News Release
For Immediate Release
July 8, 2020
NR 20-10
Contact: Kathryn Hall
Office of Public Affairs

Twelve Illegal Cannabis Retailers Served Tax Warrants in Greater Los Angeles

Sacramento – The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) announced today that over the past several weeks twelve illegal cannabis retailers in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties were served tax warrants with the assistance of the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

The CDTFA seized nearly a million dollars in illegal cannabis products that will be destroyed and approximately one hundred thousand dollars in cash that will be applied to tax liabilities. The investigation was a joint effort between CDTFA investigators and the CHP.

“The CDTFA's collaboration with the CHP is an important deterrent to tax evasion,” states CDTFA Director Nick Maduros. “Tax evasion unfairly shifts the burden onto all other taxpayers and makes it tough for those businesses that are playing by the rules to survive.”

Under the California Revenue and Taxation Code, any person who willfully evades or attempts to evade the reporting, assessment or payment of the cultivation tax, the cannabis excise tax, or the sales tax that would otherwise be due is guilty of cannabis and sales tax evasion. Violators are subject to fines and/or jail time. The CDTFA Investigations Bureau administers the tax enforcement and criminal investigations program. The Bureau plans, organizes, directs, and controls all criminal investigative activities for the various tax programs administered by the CDTFA. Its goals are to deter tax evasion, identify new tax fraud schemes, and actively investigate and assist in the prosecution of crimes committed by individuals violating the laws administered by the CDTFA.

CDTFA's mission is to make life better for Californians by fairly and efficiently collecting the revenue that supports essential public services. To report suspected sales, fuel, tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis tax fraud, you can go to the CDTFA website or call the Tax Evasion Hotline at 1-888-334-3300.

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) administers California's sales and use, fuel, tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis taxes, as well as a variety of other taxes and fees that fund specific state programs. CDTFA-administered programs account for over $70 billion annually which in turn supports local essential services such as transportation, public safety and health, libraries, schools, social services, and natural resource management programs through the distribution of tax dollars going directly to local communities.