The Bureau of Cannabis Control has approved the first annual licenses for commercial cannabis activity in November. Twelve businesses were the first batch to cross the licensing finish line, from up and down California. That number represents one percent of the active temporary licenses issued by the Bureau, with an additional 4,000 applications submitted. The Bureau will not be able to issue temporary licenses after December 31, 2018, so potential applicants are urged to submit any application packages as soon as possible – local jurisdictions have ten days to respond to the Bureau, and all information must be complete before the Bureau may issue a temporary license. (They are anticipating working weekends between now and the end of the year.)

Meanwhile, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Police Department, and based upon a complaint received by the Department of Consumer Affairs, a search warrant was served on an unlicensed cannabis retail location (“One Stop Healers”) located in Sylmar. The owner and six employees were arrested on misdemeanor charges of operating a commercial cannabis business without a license to do so.

Finally, the permanent cannabis licensing regulations being developed were submitted to the Office of Administrative Law for review on December 3, 2018, their deadline. If approved, the emergency regulations will cease and the permanent regulations will go into effect. The Bureau has posted to its website the proposed regulations text, in strikethrough and underline, to reflect the differences between the regulations under review and the still-current (readopted) emergency regulations – https://www.bcc.ca.gov/law_regs/proposed_regs.html.

The Bureau issued an announcement, based upon questions they have been receiving. Clarifying their regulations:  All cannabis harvested on or after December 31, 2018, and all cannabis products manufactured on or after December 31, 2018, are subject to phase three testing. All cannabis goods harvested or manufactured prior to December 31, 2018, can be sold if they meet the applicable phase one or phase two testing requirements. To determine what testing phase is applicable, please click the following link: https://www.bcc.ca.gov/about_us/documents/17-261_required_testing_chart.pdf

Simas & Associates has helped many businesses obtain licenses with various state agencies, including the Department of Consumer Affairs. We also represent licensees in administrative hearings when a government agency complains that a licensee may be violating rules. And we are knowledgeable in all aspects of regulations, from promulgation to challenges. If you have any questions in any of these areas, feel free to give us a call.