The California Growers Association is suing the state, contending that the Department of Food and Agriculture defied the will of the voters by permitting large-scale commercial cannabis farms, the Sacramento Bee reports.
According to the report, the suit states that Prop. 64 was intended to “ensure the non-medical marijuana industry in California will be built around small and medium-sized businesses by prohibiting large-scale cultivation licenses for the first five years.” Association President Hezekiah Allen said such size caps will help prevent the industry from becoming “Big Tobacco 2.0.”
“Approving large cultivation operations in 2018 will significantly reduce the ability of small and medium businesses to compete economically in the regulated market. As a result, more small and medium cultivators will choose not to enter the regulated market and will instead stay in the illegal market.” – California Growers Association lawsuit
The original initiative text called for all grows to be less than 1 acre until 2023. The Food and Agriculture’s emergency rules, released in November, allow for a single business to apply for an unlimited number of small cultivation licenses. The suit argues that the rules represent a loophole that effectively allows large-scale cultivation.
The final rules are expected later this year.
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