California Cannabis Industry Experiences Delays in Regulatory Merger, the Approval of Cannabis Stimulus, and More Illicit Busts.

California continues to streamline regulations and support for legal Cannabis businesses. In recent news, Governor Newsom announces his delay on regulatory changes, the House of Representatives passes a Cannabis stimulus bill and state agencies continue to crack down on illicit businesses. Here are the latest headlines.

California Governor Delays Cannabis Regulatory Changes

Prior to COVID-19, California Cannabis regulatory agencies were set to make their official merger and streamline the tax and regulation process. However, the pandemic has set back the budget on this merger significantly. It will not come to fruition until 2021 at the earliest.

Recently, Governor Newson released details on the revised budget that would help achieve the goal of putting these agencies under the Department of Cannabis Control name. 

“We were in the process of developing a more detailed plan … for the transition (from three cannabis regulatory agencies to one). However, this process was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, requiring a delay in the consolidation as planned,” said Newson’s administration. “We remain committed to simplifying and improving Cannabis tax administration and will work with stakeholders on a proposal for inclusion in the budget next year.”

The revised budget stipulated that California Cannabis regulators will receive a total of $143.8 million in funding – $68.2 million for Bureau of Cannabis Control, $20.8 million for Department of Public Health, and $54.8 million for Department of Food and Agriculture. No specific dates for this approved merger have been set at this time.

House of Representatives Passes a $3 Million Cannabis Stimulus Bill 

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $3 million stimulus bill to support Cannabis businesses struggling during pandemic closures. This bill, part of the HEROES Act, would allow banks to serve state-legal businesses. 

“The inclusion of Cannabis banking in the HEROES Act is a positive statement from the House and strongly supplements the decision that the majority of states have made by designating Cannabis businesses as essential,” Washington DC lobbyist David Mangone wrote in an email to Marijuana Business Daily.

This bill is still currently on the floor for review by the Senate and White House. 

Related Article: The Effects of COVID-19 on California Cannabis Industries

Illicit Cannabis Busts Continue Throughout California

Despite the effects of COVID-19 on California Cannabis businesses, regulation and enforcement teams are not letting up on illicit businesses. The Humbolt Country Sherriff’s Office of Marijuana Enforcement is currently working to eradicate an illegal business in Redway.

During their search, they found nearly 900 plants growing illegally on the California property. This property had a large number of Cannabis violations equaling up to a $1,000 fine per day. Additionally, the site had other violations resulting in civil fines as well. This case is still under investigation.

Do you have questions about your California Cannabis business?  We can help.  Give us a call at 949-988-4444.

Unlock Legal is a compliance and regulatory law firm that focuses on criminal defense, license defense for California licensed professionals, and cannabis law, counseling cannabis operators and investors on existing or start-up businesses.

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