The drug wars will continue until the state gets its cut of the money.
California’s top pot cops have sent out hundreds of letters warning landlords that they face potential civil and criminal penalties if they allow unlicensed marijuana shops on their premises.
The Bureau of Cannabis Control, which oversees the state’s legal marijuana industry, noted Tuesday that it’s using the same laws the state has historically used against drug dens to punish landlords who allow retail marijuana dispensaries to operate without proper government approval.
Under California law, any landlord who knowingly leases space for the unlawful manufacturing, storing, or selling of a controlled substance faces up to a year in jail. And, of course, the government can then seize your property.
One might think that the legalization of marijuana retail sales and use would render such this state law—a remnant of the drug war—moot, but the Bureau of Cannabis Control wants to assure landlords otherwise. The Bureau’s letter adds that anybody assisting in the operation of an illegal dispensary faces the same potential criminal penalties as if they had directly committed the offense. Furthermore, because the state actually does have legally regulated marijuana sales, violating the licensing laws now can lead to an additional set of punishments that didn’t exist before. Anybody operating an illegal dispensary faces fines of up to $30,000 a day.
Published: November 27, 2019