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Californian Cannabis Businesses Now Have 60 More Days to Renew their Licenses

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: May 15, 2020   
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As Covid-19 continues to disrupt cannabis businesses across the US, some of those in California may have struggled to renew their licenses before the June 30 deadline.

Fortunately, the state’s three cannabis licensing authorities announced yesterday that businesses may now request a 60-day deferral to their license fee payments.

License to chill

Although they were deemed “essential businesses” in mid-March, cannabis companies are still excluded from federal financial assistance, due to the drug’s status as a Schedule I controlled substance.

In light of this financial fragility amid the Covid-19 pandemic, California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), the California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA), and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) will all begin accepting requests for fee relief immediately.

With a deferral, a business’ license fee will be due 60 days from its expiration date. Refunds will not be given for fees that have already been paid.

Any licensed business that wishes to request an extension may submit a disaster relief request to their respective licensing authority.

According to the announcement, struggling businesses may also be eligible for tax assistance offered by the California Department of Tax & Fee Administration and the Franchise Tax Board.

Restructuring cannabis

Back in January, California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, announced a complete restructuring of the state’s cannabis regulations. In this proposal, the BCC, CDFA and CDPH would all be consolidated into a single agency, the Department of Cannabis Control, by July 2021.

“Establishment of a standalone department with an enforcement arm will centralize and align critical areas to build a successful legal cannabis market, by creating a single point of contact for cannabis licensees and local governments,” read one announcement.

It’s as yet unclear whether the Covid-19 pandemic will delay the formation of this department.


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