In California, black market cannabis is over a billion-dollar industry with lines blending between the legal and illegal market. Currently, the law states that any person caught engaging in unlicensed commercial cannabis activity may be fined three times the amount of the California state licensing fee or is determined by the business’ revenue. Blanca Rubio, a California Assemblywoman (D-Baldwin Park), looks to introduce new legislation that would increase the fines to $30,000 for each offense of those caught “aiding and abetting” illicit commercial cannabis activity.
“California’s illicit cannabis industry accounts for nearly 75 percent of all cannabis sales in the state, enticing often unknowing consumers with seemingly harmless products at lower prices, but the danger lurks beneath the surface,” she said. “I introduced (Assembly Bill) 2122 to help the state hold illegal operators accountable and protect California consumers from the serious health risks found in the untested and unregulated products from the illicit market.”
-Rubio (D-Baldwin Park)
As we know, unlicensed cannabis products are not subject to state testing standards, leading to potentially dangerous products being sold. Assembly Bill 2122 would crack down on businesses that support unlicensed cannabis operators.
California has had its fair share of cannabis seizures and raids on illegal commercial cannabis activities in Los Angeles and the entire state. The bureau is seeking to make it mandatory for cannabis retailers to display a QR code that provides consumers with licensing information.
“AB 2122 would put another tool in our enforcement toolbelt that we can use to limit access to the untested, untraceable, untaxed and often dangerous products flowing through illicit stores every single day,” said UCBA President Jerred Kiloh in a statement. “The size and scope of the illicit market is the number one issue facing California cannabis, posing not only an existential threat to the industry itself, but also putting the health and wellbeing of Californians at risk, it simply cannot be ignored – we look forward to supporting the assembly member in advancing this critical solution.”
Rubio’s bill drew support from industry group, the United Cannabis Business Association.
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