(a) The Department may issue an emergency decision and order for temporary, interim relief to prevent or avoid immediate danger to the public health, safety, or welfare. Such circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) The Department has information that cannabis goods at a licensee’s premises have a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or death.
(2) To prevent the sale, transfer, or transport of contaminated or illegal cannabis goods in possession of a licensee.
(3) The Department observes or has information that conditions at a licensee’s premises exist that present an immediate risk to worker or public health and safety.
(4) To prevent illegal diversion of cannabis goods, or other criminal activity at a licensee’s premises.
(5) To prevent the destruction of evidence related to illegal activity or violations of the Act.
(6) To prevent misrepresentation to the public, such as selling untested cannabis goods, providing inaccurate information about the cannabis goods or cannabis goods that have been obtained from an unlicensed person.
(b) Temporary, interim relief may include a suspension or administrative hold by one or more of the following:
(1) An order temporarily suspending a license.
(2) An order to segregate or isolate specific cannabis goods.
(3) An order prohibiting the movement of cannabis goods to or from the premises.
(4) An order prohibiting the sale of specific cannabis goods.
(5) An order prohibiting the destruction of specific cannabis goods.
(c) The emergency decision and order issued by the Department shall include a brief explanation of the factual and legal bases of the emergency decision that justify the Department’s determination that emergency action is necessary, and the specific actions ordered. The emergency decision and order shall be effective when issued or as otherwise provided by the decision and order.
(d) To issue an administrative hold that prohibits activity related to specified cannabis goods, the Department shall comply with the following:
(1) Provide notice of the administrative hold that includes a description of the cannabis goods subject to the administrative hold.
(2) Following notice, the Department shall identify the cannabis goods subject to the administrative hold in the track and trace system.
(e) A licensee subject to an administrative hold shall comply with the following:
(1) Within 24 hours after receipt of notice of the administrative hold, physically segregate all designated cannabis goods in a limited-access area of the licensed premises. The licensee shall ensure that all cannabis goods subject to the administrative hold are safeguarded and preserved in a manner that prevents tampering, degradation, or contamination.
(2) While the administrative hold is in effect, the licensee shall not sell, donate, transfer, transport, gift, or destroy the cannabis goods subject to the hold.
(3) A microbusiness licensee subject to an administrative hold may continue to cultivate any cannabis subject to an administrative hold. If the cannabis subject to the hold must be harvested, the licensee shall place the harvested cannabis into separate batches.
(4) A licensee may voluntarily surrender cannabis goods that are subject to an administrative hold. The licensee shall identify the cannabis goods being voluntarily surrendered in the track and trace system. Voluntary surrender shall not be construed to waive the right to a hearing or any associated rights.
(f) To issue a temporary suspension, the Department shall specify in the order that the licensee shall immediately cease conducting all commercial cannabis activities under its license, unless otherwise specified in the order.
(g) A microbusiness licensee subject to a temporary suspension may continue to cultivate cannabis at the licensed premises only as prescribed by the Department in the order. If the order permits the cannabis to be harvested, the licensee shall place the harvested cannabis into separate batches.
(h) The emergency decision and order for temporary, interim relief shall be issued in accordance with the following procedures:
(1) The Department shall give notice of the emergency decision and order and an opportunity to be heard to the licensee prior to the issuance, or effective date, of the emergency decision and order, if practicable.
(2) Notice and hearing under this section may be oral or written and may be provided by telephone, personal service, mail, facsimile transmission, electronic mail, or other electronic means, as the circumstances permit.
(3) Notice may be given to the licensee, any person meeting the definition of owner for the license, or to a manager or other personnel at the licensed premises.
(4) Upon receipt of the notice, the licensee may request a hearing within three (3) business days by submitting a written request for hearing to the Department through electronic mail, facsimile transmission, or other means. The hearing shall commence within five (5) business days after receipt of the written request for hearing, unless a later time is agreed upon by the Department and the licensee.
(5) The hearing may be conducted in the same manner as an informal conference under section 17803; however, the timeframes provided in section 17803 shall not apply to a hearing under this section. Pre-hearing discovery or cross-examination of witnesses is not required under this section.
(6) The emergency decision and order shall be affirmed, modified, or set aside as determined appropriate by the Department within five (5) business days after the hearing.
(i) Within ten (10) calendar days after the issuance or effective date of the emergency decision and order for temporary, interim relief, the Department shall commence adjudicative proceedings in accordance with chapter 5 (commencing with section 11500) of part 1 of division 3 of title 2 of the Government Code to resolve the underlying issues giving rise to the temporary, interim relief.
(j) After formal proceedings are held pursuant to subsection (i), a licensee aggrieved by a final decision of the Department may appeal the decision to the Cannabis Control Appeals Panel pursuant to section 26043 of the Act.
(k) Notwithstanding administrative proceedings commenced pursuant to subsection (i), the licensee may obtain judicial review of the emergency decision and order pursuant to section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure in the manner provided in section 11460.80 of the Government Code without exhaustion of administrative remedies.
(l) The Department’s authority provided by this section may be used in addition to any civil, criminal, or other administrative remedies available to the Department.
Authority: Section 26013, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Section 26012, Business and Professions Code; and Sections 11460.10, 11460.20, 11460.30, 11460.40,
11460.50, 11460.60, 11460.70 and 11460.80, Government Code.