Administrative Enforcement

Our Attorneys are experienced in defending operators in the cannabis and hemp industries against Federal, State, and local enforcement actions.

Though the risk of federal enforcement actions against state-legal cannabis businesses in California has declined in recent years, there has been an uptick in enforcement actions brought on by the state licensing authorities. Each of the primary cannabis licensing and regulatory authorities in California – the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC); CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing (CDFA); and Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (CDPH) – has ramped up enforcement against unlicensed cannabis operators as well as licensed but non-compliant cannabis businesses.

Unlicensed Cannabis Industry Operators

Under State Law, cannabis licensing authorities may fine unlicensed person(s) up to thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) per violation. It is important to note that, each day of the violation constitutes a separate violation.

Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) makes a person engaging in commercial cannabis activity without a license required by MAUCRSA subject to civil penalties up to 3 times the amount of the license fee for each violation.

Licensed Cannabis Industry Operators

Under State Law, cannabis licensing authorities may, as part of each citation, assess an administrative fine of up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) per violation by a licensee. Each day of the deemed violation constitutes a separate violation per state law. 

At Rogoway Law, we understand that enforcement actions can pose an existential threat to cannabis industry operators. Our Enforcement Action Defense Attorneys have garnered significant experience, which we bring to bear on behalf of our clients. Our attorneys have also been successful in proactively resolving our client’s problems before a matter has been formally charged or otherwise made public.

Administrative enforcement actions can pose an existential threat to businesses operating in highly regulated environments such as the cannabis, hemp, and psychedelics industries. Everything from careless employees to overzealous regulators can massively disrupt an otherwise well-functioning business. At Rogoway Law, our attorneys are successful in piloting our clients through complex enforcement actions because we have deep regulatory and agency expertise. 

We work with companies, small, medium, and large, to make sure they can survive administrative enforcement actions brought by local, state, and federal agencies. This often begins with an initial contact from the regulator who wants to ensure unwavering compliance with the controlling statutes and regulations. These interactions require skillful counsel where working with the regulator and licensing authorities to immediately address their concerns can often mean the difference between success and peril.

 Our attorneys are pragmatic problem solvers with subject matter expertise and a real-life understanding of business and compliance. When something happens concerning your regulatory compliance, you need a strategic partner to help you get through it.

Representative Matters:

  • Successfully resolved Notice of Violation based on alleged Metrc violations. California licensing authority did not pursue any consequence license or other penalty following resolution.
  • Represented licensed cannabis cultivator in multi-agency administrative enforcement action involving eradication of 11 acres of canopy, substantial alleged Metrc non-compliance, and other related issues. Worked with client team to obtain discrete resolution with no resulting violations.
  • Reached informal resolution with licensing authority on behalf of licensee for regulatory violations to be resolved and no violations to issue.
  • Successfully represented licensed commercial outdoor cultivator in administrative enforcement action brought by County alleging unlawful mixed light cultivation based on use of tarps for light deprivation.
  • Represented cultivator and reached successful resolution in both administrative and civil actions concerning state and local water and environmental regulations as well as unfair business practices claim.
  • Successfully represented distributor in highly publicized state and local enforcement action. Assisted client with media, agency, and departmental contacts. No resulting violation was pursued following initial encounter.
  • Represented permittee at planning commission hearing in enforcement action brought by County Counsel seeking significant monetary penalties. Successfully resolved action at hearing.
  • Advised large, vertically integrated company, in matter involving non-reporting of theft and resulting regulator response. No violation issued.
  • Represented hemp cultivator at Court of Appeal in matter involving code enforcement violations found at hearing with prior counsel. Successfully resolved matter following court-sponsored mediation with County.
  • Represented large manufacturer in highly publicized enforcement action. Worked with client navigating media, law enforcement, and administrative authorities. Successful resolution reached, client’s business survived and continued to grow following action.

Our enforcement action DEFENSE Attorneys Assist our Clients with:

  • Federal Enforcement Actions, including those brought on by:
    • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
    • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
    • U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
    • The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
  • Enforcement Actions brought on by state or local licensing authorities including:
    • Notices to Comply
    • Citations, Orders of Abatement, or Administrative Fines.
    • Disciplinary Actions
    • Interim Suspensions and license Revocations
    • Any other disciplinary actions brought on by licensing authorities.

Recent Cannabis Law Perspectives