The California attorney general argued in a recent court case that none of the state cannabis companies that operate under provisional licenses have due process under state law.
The due process situation arose when Hayward-based Harrens Lab filed a lawsuit against the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) after the agency revoked the lab’s preliminary business license last month.
The laboratory alleged it was entitled to an appeal hearing to dispute the charges that led to the revocation.
In a response to that lawsuit, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra argued on behalf of the BCC that none of the companies that operate under provisional licenses have a right to due process, as those same permits are supposed to be temporary while the companies are on one License applications await decision on their annual approval.
The provisional licenses come from a stopgap program launched in 2018 designed to give California marijuana companies and regulators more time to streamline the licensing process while keeping the industry functional.
Around 83% of the legal California market – 8,280 of the total of 9,950 business permits – is still operated with provisional licenses, according to state regulators. So far, the state has only issued 1,670 annual licenses.
In his filing, Becerra wrote that Harren’s Lab claims “that their right to be heard prior to their provisional cannabis license revocation is supported by the due process clause of the California constitution.
“You are wrong.”
Rather, Becerra found that provisional licenses no longer exist once a decision – whether to approve or deny – has been made about the fate of the annual license application, meaning that a provisional licensee does not have the same rights as a company with a full annual license .
“A provisional license is not expected to grant permanent entitlement,” wrote Becerra.
“Any subjective one-sided conviction of the petitioners about the nature of their rights under a provisional license is not supported by law and is unreasonable.”
– John Schroyer