The Sacramento Bee reports that
Weedmaps has told the state’sLori Ajax of the BCC that she lacks the authority to make the company stop running advertisements for unlicensed pot retailers.
In a letter sent Monday to Lori Ajax of the Bureau of Cannabis Control, Doug Francis and Chris Beals of Weedmaps.com said the company is not licensed by the bureau and therefore not subject to its enforcement.WM-Response-to-BCC-Ajax-Exec-Dist-3-12-18
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Ajax told Weedmaps to stop “engaging in activity that violates state cannabis laws” by advertising unlicensed retailers and by failing to publish license numbers for legal and illegal retailers.
Hundreds of dispensaries and delivery services advertise on Weedmaps in California, far more than the number of companies licensed by the Bureau of Cannabis Control.
Weedmaps’ response to Ajax places the responsibility for having a license on the companies that use Weedmaps, saying “any groups that place information on our site represent and warrant that they are in compliance with local law.”
The letter goes on to say that the company believes many of the unlicensed businesses are protected under state law until next January because they are cannabis cooperatives. Under the state’s old medical marijuana laws, cooperatives were non-profit entities created solely to provide cannabis to members. State law eliminates the status of cooperatives under a sunset clause.
Ajax was not available for comment Monday afternoon. However, Joe Devlin, Sacramento’s chief of cannabis policy and enforcement, has said that at least part of Weedmaps’ argument isn’t valid because the illegal retailers on Weedmaps are not nonprofit, as evidenced by the fact that they are advertising on the site.
Weedmaps’ spokesman Carl Fillichio did not respond to requests for comment.