California, Michigan, Crack Down on Unlicensed Cannabis Retailers

The deadline for unlicensed cannabis dispensaries, collectives, and co-ops to come into licensing compliance in California was January 9, and leaves hundreds of the state’s cannabis vendors at the mercy of local and state regulatory systems they say are burdensome and prevent their ability to obtain licensing.


“Collectives and co-ops have had two years since the passage of Proposition 64 to get compliant,” Senior Attorney at Hoban Law Group Patrick Goggin told mgretailer. Compliance is complicated though, by local regulatory conditions, above and beyond what the state can require from operators.

“The challenge with a stopgap measure in California is that operators must first obtain local authorization. Thus, a stopgap measure would need to be conditioned on a local jurisdiction’s sign off,” Goggin explained.

For unlicensed operators weighing the risks of staying open for business, Goggin said Hoban advised businesses to get licensed and compliant with local and state regulations.

“We advise complying with both state and local law and, thus, obtaining a local permit and state license. Failing to do so could result in significant fines and penalties, and possibly criminal enforcement,” he added.