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The California Administrative Procedures Act

The California Administrative Procedures Act (APA) is a comprehensive piece of legislation adopted by the California Legislature in 1945. The APA is an essential piece of legislation that provides a framework for the efficient, orderly, and fair administration of state governmental programs. It governs the operations of state agencies, boards, and commissions and sets forth the procedures and standards for their activities.

DCC Rulemaking
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The purpose of the APA is to ensure public access to state government and that state agencies are accountable. The APA sets forth the procedures for the development, adoption, amendment, repeal, and judicial review of regulations. It also provides the framework for the review of agency decisions and actions by the courts. 

Publication of Regulations Under the California Administrative Procedures Act

The APA provides for the publication of regulations that state agencies adopt. These regulations are published in the California Code of Regulations (CCR). The CCR includes all regulations adopted by state agencies and is updated regularly. The regulations in the CCR are legally binding on the state and its citizens.

Regulation Development Under the California Administrative Procedures Act

The APA also provides for the development of rules and regulations by state agencies. Agencies must provide an opportunity for public comment on proposed regulations before their adoption. This ensures that members of the public have a chance to give input on the proposed regulations. After the public comment period has ended, the agency must consider all comments before adopting the regulation.

Agency Review Under the California Administrative Procedures Act

The APA also provides for the review of agency decisions and actions by the courts. The APA allows for filing a petition for a writ of mandate or a petition for review with the appropriate court. A writ of mandate is a court order that requires an agency to take or not take a specific action. A petition for review allows the court to review the merits of an agency’s decision or action and determine whether it was correct.

Why the APA Matters to Cannabis Businesses.

Let’s imagine your cannabis business is falsely accused of diverting cannabis. Suppose the Department of Cannabis Regulations (DCC) issues a notice of violation, and you can’t negotiate a resolution. In that case, the DCC will likely file an administrative action against your company. The APA will govern the complaint, your response, discovery, deadlines, hearings, and trial.

Contact Us

If your business has received a notice of violation (or worse) from the Department of Cannabis, contact us immediately for a consultation.