WILL I BE DENIED A CANNABIS BUSINESS LICENSE IF I HAVE A CRIMINAL CONVICTION? (The following is the law on that subject. MY ANALYSIS WILL BE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS)
§ 5017. Substantially Related Offenses and Criteria for Rehabilitation (a) For the purpose of license denial, convictions that are substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business for which the application is made include:
(1) A violent felony conviction, as specified in subdivision (c) of section 667.5 of the Penal Code.
(2) A serious felony conviction, as specified in subdivision (c) of section 1192.7 of the Penal Code.
(3) A felony conviction involving fraud, deceit, or embezzlement. THE BBC HAS DECIDED THAT ANY FELONY CONVICTION THAT WAS VIOLENT, A SERIOUS FELONY, OR ONE THAT INVOLVED FRAUD ETC WILL MAKE THE APPLICANT INELIGIBLE FOR A CANNABIS LICENSE.
(4) 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. IF YOU WERE CONVICTED FOR USING A MINOR TO DEAL IN DRUG RELATED CRIME, THAT WILL MAKE YOU INELIGIBLE.
(5) A felony conviction for drug trafficking with enhancements pursuant to Health and Safety Code section 11370.4 or 11379.8.
(b) Except as provided in subsections (4) and (5) of subsection (a) and notwithstanding Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 480) of Division 1.5 of the Business and Professions Code, a prior conviction, where the sentence, including any term of probation, incarceration, or supervised release, is completed, for possession of, possession for sale, sale, manufacture, transportation, or cultivation of a controlled substance is not considered substantially related, and shall not be the sole ground for denial of a license. Conviction for any controlled substance felony subsequent to licensure shall be grounds for revocation of a license or denial of the renewal of a license. A FELONY OR MISDO CONVICTION FOR POSSESSION, POSS FOR SALE, SALE, MANUFACTURE, TRANSPORTING OR CULTIVATION WILL NOT AUTOMATICALLY DISQUALIFY YOU. HOWEVER, THAT CONVICTION WILL STILL BE USED TO JUDGE YOUR APPLICATION AS A WHOLE.
(c) When evaluating whether an applicant who has been convicted of a criminal offense that is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business for which the application is made should be issued a license, the Bureau shall consider the following criteria of rehabilitation: THE BBC WILL LOOK AT THE SUCH MITIGATING FACTORS AS LISTED BELOW:
(1) The nature and severity of the act or offense;
(2) Whether the person has a felony conviction based on possession or use of cannabis or cannabis products that would not be a felony if the person was convicted of the offense on the date of the person’s application;
(3) The applicant’s criminal record as a whole;
(4) Evidence of any act committed subsequent to the act or offense under consideration that could be considered grounds for denial, suspension, or revocation of a commercial cannabis activity license;
(5) The time that has elapsed since commission of the act or offense;
(6) The extent to which the applicant has complied with any terms of parole, probation, restitution, or any other sanctions lawfully imposed against the applicant;
(7) If applicable, evidence of dismissal under Penal Code sections 1203.4, 1203.4(a), 1203.41 or another state’s similar law;
(8) If applicable, a certificate of rehabilitation obtained under Penal Code section 4852.01 or another state’s similar law; and
(9) Other evidence of rehabilitation submitted by the applicant. (d) If an applicant has been denied a license based on a conviction, the applicant may request a hearing pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 26058 to determine if the applicant should be issued a license. Authority: Section 26013, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Sections 482 and 26057, Business and Professions Code