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California 2017-06-21T17:10:43+00:00

California Knowledge Center:

Created to provide helpful information about the California Marijuana Industry and Cannabis Activity Tracking (CAT).

Cannabis License Info:

Information will be updated here as it becomes available. Check back for updates!

UPDATE: 6/21/2017 – The period for the public to submit feedback regarding the draft rules and regs has concluded.  The state is no longer accepting feedback via either in person or written.

UPDATE: 5/11/2017 – The state is accepting feedback submissions from all stakeholders via written or in-person comments.

UPDATE: 5/8/2017 – Standardized cannabis testing procedures and licensing info were proposed on Friday, May 6, 2017.  Check out the Laboratories tab below for information regarding feedback submission on the proposed rules.  Interested parties have until June 20, 2017 to submit feedback via written comments.  The lab testing rules and regulations are developed by the Bureau of Marijuana Control.

UPDATE: 5/1/2017 – Licensing information added for California’s dispensary, cultivation, transportation, distribution, and processing programs.

Dispensaries sell legal cannabis, and cannabis products, to responsible adults in compliance with local regulations.  In California, Dispensaries are licensed by the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation.

General Dispensary Licensing Info:

  • Licensed dispensaries will be able to operate between the hours of 6amand9pmlocal pacific time.
  • Licensees shall not sell more than eight (8) ounces of medical cannabis in a single day to a single medical cannabis patient.
  • Dispensaries are allowed to accept returned medical cannabis products, however, they may not be resold and must be properly destroyed and recorded.
  • Free samples are not permitted, regardless of any circumstances.
  • Exit packaging will be required for each purchase/customer.
  • Dispensaries may hire delivery employees to perform in-person deliveries of medical cannabis to registered medical patients.
    • May only deliver medical cannabis to physical California addresses.

California Dispensary Licenses:

There will be an estimated 20,000 Dispensary Licenses in California.
  • Type 10 – Dispensary; General
  • Type 10A – Producing Dispensary; No more than three retail sites
  • Type 11 – Distribution
  • Type 12 – Transporter
  • Type 13 – Micro-Business

Distribution Licenses

A distributor may take title to and possession of medical cannabis after harvest but prior to manufacturing.  A distributor may sell the medical cannabis to a manufacturer or enter into a contract with a manufacturer for manufacturing the medical cannabis into medical cannabis products.

Distributors are responsible for transporting cannabis to a licensed testing laboratory and make arrangements for testing and pickup for final delivery to a licensed cannabis dispensary.

Producing Dispensary Licenses

Type 10A – Producing Dispensary ($2,790 annual fee) – For dispensaries who have no more than 3 licensed dispensary facilities and wish to hold either a cultivation or manufacturing license or both.  Cultivation shall be limited to no more than 4 acres of total canopy.

Transporter Licenses

A transporter, who is licensed by the bureau of medical cannabis regulation, may transport medical cannabis goods between licensees.

What kind of point-of-sale do I need to operate a Dispensary?

California will require dispensaries, distributors, and transporters, to track and trace all of their cannabis-related products for regulatory and compliance reporting requirements. Our Dispensary Point of Sale and inventory management system provides comprehensive seed-to-sale cannabis tracking with a focus on compliant data points.  We are 100% compliant in California; let us sweat the details so you can run your business.  If your state requires seed-to-sale systems to stay compliant, BioTrackTHC has you covered.  Our system is customized to meet the unique regulatory frameworks in each and every state.

For full rules and regulations on California’s medical cannabis dispensing, distribution and transportation program, click here.

Grower (also commonly referred to as Producers or Cultivators) – Cultivators are responsible for growing cannabis. In California, Cultivation licenses are distributed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), collectively referred to as CalCannabis Licensing branch.

General License Requirements – Cultivation

  • Cultivation licenses shall be valid for 12 months (1 year) from the date of issuance and shall be renewed annually.
  • Every person shall obtain a separate license for each premise where it engages in commercial cannabis cultivation.
  • Cultivation licenses are not trasferrable or assignable to any other person, entity, or property.
  • Licensees are prohibited from selling, bartering or donating any commercially cultivated cannabis from their licensed premises directly to an unliucensed premises or individual.

How many Medical Marijuana licenses are being awarded in California?

California Cultivation Licenses

Here is a list of all California cannabis cultivation license types, their definition and their annual licensing/renewal fees.

  • Type 1C – Specialty Cottage Outdoor ($595) – An outdoor cultivation site with up to 25 mature plants.
  • Type 1D – Specialty Cottage Indoor ($900) – An indoor cultivation site with 500 sq. ft. or less of total canopy.
  • Type A3 – Speciality Cottage Mixed Light ($2,560) – A mixed-light cultivation site with 2,500 sq. ft. or less of total canopy.
  • Type 1 – Cultivation; Specialty Outdoor ($1,185) – An outdoor cultivation site with less than or equal to 5,000 sq. ft. of total canopy, or up to 50 mature plants and noncontiguous plots.
  • Type 1A – Cultivation; Specialty Indoor ($9,620) – An indoor cultivation site between 501 and 5,000 sq. ft. of total canopy.
  • Type 1B – Cultivation; Specialty mixed-light ($4,980) – A mixed-light cultivation site between 2,501 and 5,000 sq. ft. of total canopy.
  • Type 2 – Cultivation; Outdoor; Small ($2,370) – An outdoor cultivation site between 5,001 and 10,000 sq. ft. of total canopy.
  • Type 2A – Cultivation; Indoor; Small ($17,430) – An indoor cultivation site between 5,001 and 10,000 sq. ft. of total canopy.
  • Type 2B – Cultivation; Mixed-light; Small ($9,960) – A mixed-light cultivation site between 2,501 and 5,000 sq. ft. of total canopy.
  • Type 3 – Cultivation; Outdoor; Medium ($6,890) – An outdoor cultivation site between 10,001 sq. ft. and one acre of total canopy.
  • Type 3A – Cultivation; Indoor; Medium ($38,350) – An indoor cultivation site between 10,001 and 22,000 sq. ft. of total canopy.
  • Type 3B – Cultivation; Mixed-light; Medium ($21,915) – A mixed-light cultivation site between 10,001 and 22,000 sq. ft. of total canopy.
  • Type 4 – Cultivation; Nursery ($560) – Cultivation of cannabis solely as a nursery.
  • Type 5 – Processor – A cultivation site that conducts only trimming, drying, curing, grading or packaging of cannabis and nonmanufactured cannabis products.
  • Type 10A – Producing Dispensary ($2,790) – For dispensaries who have no more than 3 licensed dispensary facilities and wish to hold either a cultivation or manufacturing license or both.  Cultivation shall be limited to no more than 4 acres of total canopy.

What kind of track and trace system do I need to operate a Cultivation Facility?

California requires an extensive seed-to-sale cannabis tracking system to monitor cultivation efforts and inventory.  Our cultivation seed-to-sale-tracking solution provides comprehensive data tracking with an emphasis on compliance.  We are 100% compliant in California; let us sweat the details so you can run your business.  Customized to meet the unique regulatory frameworks in each state, BioTrackTHC also features an all-in-one business tool to help you operate every aspect of the cultivation business by itself, or as part of the vertically-integrated cannabis business.

For full rules and regulations on California’s medical cannabis cultivation program, click here.

Processors – Processors take harvested cannabis from Cultivators and create derivative extracts for edibles, concentrates, topicals, and prepacks. Finished products are transported to Dispensaries.  In California, Processors are referred to as Manufacturers and are licensed by the Office of Manufactured Cannabis safety.  The state’s Department of Public Health is responsible for issuing the rules and regulations in regards to cannabis manufacturing.

General cannabis manufacturing license info:

Operators must obtain a license for each separate premises at which medical cannabis products will be manufactured.

California Cannabis Manufacturer Licenses

  • Type P – For entities that only package or repackage medical cannabis products or label or relabel the cannabis product container.
  • Type N – For manufacturers that produce edible products or topical products using infusion processes, or other types of medical cannabis products other than extracts or concentrates, and that do not conduct extractions.
  • Type 6 – Manufacturer 1 – For extractions using mechanical methods or nonvolatile solvents.  Type 6 licenses may also conduct operations in accordance with licenses Type N and Type P.
  • Typer 7 – Manufacturer 2 – For extractions using volatile solvents or mechanical methods on the licensed premises provided that the extraction process is noted on the application form and the relevant info is provided to the Department.  Type 7 licenses may also conduct operations in accordance with licenses Type N, Type P, and Type 6.
  • Type 12 – Transporter (see dispensaries tab)

Application Fees Associated with California’s Cannabis Manufacturing Licenses

Manufacturing license annual fees are determined based on the premises annual gross revenue and includes an application fee.  The annual fees are calculated as follows:

  • Annual gross revenue of up to $100,000 (Tier I), the fee shall be $2,000
  • Annual gross revenue of  $100,001-$500,000 (Tier II), the fee shall be $7,500
  • Annual gross revenue of $500,001-$2,000,000 (Tier III), the fee shall be $15,000
  • Annual gross revenue of $2,000,001-$5,000,000 (Tier IV), the fee shall be #35,000
  • Annual gross revenue of over $5,000,000 (Tier V), the fee shall be $50,000

What kind of track and trace system do I need to operate a Processing or Manufacturing Facility?

California requires an extensive seed-to-sale cannabis tracking system to monitor processing and manufacturing efforts, which is especially important in this part of the supply chain due to conversions into multiple byproducts and higher amounts of waste.  Our processing seed-to-sale-tracking solution provides comprehensive conversion tracking focused on compliant data points.  ItWe are 100% compliant in California; let us sweat the details so you can focus on running your business. Customized to meet the unique regulatory frameworks in each state, BioTrackTHC also features an all-in-one business tool to help you operate every aspect of the cultivation business by itself, or as part of the vertically-integrated cannabis business.

For full rules and regulations on California’s medical cannabis manufacturing program, click here.

Laboratories test cannabis for concentration and contaminants. Prior to entering the consumer market, all regulated cannabis is required to undergo quality assurance testing.  In California, Laboratories are licensed by the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation.

California Laboratory Licenses:

  • Type 8 – Testing

California Laboratory Testing Rules and Regulations

The state released proposed rules and regulations for cannabis lab testing on Friday, May 6, 2017.  The rules outline testing standards for things like moisture content, residual solvents and processing chemicals, pesticides, microbiological impurities, mycotoxins, filth and foreign material, heavy metals, and terpenes.  Labs would issue a certificate of analysis for each sample providing test results before cannabis or cannabis-related products can be sold to consumers.  Labs will have to be licensed by the Bureau of Marijuana Control and would be required to show that employees are properly trained.

Submitting Feedback and Comments

Interested parties have until June 20th to submit feedback and comments on the proposed rules and regulations, which can be found here.

Feedback can be submitted in two ways:

  1. Submit written comments; must be received by the office no later than 5pm on June 20, 2017

Lori Ajax, Chief
Bureau of Marijuana Control
1625 North Market Blvd., Suite S-202
Sacramento, CA. 95834
FAX: (916) 574-8676
Email: BMCR.comments@dca.ca.gov

  1. Make oral comments by attending a public hearing at one of the open hearings listed below:

June 1, 2017
1-3pm
Adorni Center
1011 Waterfront Dr., Eureka, CA. 95501

June 8, 2017
1-3pm
Junipero Serra Building
320 W. Fourth Street, Los Angeles, CA. 90013

June 13, 2017
4-6pm
King Library, Second Floor
150 E. San Fernando St., San Jose, CA. 95112

June 20, 2017
10-12pm
Department of Consumer Affairs, Hearing Room, S-102
1625 North Market Blvd., Sacramento, CA. 95934

Notice of Proposed Rules for Cannabis Lab Testing in California

Proposed Text of Regulations for Cannabis Lab Testing in California

Caregivers grow and process cannabis on behalf of patients. They cannot charge for cannabis, only recoup the costs of goods.

Current Estimated Patient Counts: 720,442

How can I obtain a California Medical Marijuana Card?

Before a patient can obtain medical cannabis in California, they must get a physician recommendation and, if desired, apply for a Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC).

In order to receive a recommendation, patients need to visit a qualifying physician with the required documentation.  If the physician decides that medical cannabis is a viable treatment option, they will write the recommendation.

What documents are required for an evaluation?

  • Government Issued ID
  • Optional- previous medical history documentation
  • Proof of Residency- up to the discretion of the practitioner

What are the Fees for an evaluation?

  • Fees vary based on the practitioner but are generally $40-$100

Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC)

Once a patient has received their recommendation they are allowed to purchase medical cannabis. If they choose, they may register their patient or caregiver status with the California Department of Health and receive a Medical Marijuana Identification Card. Though not required, there are some advantages in obtaining a Medical Marijuana Identification Card.

In most cases, a physician recommendation is all that is necessary to purchase cannabis from a medical cannabis dispensary. However, at the discretion of the operator, a dispensary may require a Medical Marijuana Identification Card to purchase cannabis. Additionally, cannabis sales to registered patients are not subject to sales tax.

What documents are required to obtain a Medical Marijuana Identification Card?

  • Copy of Physician Recommendation
  • Proof of Identity
  • Proof of Residency

What are the fees for receiving a Medical Marijuana Identification Card?

  • $66.00 application fee ($33.00 for Medi-Cal patients)
  • $66.00 annual fee ($33.00 for Medi-Cal patients)

Note- counties and cities may have additional fees

For more information on obtaining a physician recommendation or receiving a Medical Marijuana Identification Card, visit the California Department of Health Medical Marijuana home page.

Full-Vertical Integration means that a single licensee owns and operates every segment of the cannabis business supply-chain.  It includes licensing for cultivation, distribution and transportation, manufacturing, and retail dispensing.  In California, vertically integrated cannabis licenses are allowed, but only if operators hold one of several unique license combinations.

Does California allow vertically integrated cannabis businesses?

Yes, but there are limitations to how you are able to operate.  There are many combinations of licenses that a business owner may hold to create a vertically-integrated cannabis business.  These structures are put into place to restrict licensees from taking control of markets and monopolizing geographic regions.  Here are the licensing combinations you can pursue if you’d like to operate a vertically-integrated business.

1. Type 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, or 2B licensees may also hold either a Type 6 or 7 license.

Type 1 through 2B are cultivation licenses varying from 500-10,000 square feet of canopy space (see cultivation tab for specifics).  Type 6 and 7 licenses are manufacturing licenses.  This combination would allow you to own a substantial cultivation facility as well as a full cannabis manufacturing and processing facility.

2. Type 6 or 7 licensees, or a combination thereof, may also hold either a Type 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, or 2B state license.

This is the same scenario as described in #1 – Type 6 and Type 7 processing licensee holders may also hold Type 1 through Type 2B cultivation licenses.  It allows licensees to operate both the cultivation and manufacturing phase of the cannabis business vertical.

3. Type 10A licensees may also hold either a Type 6 or 7 state license, or a combination thereof.

Type 10A license is a producing dispensary; for dispensaries who have no more than 3 licensed dispensary facilities and wish to hold either a cultivation or manufacturing license or both. This allows licensees to operate a cultivation facility of no more than 4 acres, up to 3 operating dispensaries, and a Type 6 or 7 cannabis manufacturing license.  This allows for full-vertical control, however, limits licensees to operating just 3 retail dispensaries.

4. Type 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, or 2B licensees, or a combination thereof, may also hold a Type 10A state license.

Type 1 through 2B cultivations licenses in combination with a 10A producing dispensary license.  This allows a producing dispensary to operate a full-size cultivation facility, however, they are still restricted to operating 3 retail dispensaries under the provisions of the producer dispensary license (10A).

5. Type 10A licensees may apply for Type 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, or 2B state license, or a combination thereof.

This is the same scenario as #4, just reversed.  This allows licensees of producing dispensaries to apply and obtain a cultivation license Types 1 through 2B.

6. Type 11 licensees shall apply for a Type 12 state license, but shall not apply for any other type of state licenses

This allows distributors (Type 11) and transporters (Type 12) to receive a license for both.  Transporters and distributors are not permitted to hold any other license types.

What kind of track and trace software do I need to operate a full vertical cannabis business?

California will require licensees to track and trace cannabis and cannabis-related products at every stage of the vertically integrated cannabis business supply-chain for regulatory and compliance reporting requirements. Our all-in-one cannabis business solution and inventory management system provides comprehensive seed-to-sale cannabis tracking with a focus on compliant data points.  We are 100% compliant in California and one of the few cannabis track and trace software’s to feature a full vertical interface, allowing you to run the entire vertically-integrated business model through a single, uniform system; let us sweat the details so you can run your business.  

Full California cannabis licensing and regulations can be found here:

Dispensary, Transportation, and Distribution Licensing Info

Cultivation Licensing Info

Manufacturing Licensing Info

California Cannabis Track and Trace Program Info:

California’s Cannabis Track and Trace Program is operated by the following agencies:

  • California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) – Responsible for Cultivator/Processor licensing program in California, collectively referred to as CalCannabis Licensing.
  • Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation – Responsible for licensing cannabis Laboratories, Transporters, Distributors, Dispensaries, and Micro-Businesses in California.
  • Office of Manufactured Cannabis Safety – Responsible for licensing cannabis Manufacturers in California.

California cannabis business licenses are distributed at the local, city level, however, the license types and the rules and regulations surrounding the licenses are determined at the state level.  You can apply for a business license through your local city departments.

California Cannabis Taxation:

  • $9.25 per ounce of Flower
  • $2.75 per ounce for Leaves
  • 15% retail tax

More info coming soon!  For the latest cannabis-related legislative updates on California, check out our Cannabis Bill Tracker!

Why BioTrack?

Locally Hosted Solution– Utilizing a locally hosted server, as oppose to a cloud server, increases security and reliability. Retain 100% database ownership knowing no one, not even BioTrackTHC employees, can access sensitive client or operational data.

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Compliance Focused– Adherence to state and local cannabis regulations in all active markets. Print compliant labels, enforce sales limits, and verify recommendations quickly and accurately. Regular system updates ensure compliance if regulations change.

Customer Service Oriented– Live Phone, Chat, and Email support from 8am-8pm PST. Supplement initial training with online tutorials, wikis, and monthly best practices features.

California Success Starts With Contacting Us