The California Growers Association is fighting for cannabis’ little guy and just filed a much anticipated lawsuit. The 1,000 plus member advocacy group essentially threw the gauntlet down to the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s decision to allow unlimited stacking of cultivation licenses to large corporations.
The basis of of the CGA lawsuit revolves around the fact Prop 64 included a five year delay before allowing large scale licenses. The lawsuit alleges that the CDFA, “has promulgated a regulatory loophole that eviscerates the statutory five-year prohibition overwhelmingly approved by California voters.”
How did the five year delay, approved by voters, get removed in the first place? According to the Mendocino Voice. “The one-acre cap on the size of cannabis farms was included in the CDFA’s earlier drafts of the regulations, but was not present in the temporary regulations that were released in November.”
Hezekiah Allen, Executive director at CGA, stated in today’s press release. “Prop 64’s five-year ban on large cultivation licenses was included specifically to account for many Californians’ concerns that locally-owned and community-minded businesses would be replaced by a small number of powerful, consolidated corporations. Unfortunately, CDFA’s regulatory decision allows these interests to quickly corner the market, while tens of thousands of small and mid-sized businesses are still working to fight local bans, raise capital, or establish operations in compliance with new rules. We could not stand by while a single regulatory decision threatened the future of so many hardworking Californians.”
The CGA held a packed meeting in Laytonville last November geared to help growers learn about the new regulations after they were released. At this meeting, Allen made sure to point out the removal of the cap and foreshadowed pending litigation telling the room, “I hired more lawyers this morning than ever before in my life.” When asked why the CGA waited two months before filing action, he stated, “we wanted to make sure we got it right.”
And, hopefully, that is exactly what Allen and the CGA did, get it right and fight for the little guy damnit.