California’s hashish licensing course of has been a multitude for candidates since just about day one. Annual license functions have disappeared right into a black gap for months, the window for acquiring non permanent licenses was very small and plenty of have expired, and plenty of native jurisdictions determined to make up their very own phased allowing processes that in lots of instances ensured that many operators may by no means be eligible for non permanent licenses (e.g., Section three candidates in Los Angeles).
For any applicant who was fortunate sufficient to acquire a state non permanent license in 2018, efforts are underway on the state stage to alleviate a few of candidates’ fears surrounding the truth that most of these non permanent functions are set to run out within the subsequent few months and that there is no such thing as a clear understanding of the provisional licensing course of. A brand new California senate invoice (SB-67) would reinstate expired non permanent licenses and would fill the gaps within the provisional licensing scheme by means of mid-2020. This could permit operators who acquired non permanent licenses in 2018 to really turn out to be operational moderately than sit and wait on annual licenses to be issued.
For some background, I wrote just lately the provisional licensing scheme that was meant to behave as a band-aid in mild of the truth that non permanent licenses had been going away by the top of 2018 and the truth that annual functions took excessive quantities of time to overview. To recap: if an operator who as soon as held a brief license filed an annual utility, submitted proof of CEQA compliance, and paid the charge, the state company may difficulty a year-long provisional license. However the provisional licensing regime just isn’t free from issues.
The primary difficulty with provisional licenses is that they’re solely allowed to be issued by means of the top of 2019. This successfully positioned a couple of comparable one-year timeframe as with non permanent licenses. The second drawback with provisionals is that there was just about no steering from the state businesses on acquire them. The rules don’t point out provisionals, and solely the California Division of Meals and Agriculture (or “CDFA”) revealed steering on get them. That steering makes it appear as if they’re issued on the CDFA’s whole discretion after an applicant makes the required annual filings. That is problematic as a result of there is no such thing as a clear timeframe or overview course of. In different phrases, an operator may file an entire annual utility, and the CDFA may sit on it for months earlier than issuing a provisional.
SB-67 may simply repair some of those issues. SB-67’s key provision is that when an applicant recordsdata its annual license utility, its non permanent licenses shall stay legitimate—even when these licenses had beforehand expired. These prolonged non permanent licenses would solely keep efficient till an annual license is issued or denied, a provisional license is issued, an utility is disqualified or deserted, or the top of 2019, whichever is earliest.
This can be a lot to unpack, however primarily what it means is that if candidates file annuals earlier than the date of non permanent license expiration, these candidates will nonetheless have non permanent approval till a provisional license is issued. This may assist dispel any lack of readability surrounding the provisional licensing course of however will nonetheless not change the truth that annuals will have to be submitted as quickly as attainable.
One other notable half about SB-67 is that if handed, it could first lengthen the time to difficulty provisionals by means of July 1, 2020. This may give the businesses extra time in really issuing provisional licenses previous 2019. However problematically, there can be a six-month window the place licensees who don’t have provisionals will lose their prolonged non permanent licenses. There may be one other invoice on the desk later this 12 months to handle this exact same difficulty.
SB-67 finally will solely profit these few operators and will sign that the state businesses are nonetheless so overwhelmed with functions that they gained’t be capable to course of them on time. We’ll be sure you maintain our readers in control on any updates on SB-67 or the provisional licensing legal guidelines.