Enforcement on the rise in California

Roughly two months after the adult-use cannabis market opened in California, regulators have started to ramp up enforcement and perform compliance checks across the state. Officials want to weed out California’s unlicensed cannabis companies. They certainly have their work cut out for them.


The California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) sent out more than 900 cease-and-desist letters to unlicensed companies. The letters ordered them to halt all operations until they obtain the proper licenses. That’s just the beginning according to BCC spokesman Alex Traverso.

More Enforcement from Regulators

State lawmakers are making it clear they want to see more enforcement from regulators. You can expect enforcement efforts to ramp up as the BCC continues to add staff.

The agency’s online complaint system has already received more than 300 complaints from across the state, most of which concern unlicensed activity. Officials estimate there are roughly 200-300 dispensaries operating illegally in Los Angeles alone. A recent report from the California Growers Association shows that less than 1% of an estimated 68,150 cannabis growers have a valid license. Obviously, this means many are at risk.

Licensing is not the only thing California’s cannabis businesses need to worry about. In its recent round of cease-and-desist letters, the BCC made it very clear that violations may result in “penalties totaling up to three times the amount of the license fee for each violation.” With license fees ranging anywhere from $500 to $125,000 depending on the type and size of the business, this is a big deal.

If you run a cannabis business in California, it is more important than ever to make sure you are licensed and in compliance with all state and local regulations. Authorities seem willing to give a bit of leeway as companies learn how to function under the new adult-use regulations. Those who have not started the process of getting licensed are clearly the early targets.

Self-Audits Bring Peace of Mind

Do not let the threat of an inspection intimidate you. We can help you stay a step ahead and avoid any costly violations! By conducting audits with Simplifya on a regular basis, you can have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are in full compliance with all relevant regulations.

We will soon be releasing a free SOP to help you handle an inspection should the authorities come knocking. And you can utilize our other SOPs to stay a step ahead of your competitors. So the next time state officials stop by for a surprise inspection, you’ll be happy to show off your fully compliant facility!

Leave a comment