California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control has issued more than 1,000 cease-and-desist letters to unlicensed cannabis operators since the recreational use law took effect on Jan. 1, 2018, according to a KCET report.
According to the report, regulators are using online advertising platforms to find the illegal shops. This likely includes Weedmaps, who were sent their own cease-and-desist by regulators last month due to their advertising of unlicensed retailers.
The BCC is including information on how to obtain licenses along with the cease-and-desist letters, and is issuing temporary licenses, free of charge, which are good for 120 days and can be extended by the agency for additional 90 days.
Licensing fees in California run from $4,000 to $72,000, depending on the size of the operation, but, according to the report, fines can run four times the amount of the license itself.
Over 6,000 cannabis businesses have received temporary state licenses in the five months since California began issuing such permits.
Most of California’s massive marijuana industry is still operating without permits. But these operators should not be complacent. The fact that that the State of California has issues over 6,000 Cannabis licenses and that number is growing daily and the fact that they have issued over a thousand cease and desist letters shows that California is serious about implementing the Cannabis regulatory system that went into effect on January 1, 2018.
Some people thought that California would be lax in implementing this system, but they are very wrong. My guess is that the Legislature can’t wait to get the tax revenue under the new system and therefore they are pushing for change. In any event, all cannabis business operators should get their new state licenses quickly before they are fined by the state.