California fast tracking cannabis business licenses for refugees

February 10, 2021


As part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to support diversity, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control is expediting marijuana business licenses for refugees and asylum seekers, while some citizens spend years navigating the bureaucratic system.

Signed by Newsom on Sept. 27, 2020, AB 2113 requires state agencies to expedite and provide extra assistance to business license applicants with evidence they are a refugee, have been granted asylum or have a special immigrant visa. Prior laws prohibited state agencies from discriminating based on immigration status, but did not provide special status.

“California is a greater and more vibrant place because of our immigrant and refugee communities,” Newsom said. “I thank the Legislature for advancing these policies to support our fellow Californians, no matter where they were born.”

On Tuesday, the Bureau of Cannabis Control reached out to applicants for marijuana grows, pot shops and manufacturing facilities to let them know, that as of Jan. 1, refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants may seek an expedited licensure process.

“In order to receive the expedited licensure process, individuals must provide documentation of their refugee, asylee, or special immigrant visa status when submitting their application package,” the notice said. “Please note that this does not mean a license must be issued, but simply that the process will be expedited.”


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Adam Trask

I wonder if the writer has evidence and a number for the “some citizens” who have had to “spend years navigating the bureaucratic system” attempting to get a cannabis license? Some and years are pretty vague.

For a better story on A.B. 2113:


I know you despise trump and conservatives. We get it…bla…bla…racist….bla..bla…bla…

But just once, please apply a degree of reason and try looking at an issue in a non progress and non-woke lens and trying to defend the indefensible.

Adam Trask

According to this law, asylum seekers and refugees who have professional licenses and expertise in other countries are given a leg up in applying for a license in California. It applies to at least 37 different licensing areas—cannabis is only one example, but, of course, it’s a hot button issue and Karen Velie likes to push buttons. Unless you can show me evidence that American citizens are somehow being inconvenienced by this law, I will look on it as just another example of California’s inclusiveness.


I don’t really hang out in either the local political or stoner communities, yet I still know of two individuals that spent 2 & 3 years (respectively) trying to establish cannabis retail locations. It was much more difficult and more expensive to obtain than a liquor license. One of the definitions of “some” is “at least a small amount of people or things.” The definition of “years” is the plural of year, meaning more than one. SO I personally have proof that I’ve seen with my own eyes that “some” of the citizens I know have spent “years” navigating the system. Karen having a social circle that I’m sure is quite larger than mine, there is little doubt she knows “some,” if not a few, perhaps even many that have found it difficult to obtain proper licensing after “years” (more than one) of trying. One of those two citizens I mentioned gave up the fight because she really wanted to go legitimate, and was disgusted by how much “green paper grease” she had to apply under-the-table to certain government cogs and wheels (employees) to keep her process in forward motion. The process is also much more corrupt than that of obtaining a liquor license. You know I had a college instructor once say: “If you want real “diversity,” you cannot treat certain people differently while preaching that everyone is equal.” Thirty years later, it still remains true.


I will be talking about this issue on the Andy Caldwell Show today at 4:30 p.m. Listen live at 98.5 FM or 1440 AM.


When is Dave Congalton going to have you on his show Karen?


I wonder if Newsom ran his plan past law enforcement. So people from Columbia can claim they are a refugee and get fast tracked into the cannabis industry. Wow, just wow.


Excuse me, didn’t we already reject Prop 16 last November? In 1996 Proposition 209 added Section 31 to the California Constitution’s Declaration of Rights, which said that the state cannot discriminate against or grant preferential treatment on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, and public contracting. Seems clear to me.

Jorge Estrada

It was just ink, needed to write something to justify the moment. At least it good to read that there are others having difficulty understanding simple English.


While I think everyone should be treated equally, with pot there should be careful oversight as much of the illegal market comes from those affiliated with cartels in other countries.

So growers who follow the rules and jump through the hoops, should wait while non-citizens get preferred status?

Also, many of the grows that sprouted up several years ago in the California Valley were from non-citizens. Many left trash and falling down fences when they left, no consideration for the environment or the beauty of the area.


There’s no such thing as equality with the left. The rules only apply to the ones they despise. They’ll use them when needed to destroy those people who differ from them.

It’s also obvious they don’t care for the environment with a decision like this. The amount of trash and toxic pollution we already have due to this, will increase tremendously. Complete hypocrites.


This is proof that the legislators in Sacramento really do not care about the citizens of this state! We need to through them out. Uh oh will I now be banned for inciting violence?


” I’m from the Cartel, and I’m here to help” …


Which Cartel, the one from Mexico or Sacramento?

Jorge Estrada

So now we can accurately say that immigration has gone to Pot. I wonder if my naturalization papers will afford me a special bank loan and agricultural subsidies too? What a country, maybe I’ll get paid to apply and paid again to not grow.


Newsome must have been smoking the stuff for a long time and lost his marbles.


No, probably too much wine one evening while dining out with friends at the French Laundry.


All of the above and more, including white privilege of the left.