California vaping brand, Kushy Punch, has had its cannabis license revoked after state cannabis regulators raided its premises and found the company to be conducting business from a facility that it was not licensed to use.
Last month, California cannabis regulators received a tip off suggesting the company was running illegal business activity, and on inspection of the unlicensed Canoga Park facility, authorities seized cannabis products worth $21 million. The products were held by a company called Verticle Bliss, also operating as Kushy Punch when manufacturing and distributing cannabis products.
The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) reported that approximately 7,200 unregulated vape cartridges were seized in the raid.
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Kushy Punch Laments the Decision
In a statement, a Kushy Punch spokesperson said the company was “saddened by the license revocation,” and blamed the state’s slow licensing rollout across the adult-use cannabis market.
Alex Traverso, BCC spokesperson, said even though Kushy Punch appears to have refrained from selling the illicit vape pens at the Canoga Park location, it was storing and manufacturing them at that unlicensed facility.
Shortly after the raid, Kushy Punch had said it planned on destroying the vaping cartridges that were seized, as those pens had become defective after their batteries expired while being held in storage for more than two years.
California cannabis regulators also released a statement on the ruling re-iterating that “manufacturing, distributing or selling cannabis goods without a state license, or at a location that is not licensed, is a violation of state law.”
Vaping Health Crisis
This particular ruling takes place amid a challenging time for vape products. This year alone, illicit vaping products have been deemed responsible for killing dozens and hospitalizing upward of one thousand people with lung illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently confirmed that 47 deaths and 2,290 hospital visits nationally can be attributed to vaping related illness. So the Kushy Punch license revocation was issued as the nation watches on to see just how the marijuana industry will continue to deal with this health crisis.
For more than two decades, Kushy Punch has operated in the California marijuana market. Now after losing its right to conduct legal business, the company is searching for other licensed marijuana business partners to make Kushy Punch products available to its customers. Let’s see who raises their hands here.
While it was highly anticipated that regulators would revoke Kushy Punch’s cannabis license, provided confirmation of a wrongdoing could be attained, some industry insiders believe that doing so is creating a ‘cannabis extinction event,’ of sorts. That’s because many cannabis business operators are simply unable to wait out licensing delays, they are struggling to carry the ongoing business costs and failing to meet the state’s high tax demands. All of these items continue to plague above board marijuana businesses, and no was is immune, as we are seeing even historical cannabis brands like Kushy Punch are now struggling to survive.
Regardless of the business challenges at hand, in making this move, the message regulators have sent is clear: any and all commercial cannabis activity conducted in the state of California must be done on a premises with a valid license, issued by the appropriate cannabis licensing authority. And if any legal violations are found to be in effect, no marijuana business will be given a pass. So the word is getting out, and business owners had better comply.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention