The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) suspended Port Angeles-based Dank Inc.’s cannabis producer/processor license Dec. 14 for a period of 180 days while it seeks permanent revocation of the company’s permits.
The suspension came as an emergency measure following multiple violations issued by state regulators and alleged criminal activity by Dank. The company has held active Tier 2 cultivation and processor licenses since November 2015, both of which weren’t up for renewal until October 2023, according to the Washington Department of Revenue.
The emergency suspension also followed LCB’s joint investigation with the Washington State Patrol’s Cannabis Enforcement Response Team into Dank, which allegedly uncovered criminal cannabis growing and distribution activity that resulted in roughly 5,000 cannabis plants being seized by state regulators in November, according to an LCB press release.
Through a search warrant issued for Dank’s Port Angeles location, investigators allegedly found untagged cannabis plants and cannabis plants whose tags had previously been used—both violations of state laws and rules written to prevent potential diversion to unregulated cannabis markets—according to the release.
In addition, Dank allegedly violated Washington’s “true party of interest/financier” law, which outlines who must be listed on a cannabis license with residency requirements applying. LCB officials claimed in the release that Dank allowed undisclosed and/or unapproved persons affiliated with a criminal enterprise to control the day-to-day operations of the business.
“Based on the seriousness of the violations and the conduct of the licensee, including traceability, true party of interest, criminal conduct, probable diversion into the illegal cannabis market, and the likelihood the licensee will commit these violations in the future, the board found that these activities constitute a direct and immediate threat to the public health and safety,” the LCB release read. “The board therefore approved an emergency suspension of the license. The license will remain suspended for a period of 180 days during which the LCB will seek permanent revocation.”
Since emergency suspensions represent “an extraordinary exercise of the state’s power,” the LCB is mandated to ensure such an action is reasonable, justifiable and legal, according to the release.