AB 1684—Immediate Admin Fines for All Unlawful Cannabis Activity

Legal Update:  Effective January 1, 2024, all cities and counties in California may impose immediate fines against all unlawful cannabis activities.

*Legal Notice:  This New Law Requires a New Ordinance!

Prior to 2024, most administrative fines required municipalities to give a grace period to the violator to cure the underlying violation and avoid the fine.  A notable exception was made for unlawful cannabis “cultivation” activities—in which case municipalities could immediately impose administrative fines.  That exception was for “cultivation” violations only, which omitted all other unlawful cannabis activity, such as manufacturing, processing, distribution, and retail sale of cannabis.  Those activities still required cities and counties to give the violators a grace period to cure the violations and avoid the fines, which often made the administrative fine penalty completely ineffective.

AB 1684 has amended the Government Code to allow for the immediate imposition of administrative fines for all unlawful cultivation, manufacturing, processing, distribution, and retail sale of cannabis.  AB 1684 allows for up to a $1,000 fine per cannabis violation, up to $10,000 in immediate daily cannabis fines, unlimited cannabis fines above $10,000 after a grace period, and unlimited immediate fines for certain non-cannabis violations (which often accompany cannabis violations).  AB 1684 also allows for joint and several liability of the property owner and the cannabis business owner, and referral to the Attorney General for civil prosecution.

The big catch is that AB 1684 requires each city and county to revise their municipal code to adopt these changes.  Serviam’s attorneys are experts at nuisance abatement law, including municipal code amendments to maximize nuisance abatement effectiveness, efficiency, and cost recovery.  Contact Serviam managing partner Curtis Wright for assistance implementing AB 1684.

Curtis Wright is an expert in municipal and nuisance abatement law, and he is the Managing Partner of Serviam By Wright LLP (“Serviam”).  Curtis may be contacted about this alert at Wright@Serviam.Law.

Disclaimer: Serviam legal alerts are not legal advice.  Additional facts or future developments may affect the subject of this alert.  Seek the advice of an attorney before acting upon any information in this alert.

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Located in Irvine, California, Serviam by Wright LLP is a leading law firm specializing in nuisance abatement, code enforcement, receiverships, municipal prosecution, liability defense, municipal services, court receiver, and hearing officer services.  Visit Serviam.Law for further information.