Just as people were thinking that USA is gradually becoming a progressive nation regarding Marijuana, a state organization suspends hundreds of marijuana business licenses. Here’s why…
On 1st November, Friday, the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) issues suspension notices to 394 cannabis business. The gist of the notice was, that all of these cannabis businesses must stop all business operations until their licenses are restored. These cannabis businesses included delivery services, distributors, common retailers and small shops. A spokesperson from the Bureau confirmed that, they can’t conduct business until they undergo a necessary track-and-trace system training and accreditation.
On Wednesday 6th November, the suspended licenses dropped from 394 to 385, these included:
- 63 cannabis retailers
- 61 marijuana delivery business
- 47 small businesses
- 185 distributors
- 29 transportation distributors
The Reason Behind the Suspensions:
Alex Traverson, who is the BCC spokesperson said that the issue is that all these businesses had sufficient time to complete the mandatory track-and-trace steps. They even had enough time to upload information about their inventory so state officials and regulators can check on the cannabis supply chain. The state regulators keep a tab on the Cannabis Businesses through METRC Software.
METRC (Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance) requirement is just a part of getting a provisional certificate. It is a procedure from a temporary licence to a permanent annual licence. All these temporary licenses expired over the end of the summer. If a business is given a provisional certificate, then they also get five days to sign up for METRC, take training and start using the system. The companies that received the suspension orders had failed to do so. The suspension is just a result of the tardiness of these companies.
Alex Traverson said, “So, finally, about a week ago, we sent out another note, saying, ‘By this past Friday (Nov. 1), you guys need to be in Metrc, signed up, or officially your license is going to be suspended,’”. “The gist of it is, now if they go out and they get their credential, the suspension is lifted,” Traverson added.
2,236 other cannabis businesses had completed the METRC process and are still uploading their inventory information.
“These were just the stragglers,” Traverso said. “It turned out to be a couple extra months that we gave them. It’s just a matter of getting a password, getting a login and doing the training.” According to Mr. Traverso, it takes about three hours to finish the requirements and get the suspension reversed.
As of now the BCC supervises around 2,630 companies that hold provisional or annual permits. While the CDPH (California Department of Public Health) and the CDFA (California Department of Food and Agriculture) oversee 932 companies and 3830 marijuana farmers respectively. Adding all of these up, the Golden State has a total of 7392 marijuana businesses that hold a licence.
Even the CDFA and CDPH took similar steps a while ago. Rebecca Foree, a spokesperson of CDFA, said in an email that the state department sent notices to around 103 farmers on 22nd October. The notices warned the farmers that their licences would be suspended if they did not complete the mandatory track-and-trace process.
Rebecca Foree wrote, “All but three of the licensees CDFA contacted have responded and are working on becoming credentialed into the system.”
Even a representative from CDPH was reported replying to an email saying that they had suspended 13 licences as a result of non-compliance with METRC requirements. According to the, “The licenses that were suspended were issued more than 30 days ago, and the licensees received numerous written notices and phone calls from staff instructing them to comply.”