Somebody’s starting to take this whole marijuana regulation thing seriously in California because Weedmaps got a cease desist letter last month insisting that they quit letting unlicensed cannabis businesses advertise on their website or face civil or criminal charges.
The letter came from the California Bureau of Cannabis Control and on the heels of roughly 900 warning letters the agency sent to unlicensed pot shops across the state. It claimed that the marijuana information hub was “aiding and abetting in violations of state cannabis laws.”
Weedmaps responded shortly after with a letter of its own for the BCC. Though the company is located in California and tied to the cannabis industry of the state (as well as many others), it claimed that is not subjected to the cannabis laws of the state but instead was a computer company with federal protections.
“We note at the outset that Weedmaps is a technology company and an interactive computer service which is subject to certain federally preemptive protections…of the Communications Decency Act,” Weedmaps’s letter said. “Nonetheless, as a technology company that has serviced this industry for a decade and as a company which employs almost 300 California residents, we wish to work together as a partner with California to find a solution to the concerns you raise.”
Weedmaps President Chris Beals told the LA Times that his company was not expecting this kind of attitude from California regulators. “We were under the impression that the bureau would focus on getting people licensed before they moved on toward attempting enforcement,” he said.