Big Hit: Hundreds of Cannabis Licenses Suspended in California
California’s legal marijuana market took a hit last week when the state suspended the licenses of 394 businesses, which represent a full 5% of the state’s legal cannabis commerce.
The suspensions affected 63 retailers, 61 delivery services, 47 microbusinesses, and over 200 distributors, Marijuana Business Daily reports. According to the Bureau of Cannabis Control, they have failed to begin using the state’s track-and-trace system as required.
The businesses recently received letters warning them that they must become compliant by Nov. 1. On Oct. 31, Governor Newsom’s cannabis czar Nicole Elliot said she was “issuing a STRONG recommendation” to those companies “to put your Halloween plans on hold & do it now.”
Despite the head’s up, the California Cannabis Industry Association has sharply criticized the state’s move. It says the suspensions are apt to make the black market problem worse.
“There’s a huge pause right now. And in a time when we’re trying to incentivize consumers to buy regulated, tested product … it’s minimizing their options,” Josh Drayton, Communications Director for the California Cannabis Industry Association, said. “We’re kind of incentivizing the illicit market, which is a much more affordable option right now (for consumers). What we really need to be focused on is access and affordability.”