CA Cannabis Agencies Don’t Recognize Representatives?

CA Cannabis Agencies Don’t Recognize Representatives
We discovered, that at least for now, CA Cannabis Agencies Don’t Recognize Representatives in the licensing process.

This is the question we sent them:

CA Cannabis Agencies Don't Recognize Representatives
CA Cannabis Agencies Don’t Recognize Representatives
“We are a firm of certified public accountants, licensed by California Board of Accountancy [Firm #xxx8, the undersigned CPA as #xxxx47]. We represent a number of individuals and business entities which have applied for numerous licenses and permits under the commercial cannabis regulatory structure. 
The first question relates to us as certified public accountants or attorneys that have been engaged to represent individuals or businesses in engaging with a regulatory agency in a context that will require discussion or engagement involving “sensitive personal or financial information with respect to an applicant/licensee.
The Internal Revenue Service [“IRS”}, for example, maintains centralized Power of Attorney files [using their Form 2848] and issues individual representative identifying numbers to qualified practitioners [a CAF, for example, my CAF is 2005-xxxxxR]. Individual tax return preparers are also required to obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number [“PTIN”].”
Please apprise us with respect to what your current procedures are for representation of individuals or business entities by attorneys and certified public accountants [let’s limit the discussion to those licensed to practice in California].
The answer we received from CDPHManufactured Cannabis Safety Branch is as follows:

I can address the procedures and future plans for the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch. I’ll let the Bureau and CDFA weigh in with responses from their particular offices.

The California Business and Professions Code, in section 26001(c), defines a cannabis license “applicant” as “an owner applying for a state license pursuant to this division.” If the member of your firm who is completing the application for the business is considered and disclosed as an owner, they may complete the application on behalf of the business. Because of this definition in state law, I do not anticipate any immediate changes to our system to allow a representative (non-owner) to complete the application.

Some may not understand the implications of the response, however, the idea that an applicant or a business is precluded from representation by a CPA or attorney is ABSURD. I can’t get fingerprinted for an owner, but we should be able to represent a business before a regulatory agency.

We intend to pursue the matter and will update their initial response.

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Author: abizcannabis

Managing Director & CEO of integrated transactional financial advisory, tax, and technology consulting firm - aBIZinaBOX Inc New York, Chicago, and OaklandCPA.CITP.CISM.CGEIT.CGMAExpertise with: Alt. Investments/Private Equity, Real Estate, Professional Services, CA Cannabis, Tech Start-Ups and Distressed Assets/DebtTechnology Certifications including:Advanced & High Complexity Cloud Integrator AICPA PCPS, CAQ,, IMTA, CITP ISACA CGEIT, CISMState CPA Societies in California, Florida, Illinois, New York and TexasExpertise with Regulatory Compliance - US - HIPAA, FINRA, SEC Rule 17(a)(3)/(4), eDiscovery, FINCEN - EU- EBA, ESMA, EIOPA UK - BoE, PRA, FCA