The California Cannabis Authority is a Joint Powers Authority established by county governments to develop and manage a statewide data platform. The platform will help local governments that are regulating commercial cannabis activity by proving critical and actionable data to increase tax realization, enhance public safety and augment planning capabilities.
The Need for Data
The data platform aggregates data from multiple sources including track and trace, point of sale, taxation and socioeconomic data. By combining all of these data points, local governments will be provided with targeted and defensible data, ensuring that what is being reported and what is occurring truly coincide.
The data platform can be used to ensure that adequate tax payments are being made; assist local law enforcement and code enforcement officers with accurate and defensible information for speed of compliance; provide public health officials with product information, including product origin and product flow; and inform community planning efforts by understanding locations, concentrations and potential past or future land use patterns. CCA’s data platform will provide local governments with a number of secure log-in connections to access clear, accurate and real-time data on cannabis activity within their jurisdiction.
Linking Data and Financial Institutions
The data platform can provide necessary information to financial institutions that wish to work with the cannabis industry. Despite the conflict between state and federal law, it is possible for financial institutions to serve cannabis businesses now, but it is not easy. To accept cannabis customers, financial institutions must comply with the rigorous monitoring and reporting requirements and accept a significant amount of risk. Institutions must make sure cannabis businesses are not violating state laws or engaging in any other illegal activities.
For each cannabis customer, financial institutions must complete special money laundering and suspicious activities reports. These are onerous requirements that demand extensive staff time. Despite Attorney General Sessions’ recent action which rescinded Department of Justice guidance known as the “Cole Memo”, there are roughly 400 financial institutions nationwide that work with cannabis clients.
The burden can be eased if financial institutions are able to obtain detailed information on each cannabis customer, formatted to fit the institution’s regulatory reporting requirements. Financial institutions cite the single most important step California can take to encourage cannabis banking under current state and federal law is to provide them comprehensive licensing and regulatory data on cannabis businesses.
To Become A Member
County Boards of Supervisors must pass a resolution to join the JPA and adopt the JPA Agreement. In addition, jurisdictions desiring CCA data access must require cannabis businesses operating within their jurisdiction to provide specific information to the JPA. Non-member, public entity participants will be allowed to join CCA by contract.