Pubdate: Fri, 09 Feb 2018
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 2018 The Sacramento Bee
Author: Brad Branan


A company responsible for keeping Sacramento dispensaries compliant
with the law has run afoul of the city's pot czar for planning an
illegal marijuana party.

Capitol Compliance Management and its nine affiliated dispensaries
have been running advertisements in the Sacramento News & Review for a
"Holiday Budtender Bash" that was scheduled for Thursday.

Joe Devlin, the city's chief of cannabis policy and enforcement, said
the company canceled the event after he told them it would violate
state and city laws by allowing public consumption of marijuana and by
giving it away.

Advertisements for the party promised attendees could "smoke out with
your favorite budtenders" -- the equivalent of bartenders in the
dispensary world. They also promoted "vendor giveaways" and a "dab
bar," where people can smoke a controversial form of concentrated
cannabis. VIP tickets cost a "minimum $300 donation."

Capitol Compliance Management officials did not return a message
Tuesday requesting comment. Devlin said the company's compliance
manager, Matt Haines, initially told him that he wasn't aware of the
planned party and later said it was conceived by the company's
marketing division without his knowledge.

"It causes me concern that a compliance company doesn't understand the
rules as well as they should," Devlin said.

"Holiday Budtender Bash" ad in the SN&R.

The company's website says it is a "business services, management and
development company based in Sacramento, derived from marketing
executives and cannabis professionals."

Capitol Compliance Management was registered with the state in March
of last year. At the time, Sacramento medical marijuana dispensaries
were moving into a new era of city and state regulations, ushered in
by the November 2016 passage of Proposition 64, which legalized
adult-use recreational marijuana.

Sales of recreational pot became legal in California Jan. 1.

The company first attracted public notice in November when the Office
of the City Auditor issued a critical report of the city's
dispensaries, finding that some were under-reporting tax revenue,
allowing marijuana smoking on site and selling more plants than what
was permitted.

At a Sacramento City Council meeting in which several council members
voiced their displeasure with the findings, Haines sought to allay
their concerns.

Capitol Compliance Management represented dispensaries with the "goal
of making them 100 percent compliant," Haines told the council.

Haines, who came from the restaurant industry and operates restaurants
including 33rd Street Bistro and Riverside Clubhouse, told the council
he entered the cannabis industry after extensive consideration.

Since that meeting, Haines has not returned calls from The Bee seeking
more information about Capitol Compliance Management and its work with
Sacramento dispensaries.

The company has run several ads in the News & Review in recent weeks.
"Compliance will be everything in the era of recreational cannabis,"
one of them states.
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MAP posted-by: Matt