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AUTHOR: “Jordan Zoot.  “aBIZinaBOX Inc., CPA’s”
PUBLISHER:  CANNABIS LAW REPORT

CalCannabis Solves Representation Issue – approximately thirteen months ago [1], we discovered that agencies in California that regulate the cannabis industry [“CDFA-CalCannabis“, “CDPH-MCSB“, and “BCC“, collectively the “Regulators”] did not have a procedure for representation of applicants and licensees by counsel or other qualified representatives. We wrote a letter to the California Attorney the General Counsel for each of the Regulators. The response we received from CDPH was

I can address the procedures and future plans for the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch. I’ll let the Bureau and CDFA weigh in with responses from their particular offices.

The California Business and Professions Code, in section 26001(c), defines a cannabis license “applicant” as “an owner applying for a state license pursuant to this division.” If the member of your firm who is completing the application for the business is considered and disclosed as an owner, they may complete the application on behalf of the business. Because of this definition in state law, I do not anticipate any immediate changes to our system to allow a representative (non-owner) to complete the application.

We wrote a follow-up letter in June 2018 [2]. Two weeks ago, we reached out CalCannabis Director, Mr. Richard Parrott in a follow-up effort. This afternoon, we received an email from CalCannabis Staff Counsel which contained the following:

“The Department received your e-mail below and attached letter on February 5, 2019 and it was forwarded to me for response.  You ask how an applicant or licensee can appoint someone to communicate with the Department regarding their application or license.  The Department allows applicants to authorize delegates to communicate about a specific application or license.  An applicant or licensee can designate a contact person by making a request in writing identifying the contact and uploading the request to each applicable active application or license record.  Once verified by the Department, the delegated contact may speak with the Department on behalf of the applicant or licensee.”

We spoke to Staff Counsel and our understanding is that CalCannabis intends to disseminate a document the policy. We appreciate the confirmation that a procedure exists to ensure that applicants and licensee dealing with the Regulators. Director Parrott was incredibly helpful in getting to a solution.

Our next step is going to be to revisit BCC and CDPH-MCSB to highlight the need for a consistent representation procedure for all three Regulators. We would encourage the Regulators to consider the promulgation of guidelines for the qualification and conduct of representatives [3].

[1] See CA Cannabis Agencies Don’t Recognize Representatives

[2] See Cannabis Regulatory Agency Representation

[3] See Representative Qualifications Cannabis