Are Unlicensed Operators Accessing California’s Legal Cannabis Market?

Unlicensed businesses are attempting to gain access to California’s legal cannabis market, and for now, it’s up to licensed firms to make sure the rules are being followed. Despite regulations from the state Bureau of Cannabis Control that require licensed cannabis companies to only do business with other licensees, there is not yet a system in place to verify compliance.

Ben Ballard is the chief operating officer at Silo Distribution, a licensed cannabis distributor serving Southern California dispensaries from its facility in Palm Springs. He told High Times that both unlicensed sellers and buyers have attempted to complete illegal cannabis transactions with his firm.

“I’ve never completed a transaction and found out retroactively that there was a license that didn’t check out, but it is something that people have attempted to do,” Ballard said.

Ballard added that there are several reasons a license number might be invalid.

“It could be a number of things,” he said. “It could be expired. It may be completely phony. The license they have might not permit them to do what they’re trying to do.”

Currently, companies can look up licensee information on the BCC website. But unscrupulous operators, including one who tried to sell

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