The Bureau of Cannabis Control is trying to regulate Weedmaps, a site where users can order marijuana delivery, locate dispensaries, and learn more about the different brands in the business.
Ars Technica reports the BCC is accusing the company of allowing unlicensed marijuana sellers to post on their site, but Weedmaps is firing back by citing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a federal law stating a site's owner cannot be punished for a user's actions or posts on the site—even if they break the law. It's because of this, sites like Backpage can continue to allow users to post prostitution ads or other sites can allow links to movies and TV shows.
"We note at the outset that Weedmaps is a technology company and an interactive computer service which is subject to certain federally preemptive protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and is also not a Licensee subject to the Bureau’s purview pursuant to [Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act] or State regulations," read the letter from Weedmaps CEO Doug Francis and President Chris Beals. "Nonetheless, as a technology company that has serviced this industry for a decade and as a company which employs almost 300 California residents, we wish to work together as a partner with California to find a solution to the concerns you raise."
But it's unclear if they'll be able to come to an agreement since there's already a movement to revise Section 230 which would have website's share the responsibility of what their users post. Although the law, which is in part proposed with the Allow States Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, is largely made to target the aforementioned Backpage ads, if passed, the bill could also affect other sites like Weedmaps.