Justice Department Demands License Information from California Marijuana Regulators

July 20, 2020


In a court filing on Monday, July 20, 2020, the Department of Justice (DOJ) demanded California marijuana regulators turn over documents for six entities, including their unredacted cannabis licenses, cannabis license applications, and shipping manifests. California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) previously objected to the subpoenaing of these documents, as it seeks confidential information and failed to meet the appropriate standard demonstrating that the records were relevant to their investigation. In its filing, the DOJ demanded that the BCC hand over the documents within seven days. The BCC again refused to hand over the documents, and the California Attorney General has requested that the federal court reject the Justice Department’s lawsuit.

This standoff between the DOJ and the BCC comes just a few weeks after a DOJ whistleblower accused Attorney General William Barr of investigating cannabis firm mergers due to his personal animus against the industry. Despite this accusation, and contrary to the current federal prohibition on marijuana, the DOJ indicated that the investigations help to ensure consumers have access to affordable cannabis products.

If you would like advice on how this might affect your cannabis business, contact John Mackewich at 419-249-7103 or mackewich@marshall-melhorn.com.

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