Unlicensed Cannabis Collectives Officially Illegal in CA


Ever since recreational marijuana was first legalized in the 2016 state elections, California law enforcement has struggled to strike a balance between regulatory oversight and freeing up the marijuana market for new growth. Until recently, most California cannabis collectives and co-ops had been grandfathered into the new regulatory models, as part of a legal “grace period.”

However, as of January 9th, that grace period has officially come to a close – meaning that all unlicensed California cooperatives and collectives now risk serious fines, citations, and even full shut-downs from law enforcement. At Purdy & Bailey, LLP, we’re committed to helping California entrepreneurs navigate the marijuana market and become fully licensed in accordance with the law. When you work with our San Diego cannabis lawyers, we can review your current situation, and help you find a path to legal business ownership.

Why Is the Cannabis Shut-Down Only Starting Now?

California Proposition 64, which legalized marijuana for adult recreational use, did not officially go into effect until January 1st, 2018. Once it did, there was state-wide chaos as licensing and lab testing facilities became slammed with far too many requests. After reports of cannabis raids and unmonitored shut-downs across California, the Bureau of Cannabis Control released a formal guidance on the legal grace period for unlicensed sellers, which would end exactly one year after its issue date: January 9th, 2019.

Although many of the legal problems surrounding Prop 64 have since been resolved, California’s marijuana businesses suffered from slow growth for most of 2018, and many pre-existing cooperatives and collectives were simply unable to get licenses. The steep fines associated with licensing and testing, coupled with a flagging marijuana market, made it incredibly difficult for some nonprofits to meet the baseline legal requirements.

Get Help from Our Skilled San Diego Cannabis Lawyers

If you’re a dedicated cannabis business owner facing the prospect of shut-down, don’t panic just yet. Our team at Purdy & Bailey, LLP, can help you with both local and state regulatory compliance issues. Although legal protections for unlicensed collectives have now been lifted, you’re still entitled to full legal representation, and to fight for the success of your business. With our connections throughout both the cannabis market and criminal defense community, we can help you find a proactive solution.

Ready to speak with one of our experienced cannabis law attorneys? Contact us at (858) 360-7080 to request a courtesy evaluation.

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