Now, responsible recreational cannabis use by adults 21 and older (and by certain others under 21 with specific diagnosed medical conditions) is legal here in our state. But California cannabis business owners must remain in compliance with a host of often-changing laws and restrictions.
The cannabis industry is monitored by the state Department of Cannabis Control (DCC). Although marijuana remains illegal under federal laws, for the purposes of this blog entry, we will focus on the regulations of the state of California.
How can businesses remain compliant?
The DCC conducts investigations after routine inspections reveal compliance irregularities. Those holding cannabis business licenses will be able to bring their company into compliance with the law as it now stands.
This agency does not try to close legitimate cannabis companies. In fact, they are a resource to help you fix your problems. However, should you fail to comply willingly, you could face a formal Notice to Comply within a specified timeframe.
I believe my company is being unfairly targeted
This could theoretically happen, which is why it is so vital to be aware of any changes to the state’s marijuana usage, sale, cultivation and possession laws. Those facing repeated or significant violations could wind up:
- Issued abatement orders
- Owing fines of $30,000 for each violation by unlicensed individuals and as much as $5,000 per violation for license holders
- Embargoes that halt the transport of cannabis and/or its products
- Suspended or revoked licenses
There are disciplinary guidelines determining the number of fines that are levied. But since marijuana business funding is a dicey investment strategy because of its federal status, these financial penalties could potentially shutter a fledgling cannabis business.
Stay abreast of all legal changes
Learning how any changes to state cannabis laws (or future federal actions) could affect your business is a wise course of action for the canna-business community.