The U.S. Department of Justice is requesting that a federal court intervene to force marijuana regulators in California to turn over records on cannabis business licenses, shipping manifests and other data. The purpose of that request remains unclear.
According to L.A. Cannabis News, a petition filed within the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California shows the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in January issued a subpoena to the California Bureau of Cannabis Control for records pertaining to cannabis companies and owners. Regulators refused to turn the records over, citing the federal government’s failure to specify the relevancy of their request. Furthermore, the agency said they risked violation of privacy laws by turning over the records.
What is not clear to our Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys is what type of federal investigation is occurring such that would require records pertaining to legal cannabis operations. Overall, the current administration has taken a hands-off approach with respect to state-legal marijuana laws, even after they had rescinded the Obama administration memorandum directing federal prosecutors to generally avoid meddling in state-legal marijuana markets. The president has said he supports the right of state governments to set their own cannabis laws, regardless of federal-level prohibition. Continue reading