Chalice Festival Founder Sues Bureau of Cannabis Control

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The founder of one of the largest marijuana festivals announced a lawsuit against California’s cannabis regulatory agency on Tuesday. The reason: the Bureau of Cannabis Control's denial of a permit to hold a fully licensed event.

The three day event known as Chalice was scheduled to take place at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville, California, as it usually does, next month. However, Chalice founder, Doug Dracup, has run into some complications with new regulations that have resulted after the passing of California’s recreational marijuana law.

California law requires that “temporary cannabis event” must be held at a publicly owned venue. Event organizers must receive final approval from California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), who requires permission from the local jurisdiction where a temporary cannabis event takes place. Dracup and his attorneys had come to the determination that the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds was sovereign from the Southern California city of Victorville. The board of the fairgrounds unanimously consented to the event, citing the economic benefits and the festival’s past compliance. Unfortunately, the Victorville City Council pushed back.

Dracup took to his Instagram account, @hitmanglassdougie, stating, "the BCC denied my application due to the city of Victorville’s disapproval of cannabis activity in their jurisdiction... We throw our event on compliant state property and are fully entitled to the BCC issuing us our retail sales license for the event." 

"In conclusion, I’m suing the Bureau of cannabis control, and filing an injunction for the court to force the BCC to issue the permit," Dracup admitted. Another Chalice representative also took to Instagram to explain, "The BCC’s interpretation of the law, the Victorville City Council’s refusal to issue an approval letter as demanded by the BCC, and the ultimate denial of Chalice’s permit on the grounds of “local jurisdiction approval” all violate clear and established case law about the state sovereignty of the county fairgrounds and the 28th DAA, which quite simply are not subject to ANY local municipal codes at either the city or county level.”

A petition was filed with the Superior Court of California in Sacramento County, a petitioner argued, "the only reason BCC has given for its failure to issue the temporary license is that BCC believes that the City in which the Fairground is located must give approval for the event before the BCC may issue the license... BCC’s reason is based on an incorrect interpretation of the law and is contrary to the law. Based on the sovereign rights of the DAA/FAIRGROUND, authorization from the DAA/FAIRGROUND on which the event will be held is the only authorization needed for the BCC to issue the temporary license under the law.”

Despite the lawsuit and the uncertainty of whether or not the event will be held at its usual location, tickets are still on sale on the Chalice website.

Read our review of the Chalice Festival. Click here.