General Licensing Info (Applies to ALL License Types)
In order to receive a license from the state, businesses must first be in compliance with their local law. Upon receiving an application for licensure, the state will reach out to your local municipality in which you’re operating, where they will have 60 days to report back to the state on whether or not your business is currently in compliance with local rules and regulations. If you are not in compliance with local law, your application will automatically be rejected.
- All licensees are required to document their standard operating procedures and may be asked to present this information upon surprise inspection. Applicants are required to provide detailed operating procedures for any of the following cannabis activities:
- Extraction and infusion methods
- The transportation process
- Inventory procedures
- Quality control procedures
- Security protocols
- If seeking a cultivation license, applicant’s must document and define sources of water
- Complete, detailed diagram of the proposed premises
- A complete list of every individual with financial interest in the person applying for a license
- Individuals are not allowed to have any interest in multiple licenses, licensees, or “person with financial interest”.
- Grounds for Disciplinary Action include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Failure to comply with the provisions of this division or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this division.
- Conduct that constitutes grounds for denial of licensure or discipline of a license
- Any other grounds contained in regulations adopted by a licensing authority pursuant to this division.
- Failure to comply with any state law including, but not limited to, the payment of taxes as required under the Revenue and Taxation Code, except as provided for in this division or other California law.
- Knowing violations of any state or local law, ordinance, or regulation conferring worker protections or legal rights on the employees of a licensee.
- Failure to comply with the requirement of a local ordinance regulating commercial cannabis activity.
- The intentional and knowing sale of cannabis or cannabis products by an A-licensee to a person under 21 years of age.
- The intentional and knowing sale of medicinal cannabis or medicinal cannabis products by an M-licensee to a person without a physician’s recommendation.
- Failure to maintain safe conditions for inspection by a licensing authority.
- Failure to comply with any operating procedure submitted to the licensing authority
- Failure to comply with license conditions established
- Individuals holding a state testing laboratory license are prohibited from licensure for any other activity.
- Licensed premises may not be within 600ft. of a school.
- Applicants may not have any felony convictions involving violence, fraud, deceit, embezzlement, employee-activity related, and more.
- Inability to follow any of these requirements can mean forfeiture of your license or denial at the 12 month renewal period.
General Dispensary Licensing Info:
- Licensed dispensaries will be able to operate between the hours of 6am and 9pm local 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:
- Type 10 – Dispensary; General
- Type 11 – Distribution
- Type 12 – Micro-Business
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.
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 premises where it engages in commercial cannabis cultivation.
- Cultivation licenses are not transferable 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 unlicensed premises or individual.
- All licenses issued under this division shall bear a clear designation indicating whether the license is for commercial adult-use cannabis activity as distinct from commercial medicinal cannabis activity by prominently affixing an “A” or “M,” respectively. Examples of such a designation include, but are not limited to, “A-Type 1” or “M-Type 1.”
- Cultivators may not use any pesticide that has been banned for use in the state.
- The California Department of Pesticide Regulation will address any requirements surrounding use of pesticides with cannabis cultivation.
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; Small ($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; Small ($9,620) – An indoor cultivation site between 501 and 5,000 sq. ft. of total canopy.
- Type 1B – Cultivation; Specialty mixed-light; Small ($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 – Cultivation; Outdoor; Large
- Type 5A – Cultivation; Indoor; Large
- Type 5B – Cultivation; Mixed-light; Large
- Type 5 license types will not be issued before January 1, 2023
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 Level 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 Level 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.
Edible cannabis products shall be:
Not designed to be appealing to children or easily confused with commercially sold candy or foods that do not contain cannabis.
Produced and sold with a standardized concentration of cannabinoids not to exceed ten (10) milligrams tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per serving.
Delineated or scored into standardized serving sizes if the cannabis product contains more than one serving and is an edible cannabis product in solid form.
Homogenized to ensure uniform disbursement of cannabinoids throughout the product.
Manufactured and sold under sanitation standards established by the State Department of Public Health, in consultation with the Bureau, that are similar to the standards for preparation, storage, handling, and sale of food products.
Provided to customers with sufficient information to enable the informed consumption of the product, including the potential effects of the cannabis product and directions as to how to consume the cannabis product, as necessary.
Marked with a universal symbol, as determined by the State Department of Public Health through regulation.
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
- Individuals holding a license for laboratory testing may not have any stake in additional license types.
- For each batch tested, the testing laboratory shall issue a certificate of analysis for selected lots at a frequency determined by the bureau with supporting data, to report both of the following:
Whether the chemical profile of the sample conforms to the labeled content of compounds, including, but not limited to, all of the following, unless limited through regulation by the Bureau:
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
- Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA).
- Cannabidiol (CBD).
- Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA).
- The terpenes required by the bureau in regulation.
- Cannabigerol (CBG).
- Cannabinol (CBN).
- Any other compounds or contaminants required by the bureau.
- That the presence of contaminants does not exceed the levels established by the Bureau:
- Residual solvent or processing chemicals.Foreign material, including, but not limited to, hair, insects, or similar or related adulterant.
- Microbiological impurities as identified by the Bureau in regulation.
- Standards for residual levels of volatile organic compounds shall be established by the Bureau.
- The testing laboratory shall conduct all testing required by this section in a manner consistent with general requirements for the competence of testing and calibrations activities, including sampling and using verified methods.
- All testing laboratories performing tests pursuant to this section shall obtain and maintain ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation as required by the bureau in regulation.
- If a test result falls outside the specifications authorized by law or regulation, the testing laboratory shall follow a standard operating procedure to confirm or refute the original result.
- A testing laboratory shall destroy the remains of the sample of medical cannabis or medical cannabis product upon completion of the analysis, as determined by the bureau through regulations.
- Any presale inspection, testing transfer, or transportation of cannabis products pursuant to this section shall conform to a specified chain of custody protocol and any other requirements imposed under this division.
- This does not prohibit a licensee from performing testing on the licensee’s premises for the purposes of quality assurance of the product in conjunction with reasonable business operations
For a full list of rules and regulations for cannabis laboratory testing in California, click here.
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 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.
4. 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.
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.