August 2018 Cannabis Updates: Enforcement, Regulations, and a new Appeals Board

The Bureau of Cannabis Control, in conjunction with the Department of Consumer Affairs’ law enforcement arm, the Division of Investigation, and local law enforcement, has served a search warrant on an unlicensed cannabis home delivery business in Sacramento, the Cannaisseur Club, on August 22, 2018. This warrant resulted in the seizure of cannabis flower, concentrates, and edibles. They also served a search warrant on August 24, 2018, on an unlicensed retail location, the Church of Peace and Glory, in Costa Mesa, based upon a complaint which was filed. The warrant resulted in the seizure of cannabis, edibles, and tobacco products, and four misdemeanor counts of unlawful transportation, sale, and furnishing of cannabis by an individual. All commercial cannabis activity in California requires proper licensure – at the state and local level. Attorneys at Simas & Associates have worked through the licensing process for many agencies, including alcohol, health care industries, and gambling; if you have questions about navigating through licensure, including obtaining any expungements of past criminal convictions, give us a call.


All three state agencies in charge of state licensing: Bureau of Cannabis Control, Public Health, and Food & Agriculture have just completed their formal comment periods on regulations, but if they make any substantive changes, they will have to re-notice a 15-day comment period to comment on the changed text. Stay on the look-out for those.


Meanwhile, the California Cannabis Control Appeals Panel has announced the commencement of its own formal comment period, for which they will accept comments until 5pm on October 15, 2018. This rulemaking action creates the procedures to be followed by a cannabis license applicant or existing cannabis licensee who has had a denial of his or her application, or any disciplinary action taken against his or her existing license, by a state licensing agency. The Cannabis Control Appeals Panel is responsible for appeals of any decision by state cannabis licensing authorities relating to the order of any penalty assessment, issuing, denying, transferring, conditioning, suspending or revoking any license provided under MAUCRSA. The Panel consists of five members, each a resident of a different county: three are appointed by the Governor, one by the Senate Committee on Rules, and one by the Speaker of the Assembly.


Any interested person, or his or her authorized representative, may submit written comments relevant to the proposed regulatory action to the Panel or may appear at a public hearing starting at 9:00 a.m., Wednesday October 17, 2018, at the State Personnel Board Building, 1st Floor Auditorium, 801 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA 95814.


For more information on any of the above regulations, visit the state Cannabis portal for regulations, at


Each agency must respond to every comment (either in writing or made at a public hearing), even anonymous ones, as long as those comments relate their proposed regulations. They do not have to respond to late comments, so don’t wait until the last minute. (They also do not have to respond to phone calls.). Public hearings are free and no pre-registration or registration at the event is needed, although some buildings do have security protocols which must be observed by anyone who visits. You may also sign up to receive notices about regulations, either with an email address or with a name and postal address for paper notification. Check the link above for information on signing up so that you aren’t left out!


Attorneys at Simas & Associates have worked in every area of the regulatory process, from drafting, to submitting comments, to working with or challenging regulations in court later. If you need assistance in navigating the path of regulations, give us a call.