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Processing times for applications depend on a variety of factors including the license type applied for, the completeness of the application, and the ability to confirm authorization from the applicable local jurisdiction. The applicant will be contacted by a member of the Bureau’s licensing staff if additional information is needed.

Sending the Bureau multiple emails requesting a status update for an application will slow down the application review process.

Once an application for an annual license is submitted to the Bureau, the owners are required to submit fingerprints to the California Department of Justice using the specific Live Scan form provided by the Bureau. The Live Scan form will be emailed directly to owners once our licensing staff review the application.

A separate Live Scan must be completed for each application for licensure. A Live Scan completed for a local jurisdiction or another licensing agency cannot be used for your application with the Bureau. If an owner is not able to complete the fingerprinting process in California, the owner may request a form to complete the fingerprinting out-of-state.

Both license application fees and licensing fees are identified in section 5014 the Bureau’s regulations. The full text of the Bureau’s regulations is available here.

The license fees are based on an applicant’s or licensee’s estimated gross revenue for the 12-month license period of the license. Scaled fees are required by Business and Professions Code section 26180.

An applicant must submit an application fee with their annual license application. The Bureau will not review an annual license application unless the application fee has been paid. If an annual application is approved, an applicant is required to submit the necessary license fee before the Bureau will issue the annual license.

The Bureau accepts payment by debit card, credit card, cash, check, or money order. The applicant or licensee may be required to pay any associated processing or convenience fees to a third-party vendor processing the payment on behalf of the Bureau. The Bureau’s Online Licensing System accepts most major credit cards.

For cash payments, an appointment must be made to bring your cash payment to the Bureau’s office. You may make an appointment by contacting 833-287-8171, or by emailing CannabisFeeAppt@dca.ca.gov.

The Bureau is unable to predict the time it will take to process individual applications, since each application is reviewed and approved or denied on a case-by-case basis. However, the more supporting documents you can provide up-front, the better.

According to MAUCRSA, the Bureau may deny a license to an applicant who has been convicted of an offense that is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business or profession for which the application is made. The Bureau is unable to confirm if an application will be approved or denied as each application is considered on a case-by-case basis.

However, it is important to provide as much information as possible so as not to appear as if you are withholding or providing false information. The Bureau will consider rehabilitation criteria when evaluating an application.

An applicant may withdraw an application at any time prior to the Bureau’s issuance or denial of a license. Such requests must be submitted to the Bureau in writing and must be dated and signed by the applicant. Withdrawal requests must include the application record number that the owner applicant wishes to withdraw.

It is highly recommended that anyone interested in obtaining a license from the Bureau review the full text of the Bureau’s regulations and the relevant requirements in the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA). A copy of the Bureau’s regulations is available on our website. The full text of the MAUCRSA is available here.

A separate provisional license application is not required. Upon receiving a submitted annual license application, the Bureau’s licensing staff will evaluate the application to determine whether the applicant qualifies for an annual license or a provisional license. If you have not already submitted a completed annual license application, we suggest you do so as soon as possible.

We are unable to provide feedback on specific ownership structures/financial interest holders prior to receiving the application. Since each ownership or financial interest situation may involve many different relevant factors, they must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis.

This determination can only be made by the Bureau’s licensing staff and can only be made upon review of all of the information required in a licensing application. Unless a particular interest holder clearly fits into one of the exemptions identified in sections 5003 and 5004 of the Bureau’s regulations, we suggest erring on the side of disclosure.

Our licensing staff may contact an applicant if additional information is needed to process the application.

Only a single user account is permitted per person. If you have already registered an account on our website, you will not be permitted to create a new account. If you need assistance accessing your existing account, please let us know.

In order to submit an owner submittal, you must be listed as an owner on a license application submitted to the Bureau. If you have not submitted a license application, you will not be able to complete the owner submittal. If you are listed as an owner on an application submitted to the Bureau, you can locate your application ID under the "My Records" tab on the user account used to submit the application. Application IDs end with "-APP."

Applicants for licensure are required to submit proof of having obtained a surety bond of at least $5,000 payable to the State of California. The Bureau does not issue surety bonds. The surety bond must be obtained from a corporate surety licensed to transact surety business in the State of California using the Commercial Cannabis Licensee Bond form under Title 11, California Code of Regulations, Article 56, section 118.1.

A separate surety bond is required for each separate license. A microbusiness applicant only needs to obtain a single surety bond for their microbusiness application.

Business Modifications, including changes in corporate structure need to be submitted to the Bureau in accordance with section 5023 of the Bureau’s regulations.

The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) specifically governs the regulation of commercial cannabis activity in California.

Business and Professions Code section 26001 (f) defines "cannabis" as the following:

  • "Cannabis" means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa Linnaeus, Cannabis indica, or Cannabis ruderalis, whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin, whether crude or purified, extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or resin. "Cannabis" also means the separated resin, whether crude or purified, obtained from cannabis. "Cannabis" does not include the mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of germination. For the purpose of this division, "cannabis" does not mean "industrial hemp" as defined by Section 11018.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

If the product in question meets the definition of "cannabis," you will need a state cannabis license.

"Industrial hemp" is specifically excluded from the definition of "cannabis". Health and Safety Code section 11018.5 provides the following in regard to industrial hemp:

  • (a) "Industrial hemp" means a fiber or oilseed crop, or both, that is limited to types of the plant Cannabis sativa L. having no more than three-tenths of 1 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) contained in the dried flowering tops, whether growing or not; the seeds of the plant; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin produced therefrom.
  • (b) Industrial hemp shall not be subject to the provisions of this division or of Division 10 (commencing with Section 26000) of the Business and Professions Code, but instead shall be regulated by the Department of Food and Agriculture in accordance with the provisions of Division 24 (commencing with Section 81000) of the Food and Agricultural Code, inclusive.

MAUCRSA explicitly excludes industrial hemp from the definition of cannabis. Retailers licensed by the Bureau are licensed to sell cannabis goods and may not sell industrial hemp products on the same licensed premises where cannabis goods are sold. In addition to cannabis goods, a licensed retailer may sell only cannabis accessories and licensee's branded merchandise. Licensed retailers may provide customers with promotional materials.

For additional information regarding the cultivation of industrial hemp, you may want to contact the California Industrial Hemp Program within the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Contact information is listed below:

The Bureau has developed a user-friendly online enforcement system to allow concerned individuals to submit their complaints regarding possible illegal/unlicensed cannabis grows/businesses. Click here to file a complaint against such activity.

A fillable complaint form is also available below and can be emailed to BCCComplaints@dca.ca.gov, or mailed to our physical address at 2920 Kilgore Road.

Complaints regarding commercial cannabis cultivators should be addressed to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing division.

Complaints regarding commercial cannabis manufacturers or cannabis products should be addressed to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch.

Licensees are not necessarily provided with notice of a complaint at the time a complaint is filed. The point at which the licensee is notified of a complaint is determined on a case by cases basis depending on the specific circumstances of the complaint.

As of January 1, 2018, adult-use cannabis and cannabis products may be purchased by adults 21 years of age and over, but only from a state-licensed adult-use cannabis retailer.

Medicinal cannabis and cannabis products may be purchased from medicinal cannabis retailers by individuals who are at least 18 years of age and have a valid physician’s recommendation. A primary caregiver, who is at least 18 years of age, may also purchase cannabis for a patient who has a valid physician’s recommendation.

A list of licensed retailers can be found on CApotcheck.com.

You may not use, smoke, eat, or vape adult-use cannabis in public places. You may smoke, vaporize, and ingest cannabis on the licensed premises of a cannabis retailer, or microbusiness with retailer privileges, if allowed by the local jurisdiction. You may not smoke cannabis or cannabis products in a location where smoking tobacco is prohibited.

You can consume cannabis on private property. Property owners and landlords can ban the use and possession of cannabis on their premises. You cannot use cannabis within 1,000 feet of a school, day care center, or youth center while children are present.

The California Department of Public Health’s "Let’s Talk Cannabis" webpage provides additional information regarding personal cannabis consumption.

Licensed retailers are required to display their licenses in an area within plain sight of the public. Additionally, a list of licensed commercial cannabis businesses is available on the Bureau’s website at CApotcheck.com.

Yes. However, cannabis products may only be consumed in California and may not be transported across state lines, even if you are traveling to another state where cannabis is legal.

The Bureau is the state licensing authority for commercial cannabis retailers, distributors, testing laboratories, microbusinesses, and cannabis event organizers. You may search for Bureau licensees at CApotcheck.com.

The Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB) housed within the California Department of Public Health, is the state licensing authority for commercial cannabis manufacturing You may search for manufacturing licenses issued by MCSB here

CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, within the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is the state licensing authority for commercial cannabis cultivation. You may search for cultivation licenses issued by CalCannabis here.

If you have a specific question about an application, license, or other matter, please send an email to bcc@dca.ca.gov and include any relevant information; such as your application or license record number.

For general inquiries, the Bureau can be reached by phone at (833) 768-5880, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Bureau can also be found on social media through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Questions about submitted applications or issued licenses may be directed to the Bureau’s email at bcc@dca.ca.gov. Any time you contact the Bureau with questions about your application or issued license, it is helpful for you to provide your application or license record number.

For issues regarding a particular application or license, the Bureau will only discuss such matters with an individual who is listed as an "owner" or the primary contact on the application.

No. A license from the Bureau of Cannabis Control is required to sell cannabis. Persons 21 years of age or older can give away up to 28.5 grams of cannabis and up to eight grams of concentrated cannabis to a person 21 years of age or older per day, but you cannot receive money or any form of compensation.

For your questions regarding the requirements for commercial cannabis cultivation, we recommend that you contact CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing within the California Department of Food and Agriculture. CalCannabis is the state licensing authority for commercial cannabis cultivation. CalCannabis may be reached here:

We are unable to provide feedback on a specific proposed premises diagram prior to receiving an application. Since each premises may involve many different relevant factors, they must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. This determination can only be made by the Bureau’s licensing staff and can only be made upon review of all of the information required in a licensing application.

Our licensing staff may contact an application if additional information is needed to process the application.

A distributor is not permitted to package or repackage manufactured cannabis products. Prior to release of a cannabis product to a distributor, a manufacturer licensee must ensure that the product is in finished form and is labeled and packaged in its final form for sale.

In June 2017, former California Governor Jerry Brown signed the cannabis trailer bill (also known as California Senate Bill 94), which effectively merged two existing laws – the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) and the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA)— into one consolidated regulatory structure: the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA). The development of one comprehensive state law provides for a unified regulatory system for both medicinal and adult-use cannabis.

Some application information is subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act. There are exceptions to disclosure, including residential addresses, personal contact information, and select proprietary information. The Bureau will consider if specific application information should be considered public or confidential under the California Public Records Act.

Postings for positions within the Bureau can be found on the State’s CalCareers website. A search for the term "cannabis" will show the current openings within the Bureau, as well as openings in other state departments which also deal with cannabis. Please note that the Bureau is within the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). Job postings for the Bureau will appear under DCA.

Additionally, recent job postings are also announced on the Career Opportunities page of the Bureau’s website. Included on this page are instructions on how to apply for a state job and how to register for and complete an examination.

The Cannabis Advisory Committee (CAC) advises the Bureau and the other licensing authorities – the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the California Department of Public Health – on the development of regulations that help protect public health and safety and reduce the illegal market for cannabis.

For more information on the CAC and their scheduled meetings, please visit this page.

Committee members are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs. Currently, we are not accepting applications for consideration. If you would like to keep up to date regarding CAC and other updates from the Bureau, please subscribe to our email alerts.

Pursuant to section 5023(b) of the Bureau’s regulations, if at the time of licensure, a licensee employed less than 20 employees and later employs 20 or more employees, the licensee shall provide to the Bureau a document attesting that the licensee has entered into a labor peace agreement and will abide by the terms of the agreement, as soon as reasonably practicable once employing 20 or more employees.

Once the licensee has entered into the labor peace agreement, the licensee shall provide the Bureau with a copy of the page of the labor peace agreement that contains the signatures of the union representative and the applicant.

Licensees are required to use the Notification and Request form to notify the Bureau of such changes.

Licensed distributors are required to obtain cannabis goods from other licensed businesses. After properly obtaining cannabis goods from another licensee, licensed distributors are not required to verify the original licensees license before selling the cannabis goods.

The Bureau is authorized to collect certain information as part of the application process in order to verify ownership and financial interests associated with applications for licensure. The Bureau makes every effort to protect the personal information provided by license applicants.

Some application information may be disclosed as permitted in response to a California Public Records Act request (Government Code section 6250 et seq.), as permitted by the Information Practices Act (Civil Code section 1798 et seq.), to another government agency as required by state or federal law, in response to a court or administrative order, a subpoena, or a search warrant.

Please note that documents concerning financial data, trade secrets, or other proprietary information may generally be withheld by the Bureau from disclosure in response to a records request to protect personal privacy. (Gov. Code, §§ 6254, subds. (k),(n); see also San Gabriel Tribune v. Superior Court (1983) 143 Cal.App.3d 762.) You may identify information as proprietary in your application for licensure.

Provided that licensees comply with Business and Professions Code section 26153 – which prohibits giving away any amount of cannabis or cannabis products, or cannabis accessories, as part of a business promotion or other commercial activity – licensees may discount their commercial cannabis goods.

Owners of the license are required to complete the Live Scan process and background check. The Bureau does not require individual background checks for a licensee’s employees. However, you may make the business decision to do so.

You can search for licenses we’ve issued on our website here. Please follow the instructions below to obtain a CSV document:

  • Leave the "License Number" field blank.
  • Select "All" under the "License Type" field (or select the specific license type you are interested in).
  • Select "Active" under the "License Status" field (or whichever status you want).
  • Complete the reCAPTCHA and run the search.
  • Select "Download CSV" at the bottom of the search results.

The first letter "C," "A," or "M" used to indicate whether a license was designated for adult-use (A) or medicinal (M). However, the Bureau later merged these designations and allowed applicants to apply for a single license with both A and M designations. Licenses with an A designation may have adult-use or both adult-use and medicinal privileges. Licenses with an M designation may have medicinal or both medicinal and adult-use privileges. The best way to know what activities a license is designated for is to check the "Adult-Use/Medicinal" column in the Bureau’s Online License Search system.

Now, all new licenses issued by the Bureau start with a "C" for "cannabis." C licenses may have adult-use, medicinal, or both adult-use and medicinal designations. Cannabis event organizer records begin with "CEO." Temporary cannabis events licenses begin with "EVNT." Pending applications or records that have not been submitted to the Bureau yet begin with "19TMP" (19 = 2019).

The second 1-2-digit number following the first letter indicates the license category (ex: "C11" is for a distributor license). The two-digit number following the dash represents the year. The following 7-digit number counts up sequentially. The final grouping of letters indicates the record type:

  • Applications end with "-APP"
  • Temporary licenses end with "-TEMP"
  • Annual and provisional licenses end with "-LIC"
  • Owner submittals end with "-OWN"
  • Annual license attestations end with "-ATT"
  • Document amendments end with "-DOC"
  • Contact information changes end with "-CON"

To be rendered as cannabis waste for proper disposal, cannabis goods must first be destroyed on the licensed premises. Cannabis goods to be rendered into cannabis waste may not be transported to a different premises. To be rendered as waste, at a minimum, cannabis goods must be removed or separated from any packaging or container and rendered unrecognizable and unusable. Vape cartridges are not required to be emptied of cannabis oil prior to disposal, provided that the vape cartridge itself is unusable at the time of disposal.

The Bureau’s regulations do not dictate the use of specific methods for rendering cannabis waste unrecognizable and unusable. Licensees may use any method that complies with the Bureau’s regulations and other applicable laws. "Unrecognizable" and "unusable" are to be understood through the traditional dictionary definitions.

The Bureau of Cannabis Control, within the California Department of Consumer Affairs, issues licenses to retailers, distributors, testing labs, microbusinesses, and temporary cannabis events.

CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, within the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is responsible for issuing licenses to cultivators.

The Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch, within the California Department of Public Health, is responsible for issuing licenses to manufacturers of cannabis products.

Additional licensing information for California’s three cannabis licensing authorities can also be found via the California Cannabis Portal.

MAUCRSA provides for state licensure and compliance with local jurisdiction ordinances and regulations. The state may only issue a license if it does not conflict with the local jurisdiction’s regulations and ordinances.

The licensing authorities allow licensees to conduct business with other licensees irrespective of their designation as adult-use (A-designated) and/or medicinal (M-designated) licenses. Distributors shall only transport and sell cannabis goods designated as "For Medical Use Only," pursuant to the requirements prescribed by the State Department of Public Health in regulation, to M-designated retailers. Products designated as "For Medical Use Only," pursuant to requirements prescribed by the State Department of Public Health in regulation, shall only be sold to medicinal customers by M-designated retailers.

There is no requirement that an applicant be a California Resident in order to apply for a commercial cannabis license.

An annual license issued by the Bureau will be valid for 12 months and must be renewed annually.

Licensees may request to add an A-designation or M-designation to their license by sending a notification to the Bureau signed by at least one owner. A licensee shall not operate under the requested designation until they have received approval from the Bureau.

Under MAUCRSA, a person may apply for and be issued more than one type of license. However, a person that holds a testing laboratory license is prohibited from licensure for any other activity, except testing. Local cities and counties may also limit the number of licenses that can be acquired.

The type of license you need will depend on your business and what commercial cannabis activities you plan to engage in. The Bureau is responsible for issuing licenses to retailers, distributors, microbusinesses, testing laboratories, and temporary cannabis events. Additional information for each Bureau license can be found on our website’s Licensee & Consumers page and in the following fact sheets:

The Bureau currently has no plans to limit the number of commercial cannabis licenses it will issue. However, local cities and counties may limit the number of businesses they permit to operate within their jurisdiction. In addition, when deciding whether to issue or deny a retail or microbusiness license, the Bureau is required to consider whether the issuance of the license would result in "excessive concentration" pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 26051(c).

Yes, if you would like to maintain licensure. Any licensee who ceases operating in a manner consistent with their license for a period exceeding 30 consecutive calendar days shall surrender their license to the Bureau within 10 business days of ceasing operations. The Bureau may seize a license of a licensee who ceases operating for a period exceeding 30 consecutive calendar days.

If a licensee must close the licensed premises for a period exceeding 30 consecutive calendar days to make renovations or repairs, the Bureau may allow the licensee to retain the license if the licensee submits, and receives approval, for a physical modification of a premises request.

To access a copy of your license, please follow the instructions listed below:

  • Login with the account used to submit the license application.
  • Go to "My Records."
  • Select the license record number.
  • Click the "Record Info" dropdown button.
  • Select "Attachments."
  • Find the attachment titled "Cannabis License."

The Bureau no longer has the authority to issue or extend temporary licenses. If you have not already done so, we recommend submitting an annual license application as soon as possible. Only businesses that hold a valid state license may engage in commercial cannabis activity.

It is advisable to get a local city or county license first if your jurisdiction requires a license. Applicants for state commercial cannabis licenses must be in compliance with all local regulations and ordinances. Questions regarding what commercial cannabis activities are permitted within a local jurisdiction should be directed to the local jurisdiction you wish to operate out of.

The Bureau will not issue a license in violation of a local ordinance or regulation. For example, if a local jurisdiction prohibits commercial cannabis retailers, the Bureau will not issue a retailer license for a premises within that local jurisdiction.

Prior to applying with the Bureau, we recommend that you contact your local city or county officials to learn of the specific requirements for operating a commercial cannabis business in your area. Many cities and counties have this information available on their website and/or in their county or municipal code.

Under Business and Professions Code Section 26200, a local city or county has the authority to adopt and enforce local ordinances to regulate commercial cannabis activity within their city or county. This includes the authority to enact a complete prohibition on all commercial cannabis activity within that city or county. The Bureau is not able to issue a license to an applicant whose proposed premises is in a city or county where there is a prohibition on commercial cannabis businesses. In addition, applicants who do receive a license from the Bureau will be required to continue to comply with all local rules.

For questions regarding the requirements for commercial cannabis manufacturing, we recommend that you contact the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB) within the California Department of Public Health. MCSB is the state licensing authority for commercial cannabis manufacturing. MCSB may be reached here:

A qualified patient who possesses a Medical Marijuana Identification Card issued under section 11362.71 of the Health and Safety Code is exempt from paying the sales and use taxes on purchases of medicinal cannabis. Please be aware that the tax exemption in the Revenue and Taxation Code only applies to sales and use tax. The exemption does not apply to the 15% excise tax or other taxes that may apply to the purchase of cannabis goods.

More information about the Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program, including how to apply for a card, is available here.

No. A qualified patient who cultivates, possesses, stores, manufactures or transports medical cannabis exclusively for his or her personal medical use is not required to get a license. Primary caregivers who provide care to five or fewer medical cannabis patients are also exempt from licensure requirements if they comply with the compensation requirements of Health and Safety Code section 11362.765 and all other applicable laws.

If you would like to obtain a microbusiness license you will need to submit a microbusiness license application to the Bureau. In order to hold a microbusiness license, a licensee must engage in at least three (3) of the following commercial cannabis activities: cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and retail sale.

License types created by the California Department of Food and Agriculture or the State Department of Public Health in regulation shall not be considered qualifying commercial cannabis activities for purposes of obtaining a microbusiness license, except for the Type N manufacturing license. You may engage in nursery cultivation under a microbusiness license.

You need to report all owners or individuals with a financial interest in your business. This may include individuals or business entities. Where an entity has an aggregate ownership interest of 20 percent or more in the commercial cannabis business, then the chief executive officer and/or members of the board of directors of the entity must be identified as owners.

Each financial situation may involve many different relevant factors which must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. The ultimate determination of who must be identified can only be made upon the Bureau’s review of all the information required in a licensing application.

Licenses are not transferrable between owners. If one or more of the owners of a license change, a new license application and fee shall be submitted to the Bureau within 10 business days of the effective ownership change. A change in ownership occurs when a new person meets the definition of owner as defined in the Bureau’s regulations. A change in ownership does not occur when one or more owners leave the business by transferring their ownership interest to the other existing owner(s).

In cases where one or more owners leave the business by transferring their ownership interest to the other existing owner(s), the owner or owners that are transferring their interest shall provide a signed statement to the Bureau confirming they have transferred their interest.

In addition, applicants must inform the Bureau when there is a change in persons with financial interest within 10 business days of the change.

Licenses issued by the Bureau are issued to a specific person (business entity or individual). Licenses may not be transferred to a new entity or individual. If a licensee wishes to convert their business entity, such as from an LLC to a corporation, they must submit a new application and obtain a new license under the new entity.

A licensee who wishes to convert from a non-profit to a for-profit, or vice versa, should contact the Bureau to confirm whether the conversion would require a new application.

Changes in ownership shall be made in accordance with the following:

  • A change in ownership occurs when a new person meets the definition of owner.
  • A change in ownership does not occur when one or more owners leave by transferring their ownership interest to other existing owner(s). In this situation, the owner or owners that are transferring their interest shall provide a signed statement to the Bureau confirming that they have transferred their interest to the existing owner(s).
  • If one or more new people meet the definition of owner, and at least one existing owner will remain as an owner under the new ownership structure, the new owners shall submit the information required under section 5002(c)(20) for each new owner to the Bureau within 14 calendar days of the effective date of the ownership change. The business may continue to operate under the active license while the Bureau reviews the qualifications of the new owner(s).
  • If one or more new people meet the definition of owner, and at least one existing owner will remain as an owner under the new ownership structure, the new owners shall submit the information required under section 5002(c)(20) for each new owner to the Bureau within 14 calendar days of the effective date of the ownership change. The business may continue to operate under the active license while the Bureau reviews the qualifications of the new owner(s).
  • If all owners will be transferring their ownership interest, the business shall not operate under the new ownership structure until a new license application has been submitted to and approved by the Bureau, and all application and license fees for the new application have been paid.

When there is a change in persons with financial interest(s) in the commercial cannabis business that do not meet the requirements for a new license application under, the licensee shall notify and submit the new information to the Bureau within 14 calendar days of the change.

United States citizenship is not required for owners of businesses seeking a commercial cannabis license.

The Bureau is unable to provide feedback on the packaging of cannabis goods.

The Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB) has developed specific packaging and labeling requirements for cannabis and cannabis products. MCSB’s regulations are available on their website. Resources are available to assist you with understanding those requirements, which include checklists and FAQs.

If you have questions about the requirements, we recommend that you contact MCSB directly:

Licenses are not transferrable from one premises to another. Licensees shall not operate out of a new premises until they apply for and have been issued a new license for their new location.

Multiple licensed premises may be located within the same building or on the same parcel of land. Licensed premises may not overlap. Any licensed premises that is adjacent to another premises engaging in manufacturing or cultivation must be separated from those premises by walls, and any doors leading to the cultivation or manufacturing premises must remain closed.

For the requirements for conducting both adult-use and medicinal commercial cannabis activity on the same licensed premises, please see section 5025 of the Bureau’s regulations.

Licensees are not required to own the property that is being used for the license. Applicants for an annual license will need to provide evidence that they have the legal right to occupy and use the proposed premises.

This includes a document from the landowner or landowner’s agent that states that the applicant has the right to occupy the property and acknowledging the applicant may use the property for the commercial activity for which the applicant is applying for licensure. The applicant shall also provide a copy of the rental agreement, as applicable.

The Bureau will not issue a commercial cannabis license for a business that operates out of a private residence or at location that requires persons pass to through a private residence to access the proposed premises.

A licensed premises may not be located within a 600-foot radius of a school providing instruction in kindergarten or any grades 1 through 12, day care center, or youth center that is in existence at the time the license is issued, unless a licensing authority or local jurisdiction specifies a different radius. Local jurisdictions may also impose additional restrictions and zoning requirements on cannabis business locations.

A premises may not be in a location that requires persons to pass through a business that sells alcohol or tobacco or a private residence to access the licensed premises, or that requires persons to pass through the licensed premises to access a business that sells alcohol or tobacco or a private residence.

Under MAUCRSA, a separate license is required for each premises where a person will be engaging in commercial cannabis activity. Please be aware that if the prospective locations you wish to operate out of are in different local jurisdictions, you will need to comply with any relevant local regulations or ordinances before applying for state licensure.

No. Under MAUCRSA, a licensee shall not sell alcoholic beverages or tobacco products at any premises licensed for cannabis activities. There is no restriction preventing a commercial cannabis business licensee from also holding an alcoholic beverage license at a separate premises.

The medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act requires that every license issued by the Bureau be issued to a licensed premises. Therefore, the Bureau is not able to issue any licenses to applicants who do not have a premises to be licensed. Please note, a physical premises location is not required to apply for a cannabis event organizer license. However, when applying for an actual temporary cannabis event license, a physical premises is required.

The definition of the term "premises" found in Business and Professions Code Section 26001, subsection (ap) states: "Premises" means the designated structure or structures and land specified in the application that is owned, leased, or otherwise held under the control of the applicant or licensee where the commercial cannabis activity will be or is conducted. The premises shall be a contiguous area and shall only be occupied by one licensee.

Licenses cannot be transferred or moved between premises. If a licensee wishes to operate out of a new location, they will need to obtain a new license.

Yes, state law requires specific testing procedures for cannabis. Before a distributor can transport cannabis or cannabis products to a retailer, a licensed testing laboratory must test samples for potency, foreign materials, heavy metals, microbial impurities, mycotoxins, residual pesticides, and residual solvents and processing chemicals.

Testing laboratories also check cannabinoid potency levels such as THC and CBD. Products must also satisfy certain packaging and labeling requirements; products must be labeled to show weight as well as the product’s cannabinoid content.

The Bureau has established a comprehensive regulatory structure that prevents access to minors and ensures public health and safety. The regulations include the following public safety provisions:

  • The requirement for child-resistant packaging on cannabis goods.
  • Prohibitions on packaging that imitates any package used for goods that are typically marketed to children.
  • Prohibitions on advertising that contains the use of objects, such as toys, inflatables, movie characters, cartoon characters, or includes any other display, depiction, or image designed in any manner likely to be appealing to anyone under 21 years of age.
  • The requirement for retailers to confirm a customer's age and identity by inspecting a valid form of identification
  • The requirement that cannabis goods be sold or delivered only between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Pacific Time.
  • Video surveillance and security personnel requirements.
  • Requirements for the secure transportation and delivery of cannabis goods.
  • Record-keeping and mandatory reporting requirements.
  • Inclusive cannabis testing requirements for potency, foreign materials, heavy metals, microbial impurities, mycotoxins, residual pesticides, and residual solvents and processing chemicals.

Prior January 1, 2020, the child resistant requirement may be fulfilled by either the individual product packaging or the exit packaging. If the individual product packaging is not child resistant, it must be placed in a child resistant exit package. Beginning January 1, 2020, all individual packages containing cannabis goods are required to be resealable, tamper-evident, and child resistant as stated in the Bureau’s regulations.

For information and questions about Prop 65 requirements, please contact the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

Website: https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov/businesses

In accordance with the California Business and Professions Code, section 26051.5, employers with two or more employees must ensure one supervisor and one employee have successfully completed a Cal/OSHA 30-hour general industry outreach training course offered by a training provider that is authorized by an OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Center. To find authorized training providers, please visit federal OSHA's Find a Trainer webpage.

For specific questions regarding other Cal/OSHA training requirements, please visit their website.

Website: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/cannabis-industry-health-and-safety.html

All licensees must comply with all applicable state laws, rules, and regulations, including but not limited to, those relating to health and safety, environmental protection, testing, security, food safety, worker protections, and consumer protection.

For example, licensees will be subject to the statutory provisions Business and Professions Code section 4343 regarding restricted signage involving use of specific pharmacy-related names for non-pharmacy premises (e.g., prohibition on use of the terms Apothecary, Drugstore, Druggist, Drugs, Medicine, Medicine Store, Drug Sundries, Remedies, etc.).

Licensees may also be subject to Proposition 65 labeling requirements. Commercial cannabis businesses must also comply with ordinances and regulations passed by local jurisdictions.

Please be advised that under the current legal framework, a licensee is only authorized to do business with other state licensees within the State of California. Cannabis and cannabis products cannot be imported or exported across state or federal lines.

All licensees must comply with the advertising provisions found in Business and Professions Code sections 26150-26156, as well as the implementing regulations adopted by the Bureau. In addition, all licensees must comply with all applicable state laws, rules and regulations related to advertising and advertising signage.

Local jurisdictions may also establish additional standards, requirements, and regulations related to advertising.

All employees retained by a licensee to work within or on a licensed premises must be at least 21 years of age. Employees working for a licensed commercial cannabis retailer are not required to obtain a physician’s recommendation for medicinal cannabis or a Medicinal Marijuana Identification Card.

The Bureau develops regulations in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. The Bureau works with stakeholders, the public, and licensing authorities to develop the standards and regulations necessary to successfully implement a statewide commercial cannabis regulatory structure in California.

For a detailed description of the rulemaking process, visit the California Office of Administrative Law’s (OAL) website and click on the "Rulemaking Process" link.

The Bureau regularly posts information via our three social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Additionally, the Bureau’s website contains information regarding the regulatory process. Information will be sent out to email subscription list subscribers. To subscribe to our email alerts, click here. You may also request information regarding the Bureau’s proposed regulations be sent to you by mail.

The Bureau’s regulations do not contain specific provisions regarding the activities of brokers who provide services to commercial cannabis businesses. However, any person engaging in commercial cannabis activity, including the sale of cannabis goods, must obtain a state commercial cannabis license.

Additionally, persons who obtain a share of the profits from commercial cannabis transactions may be considered owners or persons with a financial interest in the licensee. This would require disclosure to the licensing authority.

Whether a person acting as a broker is engaging in an activity that requires licensure or, is required to be disclosed as an owner or person with financial interest in the licensed business, is a determination that must be done on a case-by-case basis and would depend on the specific facts of the situation in question.

The Bureau does not issue separate licenses for on-site consumption of cannabis. Section 26200(g) of the Business and Professions Code states:

…a local jurisdiction may allow for the smoking, vaporizing, and ingesting of cannabis or cannabis products on the premises of a retailer or microbusiness licensed under this division if all of the following are met:

  1. Access to the area where cannabis consumption is allowed is restricted to persons 21 years of age or older.
  2. Cannabis consumption is not visible from any public place or nonage-restricted area.
  3. Sale or consumption of alcohol or tobacco is not allowed on the premises.

You may want to contact your local jurisdiction regarding the regulatory considerations of a consumption lounge in your jurisdiction.

Yes, the Bureau’s regulations provide that retailers may only sell and deliver cannabis goods between the hours of 6:00 a.m. Pacific Time and 10:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

An adult-use cannabis customer may purchase the following in a single day from a licensed retailer:

  • Up to 28.5 grams of non-concentrated cannabis.
  • Up to 8 grams of concentrated cannabis, including concentrate contained in cannabis products.
  • Up to 6 immature cannabis plants.

A medicinal cannabis customer with a physician’s recommendation may purchase the following in a single day from a licensed retailer:

  • Up to 8 ounces of medicinal cannabis in the form of dried mature flowers or the plant conversion.
  • Up to 12 immature cannabis plants.
  • An amount of medicinal cannabis consistent with the patient’s needs as recommended by a physician.

The Bureau does not require a certain level of automobile insurance for delivery companies. However, there may be other vehicle laws or regulations you want to consider related to insurance coverage. We suggest reaching out to the Department of Motor Vehicles for inquiries related to minimum vehicle insurance requirements for your vehicle.

Taxes on commercial cannabis are collected by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). More information regarding Sales and Use Tax Laws, Cannabis Tax Law, and other programs administered by CDTFA can be found on their website under the section titled: Tax Guide for Cannabis Businesses.

A qualified patient who possesses a medical marijuana identification card issued under section 11362.71 of the Health and Safety Code is exempt from paying the sales and use taxes on purchases of medicinal cannabis.

Revenue and Taxation Code section 34011, subsection (f) provides:

  • (f) The sales and use taxes imposed by Part 1 (commencing with Section 6001) shall not apply to retail sales of medicinal cannabis, medicinal cannabis concentrate, edible medicinal cannabis products, or topical cannabis as those terms are defined in Division 10 (commencing with Section 26000) of the Business and Professions Code when a qualified patient or primary caregiver for a qualified patient provides his or her card issued under Section 11362.71 of the Health and Safety Code and a valid government-issued identification card.

Please take note that the tax exemption in the Revenue and Taxation Code only applies to sales and use tax. The exemption does not apply to the 15% excise tax or other taxes that may apply to the purchase of cannabis goods. More information about the Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program, including how to apply for a card, is available here on CDPH’s website .

For your questions regarding the cannabis taxation program, we recommend that you contact the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). CDTFA is the state agency that is administering the cannabis taxation program. CDTFA may be reached here:

Website: http://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/industry/cannabis.htm#Overview

A person that holds a state testing laboratory license from the Bureau is prohibited from licensure for any other activity, except testing. A person that holds a testing laboratory license is not permitted to employ an individual who is also employed by any other licensee that does not hold a state testing laboratory license. The Bureau considers owners and those with a financial interest as holders of a commercial cannabis license.

The sampling of cannabis products must be in their final form before a licensed testing laboratory can obtain a representative sample for regulatory compliance testing. (See section 5705(b) of the Bureau’s regulations.)

For the purposes of a cannabis product or pre-roll batch, a “packaged unit” would be considered the final form of the product as it would be sold to the consumer. Licensed manufacturers are required to ensure a product is labeled and packaged in its final from for retail sale before releasing such cannabis products to a licensed distributor.

Additionally, licensed distributors are not permitted to fill, package, and/or label manufactured cannabis goods (with the labeling exception of cannabinoid and terpenoid content).

Yes. According to section 5303(3)(b) of the Bureau’s regulations, pre-roll batches must be tested after they are rolled. Harvest batches and pre-roll batches have different sampling and testing requirements.

The pre-roll batch must be sampled by a licensed testing laboratory pursuant to section 5708, while a harvest batch must be sampled pursuant to section 5707. Additionally, pre-roll batches must undergo the residual solvent testing procedures listed in section 5718, while harvest batches do not require residual solvent testing.

Pre-rolls made from tested flower will need to be re-tested after they are rolled, following the correct sampling and testing requirements.

If you have questions or need additional information regarding the CCTT-Metrc System, please call the CCTT Metrc Help Desk toll free at 1-877-566-6506, or send an email to support@metrc.com. Their website is available at www.metrc.com/california.

CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing is responsible for implementing the CCTT System. More information is available on their website.

Along with these two points of contact, the California Cannabis Portal’s Resources Page houses additional Track-and-Trace information in the form of fact sheets and FAQ documents.

Once licensees gain access to the California Cannabis Track-and-Trace system, they will be required to transport pursuant to a shipping manifest generated through the Track-and-Trace system.

For temporary licensees that do not have access to the Track-and-Trace system, the Bureau does not have a required manifest format. However, licensees must satisfy the manifest information requirements. A sample shipping manifest for temporary licensees can be found here.

A licensee is required to reconcile the physical inventory of cannabis goods at the licensed premises with the records in the Track-and-Trace database at least once every 30 calendar days. A determination by a licensee on whether a discrepancy in inventory is significant shall be made in accordance with the following:

Step #1: Determine the average monthly sales of the licensee by taking a per-month average of the total sales for the previous 6 months. If the licensee has not been in operation for at least 6 months, only the months in which the licensee was operating shall be used in determining average monthly sales.

Step #2: Compare the value of actual inventory with the value listed in records pertaining to inventory. The licensee’s acquisition price shall be used to determine the value of cannabis goods in a licensee’s inventory.

Step #3: Does the number determined in Step 2 differ from the number determined in Step 1 by 3 percent or more? If so, a significant discrepancy exists. A licensee must notify the Bureau and local law enforcement within 24 hours of discovery of a significant discrepancy. See the Notification and the Request form.

All commercial cannabis activity in California requires a state license. MAUCRSA amended Health and Safety Code section 11362.775, the provision in SB 420 affording legal protecting to cannabis collectives and cooperatives. The protection against criminal sanctions for cannabis collectives and cooperatives ended January 9, 2019. To apply for a state cannabis license, please visit the Bureau’s website.

Pursuant to MAUCRSA, in addition to complying with all local regulations and ordinances, all cannabis businesses must have a state-issued license.