Illegal California marijuana firms starting to comply with cease-and-desist letters

Scores of California marijuana companies that received cease-and-desist letters during a crackdown on potentially illegal operations have yanked online advertising or started the licensing process, according to state regulators.

The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) began sending out the enforcement letters in February to retailers that were breaking the law by serving customers without being properly licensed.

Many of those companies in violation were also advertising online through sites such as Weedmaps.

According to the North Bay Business Journal, BCC chief Lori Ajax said this week during a marijuana business conference in Santa Rosa that “about 22% of the companies we notified pulled their (online) ads and applied for licenses.”

In a follow-up email, agency spokesman Alex Traverso told Marijuana Business Daily that the percentage Ajax was using referred to a point at which about 700 letters had been sent.

That means roughly 150 cease-and-desist letter recipients have:

  • Pulled down their online ads.
  • Shut down operations.
  • Created an online profile on the Bureau of Cannabis Control website.
  • Begun the licensing process.

The BCC has to date sent about 1,800 cease-and-desist letters to cannabis companies, Traverso wrote in the email to MJBizDaily.

Ajax also said the state will likely need to ramp up enforcement against illicit marijuana businesses that continue to buck the new regulatory regime, North Bay Business Journal reported.

“The state needs to be protective of the licensing process and to say, ‘Get a license, or we put them out of business,'” she added.

Weedmaps, meanwhile, drew the ire of the Bureau of Cannabis Control for accepting advertising from unlicensed businesses and essentially refused to comply with a cease-and-desist letter it received from the agency.

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12 comments on “Illegal California marijuana firms starting to comply with cease-and-desist letters
  1. Darrel on

    Bust the black market illegal criminals. Put them in jail NOW.

    Get licensed, comply with laws, pay taxes or proceed directly to jail. Enforce the law!!!!

    • Peter hagelis on

      Not going to happen if they make it expensive to comply and to many taxes and regs the black market will thrive , it’s Cali the black is well established…they want us to come in but put up to May road blocks. Personally I would never turn in any one who’s not in compliance , I am not a rat…..pot people turning on each other is just plain wrong

    • matt on

      Darrel, it costs an exorbitant amount (700,000-1,000,000 USD) to open shop in many localities if it’s even allowed by the local government. This law is grossly negligent of how marijuana was born in California and shared with the nation. If it were as easy as filing with the state and just paying taxes I’m sure a huge percentage of these businesses would have a check in the mail tomorrow! California Cannabis and Hemp Initiative 2020 – check it out!!

  2. George Bianchini on

    ”illegal operations” ”during a crackdown” ”enforcement letters ” ”breaking the law by serving customers” ”companies in violation” ”cease-and-desist letter ”
    Thank goodness we made this completely harmless plant legal!!
    The concept of the carrot or the stick does not work when all you bring to the table is the stick! On top of that they charge a $5000 bond fee to cover the expense of the stick.
    Ouch! said the blind man as he walked into the wall.

  3. Erik on

    If you want us to get licenses then give us licenses! I cannot get one in my city because the law allows cities and counties to ban it, therefore I cannot pay taxes and sell my product the legal way, which means no tax revenue from me. I would love to get a permit and do things the right way and give back to my community, unfortunately this backassward law has allowed my community to prevent me from doing so. I’m not going to stop growing, I already went through the dark ages where I could go to federal prison for it and that didn’t stop me, so I’m definitely not going to stop now, but until I’m allowed to do it the legal way I won’t be giving back to my community. Marijuana is still pretty much illegal in about 80% of California and that is the problem right there.

    • montagna_lunga on

      you think CA is hosed up because you can’t do what you want where you want when you want? Do me a favor and stay there, people like you have RUINED Colorado!

      • Peter hagelis on

        No you real estate guys ruined your state. Just like all implants from so many other states that have ruined Cali….

    • Peter hagelis on

      I agree with u 100%. I am in the same boat LA has only given out LIC for pre 2007 group and nothing more as of yet. Deep pockets are winning, but the black will fight back, there’s to May growers in this state. The state should have just lic everybody out there.

  4. Mike Suma on

    Weedmaps needs to be shut down the number of Illegal dealers selling has grown with Weedmaps help, Not a single company on there site in my home town is legit, yet weedmaps lets them advertise so they can get customers, The Feds should do top them the same thing they did to call girls using backpage and night shift just to name a few that shut down due to there website being used to conduct illegal business and made the sites responsible shut down WeedMaps

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