Watch out folks – the County’s enforcement team is in full force and effect, and will likely pay your farm an unannounced visit any day. The enforcement team is led by the Monterey County District Attorney's Office and is stacked with representatives from all the County agencies that include but are not limited to environmental health, fire, building, and code enforcement.
A point of confusion for many companies, is the uncertainty in regulations surrounding packaging and labeling and manufactured products. Several companies use third-party manufacturing companies to process and create products which are then transported back to farms for packaging and labeling. Prior to this August, the BCC regulations allowed for distributors to package and label cannabis products. However, the CDPH does not permit products to leave a manufacturing company unlabeled. The BCC has recently clarified their regulations stating that a distributor may not package, re-package, label or re-label manufactured cannabis goods, with the exception of labeling and re-labeling a manufactured cannabis goods package with the amount of cannabinoids and terpenoids based on regulatory compliance testing results. This means that if you are having a third party manufacture your products – it must leave their facility packaged and not in bulk.
Outdoor growers should also be cautious as this is the time of year that eradication and raids start in South County, Carmel Valley and Big Sur. The passage of Proposition 64 created several “new” environmental crimes that elevate outdoor cannabis cultivation to felony prosecution. These types of felony criminal charges involve the regulations of the California State Water Board and the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Failing to enroll in the Cannabis General Order, engaging in water diversion, wastewater run off into streambed and toxic pollutants into streambeds are all grounds for felony prosecution. Also, make sure that no one under the age of 21 is involved in the outdoor grow as facts surrounding employee age elevates cultivation to a felony.
Play it safe out there!
Jennifer Rosenthal is a local cannabis and criminal defense attorney. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and does not reflect an official position of the Association.