Hundreds Of Unlicensed California Cannabis Businesses Threatened

by greenrush
california cannabis businesses

Over 500 warning letters, threatening legal action, have been sent out by California's Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC). California cannabis businesses that have not yet received licenses by the state under the new cannabis regulations that went live on January 1 received the letters last week.

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According to the letters, the BCC believes that the unlicensed dispensaries are participating in commercial cannabis activity contrary to the provisions laid down by the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA). They demand that all such activity cease immediately. Legal action is also threatened if the California cannabis businesses do not comply. The letters read as follows:



RE: Unlicensed Commercial Cannabis Activity

Dear :

The Bureau of Cannabis Control (Bureau) has reason to believe that you may be engaging in unlicensed commercial cannabis activity. Pursuant to the provisions of the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), a valid state license from a state licensing authority is required to legally operate a commercial cannabis business within the State of California. If you are in fact engaging in unlicensed commercial cannabis activity, you must cease all commercial cannabis operations until you obtain a valid state license to avoid further violations of state law. Please be aware that such violations may result in criminal and administrative penalties, as well as civil penalties totaling up to three times the amount of the license fee for each violation.

To apply for a license, please visit the Bureau’s website,, or contact the Bureau at (833) 768-5880.


Paul Tupy

Assistant Chief of Enforcement


The BCC has been receiving complaints about California cannabis businesses that are operating without proper licenses. The majority of these complaints have reportedly come from legal dispensaries and cannabis businesses who have completed the process of obtaining a license under the new regulations. There are currently over 3,000 legal California cannabis businesses and it seems they are not happy about the double standard that has been in effect.


The Spark


It seems an advertising campaign by some of the businesses that received the notices may have sparked their release in the first place. At a legislative hearing in Sacramento, Assemblymember Evan Low asked BCC Chair, Lori Ajaz, about cannabis advertising that had appeared in a weekly newspaper. According to Low, the ad had missing or falsified license numbers.


"This is a complete disregard and gross negligence of the law," he said.


Doing it right


Adult-use marijuana became legal in the state of California on January 1, 2018. In the lead up to legalization and since it's implementation, lawmakers have been concerned with getting legalization in the state of California right. Part of this effort includes making sure that all California cannabis businesses are licensed correctly. Depending on how recreational marijuana goes in the state, California is set to become the largest marijuana market in the United States and the revenue possibilities are endless.