AB 873: CDFA Agents Power of Peace Officer

Over the last year the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the agency governing cannabis cultivation licenses, has received far more Cultivation Applications than it could process in a timely manner. Accordingly, the agency has fallen behind on processing licenses and many illegal cannabis cultivators wishing to break into the legal market are left with few choices, one being, to continue growing illegally.

In February a report was released by the California Growers Association which showed that only 1% of the cultivations in California are licensed by the state to perform such activities. This recurring theme of the Black Market’s control over the cannabis industry in California has increasingly deterred many people from breaking into the legal market. Since many local enforcement agencies do not have the resources to regulate all of the illegal cannabis cultivation operations in their jurisdictions and the greater state, California passed Assembly Bill 873. The Bill grants CDFA agents the authority of a peace officer, which includes the power to arrest and to serve warrants for unlawful cannabis activity.

This is big news for the legal cannabis industry in California, as it will likely lead to many more illegal cannabis cultivations being shut down and give legal cultivators a competitive chance in the cannabis market. The bill effectively lightens the load of local law enforcement with respect to illegal cannabis activity by allowing CDFA agents to perform arrests and serve warrants in a similar fashion as normal peace officers. With the passing of AB 873 we should see a lot more illegal cultivations getting shut down in 2019 and beyond, which will provide market stability by allowing legal cultivations to rightfully gain control of the market.

California Cannabis Legislation Links:

AB 1793: Overturning Prior Cannabis Convictions

AB 2020: Cannabis Event Licensing

AB 2215: Cannabis for Pets

AB 2402: MJ Consumer Information

AB 2721: Cannabis Testing Laboratories

AB 2914: CBD & THC Infused Beverages

SB 1294: California’s Cannabis Equity Act

SB 1409: Commercial Hemp Cultivators

SB 1459: California Provisional Cannabis License