Written By Emily Friedman
Prop 64 (AUMA) campaigned as California's opportunity for major drug policy reform. Thereunder, several felonies immediately reduced to misdemeanors. But what happens to those whose records are stained with past criminal convictions when they apply for a commercial cannabis business license? While California prohibits individuals with certain criminal convictions from applying, mostly all drug convictions do not bar applicants. Further, some cities (like Los Angeles and Oakland) lend a helping hand for licensing applicants who previously suffered at the hands of the war on drugs. Lets take a look into the effect that Prop 64 had on pre-existing criminal convictions and the ability to apply for a license.
- What Crimes are Reducible under Prop 64?
Section 11361.8(a) provides that the ability to seek resentencing or reduction is limited to persons convicted of a violation of sections 11357, 11358, 11359, 11360.
- 11357 = Possession of more than an ounce of marijuana
- 11358 = Cultivation
- 11359 = Possession of marijuana for sale
- 11360 = Sale of Marijuana or Transportation
As specified by §11361(e), persons eligible for reduction must:
- Have been sentenced to one of the crimes above
- Must have completed the sentence for the designated crimes
- Must establish that they “would not have been guilty of an offense or who would have been guilty of a lesser offense under the Act had that Act been in effect at the time of offense.”
- What Criminal Convictions Preclude Someone from Getting a License under MAUCRSA?
Under SB 94 §26057 (B&P) p.97 – The applicant, owner, or licensee has been convicted of an offense that is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business or profession for which the application is made, except that if the licensing authority determines that the applicant, owner, or licensee is otherwise suitable to be issued a license, and granting the license would not compromise public safety, the licensing authority shall conduct a thorough review of the nature of the crime, conviction, circumstances, and evidence of rehabilitation of the applicant or owner, and shall evaluate the suitability of the applicant, owner, or licensee to be issued a license based on the evidence found through the review. In determining which offenses are substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business or profession for which the application is made, the licensing authority shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(A) A violent felony conviction, as specified in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 of the Penal Code.
(B) A serious felony conviction, as specified in subdivision (c) of Section 1192.7 of the Penal Code.
(C) A felony conviction involving fraud, deceit, or embezzlement.
(D) A felony conviction for hiring, employing, or using a minor in transporting, carrying, selling, giving away, preparing for sale, or peddling, any controlled substance to a minor; or selling, offering to sell, furnishing, offering to furnish, administering, or giving any controlled substance to a minor.
(E) A felony conviction for drug trafficking with enhancements pursuant to Section 11370.4 or 11379.8 of the Health and Safety Code.
- What Criminal Convictions Preclude Someone from Getting a License under Prop M?
Cannabis Rules and Regulations
104.03 – Application Procedure - A person is ineligible to apply for a license in any of the following circumstances;
- Person convicted of violating any State or local law involving wage or labor for a period of five years from the date of conviction
- Person convicted of violating any law involving distribution of cannabis to minors for a period of five years from the date of conviction
- Person convicted of conducting any illegal commercial cannabis activity after April 1, 2018, for a period of five years from the date of conviction
- Person convicted of violating and state or local law involving distribution or sales of tobacco or alcohol to minors for a period of five years from the date of conviction
- Person with a felony conviction for violating any State or local law involving violent crimes, sex trafficking, rape, crimes against children, gun crimes or hate crimes for a period of ten years from the date of conviction.
 Prop 64 §11361.8(a)