Cannabiz Media recently worked with an Arkansas-based intermediary to obtain copies of complaints, violations and fines issued by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC). We were furnished with 60 pages of documents that outlined 56 violations committed by 12 of the state’s license holders. Cannabiz Media has been tracking violations and fines since our founding because we believe this information is very useful for those conducting business, sales and competitive intelligence.
- Fines ranged from $500 to $9,100. Suspended fines for one firm were originally set at $121K!
- The largest number of infractions had to do with advertising and marketing. Security violations were the next biggest category
- Fiddler’s Green (CNB AR-025835) had building signage that contained a “Batman” symbol, content that could reasonably be considered to target children
- Regulators made Probation as a stipulation in thirteen out of the sixteen agreements (81%). Probationary periods ranged from 30 to 180 days.
The material we received covered the last twelve months. In that time there were sixteen settlements that covered the 56 violations. Some firms were hauled in front of the Arkansas ABC more than once. In looking at the categories of violations, here’s the leaderboard:
In addition to the Batman incident, Fiddler’s Green (CNB AR-025835) was cited for failure to keep adequate video surveillance. .
The Releaf Center (CNB AR-025129) was cited for the following:
- Failed to operate a secure premise and protect against theft and diversion
- Failed to maintain video surveillance for a 90-day period
- Allowed unauthorized personnel access to the facility
- Advertised and marketed cannabis with none of the required disclosure statements
- Advertised and marketed medical cannabis with statements that were false or misleading
- Offered rebates and promotions that were not part of their Compassionate Care Program
In addition to the $9,100 fine above, a $74,500 fine was held in abeyance and would be set aside upon successful completion of their 30 day probationary period.
Why Is This Significant?
We think this information is enlightening for several reasons:
- Helps industry stakeholders gauge market attractiveness by showing the state’s business and regulatory climate
- Provides insight into the types of violations occurring in licensed facilities
- Shows the level of industry and regulator transparency on bad behavior
We’ve covered Colorado and Florida in blog posts earlier this year and have amassed over 4,300 violation records in the database. The largest fine we found in Colorado was $200,000 while an early one in Connecticut was for $300,000. Harvest was issued a $500K fine in Ohio to settle a social equity misrepresentation charge. We will add these violations into the database along with the full text documents received from the regulator. These interactions between the regulator and regulated provide an important window on how our industry is viewed from the outside. Washington State leads the way in transparency, along with Oregon and Maryland. Arkansas, Connecticut and Florida – among others require a written request while Colorado issues only a yearly list.
Cannabiz Media customers can stay up-to-date on these and other new licenses through our newsletters, alerts, and reports modules. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive these weekly reports delivered to your inbox. Or you can schedule a demo for more information on how to access the Cannabiz Media License Database yourself to dive further into this data.
Cannacurio is a weekly column from Cannabiz Media featuring insights from the most comprehensive license data platform. Catch up on Cannacurio posts and podcasts for the latest updates and intel.
Ed Keating is a co-founder and Chief Data Officer of Cannabiz Media and oversees our data research and government relations efforts. He has spent his whole career working with and advising information companies in the compliance space. Ed has overseen complex multijurisdictional product lines in the securities, corporate, UCC, safety, environmental and human resource markets and focuses on workflow products over the last twenty five years. During that time he has worked for both startup and established information companies where he has led marketing, product management and sales organizations. These companies include Wolters Kluwer/Commerce Clearing House, CT Corporation, EDGAR Online and Business & Legal Reports. At Cannabiz Media Ed enjoys the challenge of working with regulators across the globe as he and his team gather corporate, financial, and license information to track the people, products and businesses in the cannabis economy. Ed graduated from Hamilton College and received his MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.