California cannabis farmers sue state over loophole allowing multiple licenses

The California Growers Association has filed a lawsuit against the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture for allowing companies to own multiple licenses.

According to The Mendocino Voice, the association has accused the department of allowing a regulatory loophole in which a company could “obtain and aggregate unlimited smaller cultivation licenses to operate a cultivation site larger than the legal limit.”

The issue of multiple licenses also was raised Jan. 12 when California regulators held a public forum for members of the growers association.

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Here’s what you need to know:

  • The department’s initial regulations included a 1-acre limit on cultivation operations.
  • The growers association asserts that Proposition 64 – the bill voters approved in 2016 – originally gave small- and medium-sized cultivators five years to set up operations before larger operators could begin growing.
  • The association has circulated a petition over the past two months calling for the 1-acre limit to be reinstated, according to The Mendocino Voice. The petition has received 3,200 signatures.
  • California’s cities and counties are allowed to set their own regulations on the size of grows. Mendocino County, for example, caps cultivation operations at 10,000 square feet under its current ordinance.

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