$540,000 FINE: OPERATING WITHOUT A CANNABIS LICENSE
In December of 2019, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CFDA) filed a lawsuit against and civil actions against Lowell Farms LLC dba Lowell Herb Company for engaging in commercial cannabis activity without a license. Click Here to Read Lawsuit.
The CFDA also seeks a court order for the destruction of cannabis and cannabis products associated with the unlicensed activity. This is the first time California regulators brought a civil enforcement suit against a state-licensed marijuana business.
The case was dismissed after both sides came to a settlement agreement. Click here to read Settlement. A summary of the agreement:
- $500,000 to the state as part of the overall settlement.
- $22,461.50 in reimbursement for attorney fees to CDFA
- $11,098.58 in reimbursement for investigation cost to CDFA.
- $12,852 to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife for attorney fees, investigation expenses, and the cost of destroying illegal cannabis that was seized during a raid on Lowell’s facility in March 2019.
The attorney, Sean Walsh, emphasized the company did not admit to any wrongdoing.
“Because we sat at the table and thoughtfully worked with our regulators, we were able to resolve all outstanding issues and, as part of the settlement, the state’s claims were dismissed with prejudice,” Walsh wrote.
So the question is how did they get here in the first place. In California, many cannabis companies had been operating for years, since the medical marijuana program started in 1996. Many thought they did not have to become licenses since they were already operational. Know your requirements.