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Cannabis Businesses Need to Ensure Protective Safety Measures Are in Place

June 11, 2020

During many of the recent protest demonstrations, numerous cannabis businesses in California were vandalized and robbed. Some businesses have reported that the damage was not done by the peaceful protesters, but by opportunistic criminals.

Since cannabis remains illegal under federal law, businesses do not have basic access to bank accounts, some insurance policies, and are ineligible for the federal government's small business loans. This makes the cannabis businesses an easy target for crime, with little recourse available. It's unclear when, or if these smaller cannabis businesses will be able to recover from the theft and damage done.

In response to the threats, damage, and burglaries, California's Cannabis Industry Association issued a letter to the Bureau of Cannabis Control requesting they take action to safeguard these businesses by removing the physical addresses of cannabis licensees from their online licensee search portals.

The Bureau of Cannabis Control has removed all physical addresses for the businesses. While CDFA's CalCannabis temporarily disabled its licensee search portal. California's Department of Public Health's Manufactured Safety Branch Licensee Search Tool remains active, but does not disclose physical addresses of its Manufacturing Licensees.

Last week, CDPH's Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch, issued a press release with reminders and tips on maintaining a secure premises. Now is a good time for cannabis businesses to review safety protocols, policy coverages, and be aware of notification requirements, and relief options that might be available to them

Safeguards & Options for Your Cannabis Business Include:

  1. Ensure that your security alarm systems and commercial-grade locking systems are in place and working properly.
  2. Properly secure windows and points of entry.
  3. Review insurance policy coverages to know what is and is not covered.
  4. If necessary, a business could choose to close, or request local and state permission to adjust operating hours.
  5. Businesses can request Disaster Relief from their appropriate State Licensing Authority, which could allow them to temporarily relocate cannabis goods or cash to a safer and more secure location.
  6. If your cannabis business experiences theft or loss of goods, State laws and regulations require a Licensee to notify the appropriate State Agency and local law enforcement within 24 hours of the discovery.

For more information or questions on how to properly ensure your cannabis business is protected, you can contact Kelly Hayes.