the exclusion of other agencies just relevant in the administration of the state cannabis program.

    2 ) The DOJ needs to look into the State Personnel Board ( SPB ) to determine exactly how many qualified applicants applied for vacancies within the BCC and other historically larger and more powerful agencies involved with MRSA’s implementation. Were there a reasonable number of applicants whom were qualified on paper, that were actually interviewed by BCC managers? If not, why not; over a three year period? Were these positions actually filled, and that the current vacancy rate is actually reflective many that didn’t pass their probationary period and released from state service? Or, were many qualified ( on paper ) applicants never given the opportunity to participate in an interview for one of these jobs? Is there is vetting process, that goes outside the scope of the the job requirements state on paper? Meaning, are the questions being asked of the applicant that fall outside of the actual job reqs that would lend itself to “looking the other way” or “being a team player” as it relates ignoring what their job description actually dictates? Are there are other methods being utilized that are attempting to recruit a certain character of individual that would be likely to engage in the following aforementioned acts? Could increasing the number of qualified enforcement personnel increase the chances of a whistle blower? Is the bar to high on the qualifications appraisal that only a small fraction of society is qualified enough to fill these kinds of positions?

    Regardless what the answer might reveal, it’s highly irregular that these kinds of vacancies would exist within the BCC and the DOI ( enforcement arm of the DCA ) over this three year period of time. Question do arise. Was there purposeful foot dragging occurring in the administrative ranks to AVOID the bringing on new staff for reasons unsound? Could it be that had the enforcement ranks been filled by now, that many enforcement actions might have taken place; thus revealing the unreasonableness of the current regulatory framework as it exists now? Meaning, could a fully staffed enforcement unit(s) done enough to cripple the current licensees to the point of crippling the legal industry and thus embarrassing the state. Further, did the state not want to “get ahead of itself” in terms of enforcement knowing that many current licensees were in violation of the law; but instead are getting, and have been getting a free pass ( to continue breaking the law ), while all the while threatening to come after non licensees? Just for the very fact that these licensees have paid so much money to the state “to play” often crookedly?

    3 ) As a recent audit revealed the catastrophic failure of the implementation of state sanctioned cannabis law as administered by the newest state agency involved with cannabis regulation: the BCC; similar audits need to be immediately conducted on all the other major state agencies that have a significant responsibility in the programs’ implementation. Among these agencies would be: The Ca. Dept. of Ag. ( CDFA ); the Ca. Dept. of Public Health ( CDPH ); the Ca. Dept. of Consumer Affairs ( CDA ); and other state agencies having a significant role in the laws implementation. The results of the BCC audit begs the aforementioned to occur. The apple usually doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Esp. with regard to the cannabis space. Apparently, this kind of corruption seems to have been eagerly “acquiesced” by many of those working for state government.

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