Table of Contents
- California Cultivation Laws
- Types of California Grow Licenses
- How to get a California Cultivation License
- Cannabis Compliance in California
- Benefits of a Cannabis ERP System
California was the first state to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes and is currently the largest legal cannabis market in the world. Complying with all of the regulations at every step of the process in the California seed-to-sale cannabis industry can be quite the undertaking for a cultivator.
Since voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2016, cannabis in California has become a multi-billion dollar industry that can be particularly complex for many cultivators to navigate.
Here’s an overview of California cannabis grow licenses and cannabis laws.
Table of Contents
The primary statute governing California’s cannabis industry is the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA). The statute establishes the basic framework for commercial cannabis licensing, oversight, and enforcement.
It’s important to note that in addition to the regulations laid out within MAUCRSA, cannabis business owners must also comply with all the same rules that other California businesses must follow, such as those governing waste disposal, environmental protections, vehicle registration, and taxation.
California’s Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) is the regulatory arm responsible for issuing licenses based on the type of activity a cannabis business is looking to perform. It’s required by law to have a valid DCC license before attempting any cannabis-related business activity.
There are many different types of cannabis licenses, from transportation to event hosting to small and large-scale cultivation. If you’re looking to grow, manufacture, test, or distribute cannabis, the type of license you need depends on a variety of factors such as the kind of lighting that’s to be used (natural or artificial), the number of plants to be grown, and the canopy size of maturing cannabis. The different licenses you can obtain include:
NOTE: More license types for each category can be found here. For those looking for a cannabis cultivation laboratory license, California requires a special Type 8 license, along with ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation.
It’s a complex, multi-step process to obtaining a cannabis cultivation license in California, requiring approval from both local and state officials, and the ability to attend to a whole host of other issues, from track and trace California-specific compliance, to environmental concerns from potential neighbors, to having an odor control plan in place.
There are 58 counties and 482 incorporated cities in California, and each one can determine the laws governing commercial cannabis within its borders. In general, however, here are the steps needed to obtain a cannabis cultivation license in California:
Once you’ve been approved for a commercial cannabis cultivation license in California, it’s essential that your business stays compliant with all of the regulations at both the local and state level. That means being prepared for inspections and audits, taking care of annual renewals for licenses, and tracking your inventory through the best seed-to-sale software California has to offer.