California approves bill to extend provisional permits, curtail illicit cannabis firms

The California Legislature on Thursday gave the final go-ahead to a budget trailer bill that will, among other things, extend the lifespan of provisional business licenses for cannabis companies until 2022.

The measure, Assembly Bill 97, was approved easily by the assembly on a 57-11 vote after it passed the Senate on Monday. The bill now heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is expected to sign it.

Provisional licenses were created by the Legislature last year as a stopgap measure for marijuana businesses that encountered lengthy lag times in the awarding of full annual business permits. Every legal operator must eventually obtain a full annual permit.

Creation of the provisional licenses didn’t completely solve the problem, however, and the cannabis industry sounded the alarm earlier this year as temporary licenses began expiring and threatened to put much of the legal supply chain on hold.

Lindsay Robinson, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA), hailed the passage of AB 97 as “critical” for marijuana companies trying to remain compliant with state law.

“Thousands of cannabis operators saw their temporary licenses fall into expiration due to extensive processing of annual licenses by state agencies,” Robinson wrote in an email to Marijuana Business Daily.

“CCIA encourages the Newsom administration to prioritize increased collaboration with the cannabis industry, the Legislature and the regulatory agencies in order to create a comprehensive plan that will streamline business operations, prioritize public safety and health and minimize the growing illicit market.”

The bill also includes a new $30,000-a-day administrative fine against unlicensed cannabis businesses, a move hailed by the Los Angeles-based United Cannabis Business Association, which represents licensed shops in L.A.

The fine can be levied by any of the three state licensing agencies – the Bureau of Cannabis Control, Department of Food and Agriculture and Department of Public Health.

“California understands the dangers (of the illicit market) by equipping the licensing authorities with better enforcement tools,” UCBA Executive Director Ruben Honig said in a statement.

Los Angeles has already authorized a separate $20,000-a-day fine under Proposition M, which was approved by voters in 2017 and is being used by the city attorney in a civil suit against one unlicensed shop.

John Schroyer can be reached at [email protected]

2 comments on “California approves bill to extend provisional permits, curtail illicit cannabis firms
  1. Pat on

    “CCIA encourages the Newsom administration to prioritize increased collaboration with the cannabis industry, the Legislature and the regulatory agencies in order to create a comprehensive plan that will streamline business operations, prioritize public safety and health and minimize the growing illicit market.”

    Hey Robinson…, The cannabis industry ( oligarch’s ), the legislature and regulatory agencies HAVE been collaborating VERY. VERY closely to creating a comprehensive plan ( that was in the works long before the law became law ). However, their ONLY real significant priority was to stifle the competition; or as you say: “Minimize the growing illicit market.” Public safety and health were never in the mix. They were originally. Those criteria were perverted and/or pushed aside all together. Purposefully. Didn’t suit a couple of your special interest partners goals… Forget about the public’s needs.

    Robinson, good try. But a dollar short and a day late. You “seem” to forget the population that you’re dealing with. They’re 10 steps ahead of you. People that think like you ( like the aforementioned entities that you’ve described that require “increased collaboration” ) have lost this. You must have known it. It’s so obvious to anyone who’s been in the business. But, you keep pretending that you’re clueless.

    What’s the justification of a $30k/day fine?!? Where else do you see that! I mean really. Not even the Central Bankers that committed among the most heinous crimes against our society are personally compelled to pay out this kind of money. You’re out of your f’n minds. It’s because you people are running out of ways to stop the current licensee’s and the general public from pulling up the curtain ( for those that are still falling for this incredible b.s. ) to see what this whole thing is really all about. That you’ve been taking them on a ride. Meaning, it’s got nothing really to do what it professes on paper.

    “California understands the dangers (of the illicit market) by equipping the licensing authorities with better enforcement tools, UCBA Executive Director Ruben Honig.”

    Really, Honig? Because you say so? You speak for ALL of Ca.? With what evidence? And with what kind of a background? Oh yeah. A B.A. in Economics. As it relates the dangers of the illicit market ( Forget about the folly and the ridiculous nature and the REAL and unspoken dangers that this “law” is effecting on the general public in Ca. )?? Or is it, the “dangers” of the “illicit” market taking market share away from guys like you. Now, that’s something an “economist” understands. Who are you a lackey for?

    Reply
  2. Mike Johnson on

    So the state is extending until 2022 the ability of semi-permitted mega-farms to avoid track-n-trace and push their product onto the Original Market (black market)?! Look- we all know that almost all of the “permitted” cannabis is going out of state. And here comes the corrupt and heavy hand of Greasy Gavin and his corporate buddies…$30,000 a day fines to enforce their corporate takeover. It’s disgusting what they will do to force the people to pay double to triple prices at the permitted shops. But..it’s all about being “safe” and “free” right? BS!!!

    Reply

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