Cannabis Licenses & Regulations

Adult and Medical Use
Cannabis Business Licenses Now Available

Your business can be both and may obtain
a combination of the licenses below, some limits apply

Cultivation

Annual License Applications 
Current Cultivation Regulations
Cultivation Regulation Highlights
State Water Board Cannabis Policies & Orders
Read the EPIC Cannabis Farmer’s Compliance Handbook

Specialty Cottage

Outdoor = Up to 25 mature plants on one site

Indoor < 500 sq. ft. of total canopy on one site

*Mixed-Light Tier 1 & 2 < 2,500 sq. ft. total canopy on one site

Specialty

Outdoor < 5,000 sq. ft. of total canopy size on one site or up to 50 mature plants on noncontiguous plots.

Indoor = Between 501 – 5,000 sq. ft. of total canopy on one site

Mixed-Light Tier 1 & 2 = Between 2,501 – 5,000sq. ft. of total canopy on one site

Small

Outdoor = Between 5,001 – 10,000 sq. ft. of total canopy size on one site.

Indoor = Between 5,001 – 10,000sq. ft. of total canopy size on one site.

Mixed-Light Tier 1 & 2 = Between 5,001 – 10,000sq. ft. of total canopy size on one site.

Medium

Outdoor =  Between 10,001 sq. ft. to one acre of total canopy size on one site. The number of these licenses will be limited.

Indoor = Between 10,001 – 22,000 sq. ft. of total canopy size on one site. The number of these licenses will be limited

Mixed-Light Tier 1 & 2 = Between 10,001 – 22,000 sq. ft. of total size on one site. The number of these licenses will be limited.

Nursery

Produces only clones, immature plants, seeds, & other Ag products used specifically for the propagation & cultivation of cannabis.

Processor 

Conducts only trimming, drying, curing, grading, packaging,or labeling of cannabis and nonmanufactured cannabis products.

Large

No Large licenses may be issued before January 1, 2023. The number of these licenses will be limited. Large Licensees cannot hold a Distributor or Microbusiness license.

Outdoor > 1 acre of total canopy size on one premises.

Indoor > 22,000 sq. ft. of total canopy size on one premises.

Mixed-Light Tier 1 & 2 > 22,000 sq. ft. of total canopy size on one premises.

 

*Mixed-Light Tier 1 = 0 – 6 watts per sq ft or less. Includes any outdoor use of light dep
*Mixed-Light Tier 2 = 7 – 25 watts per sq ft.

Manufacturing

Annual License Applications 
Current Manufacturing Regulations

Nonvolatile Type 6 = Manufacture of cannabis products using nonvolatile solvents or no solvents (e.g. water or butter extractions). A Type 6 licensee may perform Type N or P tasks.

Volatile Type 7 = Manufacture of cannabis products using volatile solvents. Includes a solvent that is or produces a flammable gas or vapor that, when present in the air in sufficient quantities, will create explosive or ignitable mixtures. (e.g. butane, propane, ethanol). A Type 7 licensee may perform Type 6, N, or P tasks.

Infusions Type N = Businesses that only conduct infusions (e.g. create edibles, topicals, or other products) using extracts from another licensed manufacturer. May also package and label products for other licensed cannabis manufacturers.

Packager Type P = Businesses that only package and label products for other licensed cannabis manufacturers.

Shared-Use Type S = For shared-use manufacturing facilities. This license type is for businesses that take turns utilizing the space and equipment.

Retail and Delivery

Annual License Applications
Current Retail Regulations 
Retailer Fact Sheets

Delivery Type 9 & Storefront Type 10 License – For the sale and delivery of cannabis and cannabis products to consumers. A retailer must conduct business from a commercial premises that is a physical location. A retailer’s premises may be closed to the public and they may conduct sales exclusively by delivery. Storefront retail includes onsite consumption lounges if approved by the local city or county.

Labs and Distributors

Testing Lab Type 8 License = Performs tests of cannabis goods; Type 8 Lab Licensees may not hold any other type of cannabis business license.

Annual License Applications
Current Lab Regulations
Lab Fact Sheets
Cannabis Testing Requirements

Distributor Type 11 License = All cannabis goods must be transported by a licensed Distributor. A cannabis business may not deliver their own wholesale products to manufacturers or retailers unless they are a microbusiness licensed for distribution or they obtain the separate Distributor license. Distributors are responsible for conducting quality assurance review of cannabis goods to ensure they comply with all the packaging and labeling requirements. They are also responsible for arranging lab testing, Track & Trace oversight, and tax collection. Type 5 Large Cultivator Licensees may not obtain a Distributor license.

Distributor Transport-Only License = Allows for the transportation of cannabis goods between licensed cultivators, manufacturers, and distributors. This includes self-transportation and transportation for others. A Distributor Transport-Only Licensee may not transport cannabis goods to a licensed retailer or microbusiness retailer except for immature plants and seeds. To get cannabis goods to retail, a Transport-Only Licensee must take them to a licensed Distributor who will conduct quality assurance, collect taxes, etc. They may not engage in any other distributor activities.

Annual License Applications
Current Distributor Regulations
Distributor Fact Sheets

Microbusinesses

Annual License Applications
Current Microbusiness Regulations
Microbusiness Fact Sheets

Microbusiness Type 12 License = This is a special license that provides a winery/craft brewery model for cannabis. With a Microbusiness license a cannabis business that cultivates less than 10,000 square feet may act as a licensed distributor, nonvolatile manufacturer, and retailer under this one license reducing the costs for small cannabis businesses. Type 4 Medium and Type 5 Large Cultivators may not obtain a Microbusiness license.

Cannabis Lounges

Cannabis lounges with onsite consumption will be allowed for retail licensees that have local approval from their city or county for this activity.

Cannabis Events

The State is now licensing large-scale cannabis events like the Emerald Cup. Applications are available from the Bureau of Cannabis Control.
Cannabis Event Fact Sheets

State Regulatory Agencies & Resources
Below are links to the state agencies responsible for licensing cannabis businesses. They each have detailed information and FAQ’s on their websites.

Bureau of Cannabis Control – Oversees all aspects of regulating California cannabis businesses. The Bureau is responsible for licensing retailers, distributors, testing labs, and microbusinesses.

California Cannabis Portal -The state’s one-stop shop for all news and updates related to the effort to regulate the cannabis industry.

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (Formerly the Board of Equalization) – Issues Seller’s Permits and collects cultivation and retail sales taxes. Cannabis Tax Facts and Cannabis Tax Resources

California Department of Public Health – Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch regulates manufacturing of cannabis products

California Department of Food and Agriculture – CalCannabis Division regulates cultivation.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Cannabis Program – Regulates the adverse impacts of cannabis cultivation. Requires Lake and Streambed Alteration Verification

California Department of Pesticide Regulation – See their published Cannabis Guide, Legal Pest Management Practices for Cannabis, and Pesticide and Rodenticide Handout

State Water Board Cannabis Cultivation Program – See their presentation on the final cannabis water policy. Review the background report for the final policy and read the Cannabis Cultivation Regulatory and Enforcement Unit list of enforcement priorities.

State Water Board Compiled Handouts for Water and Land Use

State Water Board Cannabis Water Rights

State Water Board Cannabis Water Quality – Regional offices issue water discharge regulations. See Region 1 North Coast OrdersBest Practices, Fact Sheet, and FAQ; Region 5 Central Valley Orders and Best Practices

Division of Measurement Standards – Regulates scales and cannabis packaging & labeling. Scales used for Cannabis. See their Recommendations for Weighing Cannabis.

Cannabis Licenses
and Regulations

Adult & Medical Use
Licenses Now Available
Your business can be both and may obtain a combination of the licenses below, some limits apply

Cultivation

Annual License Applications
Current Cultivation Regulations
Cultivation Regulation Highlights
State Water Board Cannabis Policies & Orders
Read the EPIC Cannabis Farmer’s Compliance Handbook

Specialty Cottage

Outdoor = Up to 25 mature plants on one site

Indoor = < 500 sq. ft. of total canopy on one site

Mixed-Light Tier 1 & 2 = < 2,500 sq. ft. total canopy on one site

Specialty

Outdoor = < 5,000 sq. ft. of total canopy size on one site or up to 50 mature plants on noncontiguous plots.

Indoor = Between 501 – 5,000 sq. ft. of total canopy on one site

Mixed-Light Tier 1 & 2 = Between 2,501 – 5,000sq. ft. of total canopy on one site

Small

Outdoor = Between 5,001 – 10,000 sq. ft. of total canopy size on one site.

Indoor = Between 5,001 – 10,000sq. ft. of total canopy size on one site.

Mixed-Light Tier 1 & 2 = Between 5,001 – 10,000sq. ft. of total canopy size on one site.

Medium

Outdoor =  Between 10,001 sq. ft. to one acre of total canopy size on one site. The number of these licenses will be limited.

Indoor = Between 10,001 – 22,000 sq. ft. of total canopy size on one site. The number of these licenses will be limited.

Mixed-Light Tier 1 & 2 = Between 10,001 – 22,000 sq. ft. of total size on one site. The number of these licenses will be limited.

Nursery = Produces only clones, immature plants, seeds, & other Ag products used specifically for the propagation & cultivation of cannabis.

Processor = Conducts only trimming, drying, curing, grading, packaging,or labeling of cannabis and nonmanufactured cannabis products

Type 5 = Outdoor Large; > one acre of total canopy size on one premises. No Type 5, Type 5A, or Type 5B licenses may be issued before January 1, 2023. The number of these licenses will be limited. Type 5 Licensees cannot hold a Distributor or Microbusiness license.

Type 5A= Indoor Large; > 22,000 sq. ft. of total canopy size on one premises. The number of these licenses will be limited.

Type 5B= Mixed-Light Large; > 22,000 sq. ft. of total canopy size on one premises. The number of these licenses will be limited.

*Mixed-light Tier 1 = 0 – 6 watts per sq ft or less
Mixed-light Tier 2 = 7 – 25 watts per sq ft

Manufacturing

Annual License Applications 
Current Manufacturing Regulations

Nonvolatile Type 6 License = Manufacture of cannabis products using nonvolatile solvents or no solvents (e.g. water or butter extractions). A Type 6 licensee may perform Type N or P tasks.

Volatile Type 7 License = Manufacture of cannabis products using volatile solvents. Includes a solvent that is or produces a flammable gas or vapor that, when present in the air in sufficient quantities, will create explosive or ignitable mixtures. (e.g. butane, propane, ethanol). A Type 7 licensee may perform Type 6, N, or P tasks.

Infusions Type N License = Businesses that only conduct infusions (e.g. create edibles, topicals, or other products) using extracts from another licensed manufacturer. A Type N licensee may package and label products for other licensed cannabis manufacturers.

Packager Type P License = Businesses that only package and label products for other licensed cannabis manufacturers.

Shared-Use Type S License = For shared-use manufacturing facilities. This license type will be for businesses that take turns utilizing the space and equipment.

Retail and Delivery
Annual License Applications
Current Retail Regulations 
Retail Fact Sheets

Delivery Type 9 & Storefront Type 10 License – For the sale and delivery of cannabis and cannabis products to consumers. A retailer must conduct business from a commercial premises that is a physical location. A retailer’s premises may be closed to the public and they may conduct sales exclusively by delivery. Retail includes onsite consumption lounges if approved by the local city or county.

Labs and Distributors

Testing Laboratory Type 8 License = Performs tests of cannabis goods; Type 8 Lab Licensees may not hold any other type of cannabis business license.

Annual License Applications
Current Lab Regulations
Lab Fact Sheets

Cannabis Testing Requirements

Distributor Type 11 License = All cannabis goods must be transported by a licensed Distributor. A cannabis business may not deliver their own wholesale products to manufacturers or retailers unless they are a microbusiness licensed for distribution or they obtain the separate Distributor license. Distributors are responsible for conducting quality assurance review of cannabis goods to ensure they comply with all the packaging and labeling requirements. They are also responsible for arranging lab testing, Track & Trace oversight, and tax collection. Type 5 Large Cultivator Licensees may not obtain a Distributor license.

Distributor Transport-Only = Allows for the transportation of cannabis goods between licensed cultivators, manufacturers, and distributors. This includes self-transportation and transportation for others. A Distributor Transport-Only Licensee may not transport cannabis goods to a licensed retailer or microbusiness retailer except for immature plants and seeds. To get cannabis goods to retail, a Transport-Only Licensee must take them to a licensed Distributor who will conduct quality assurance, collect taxes, etc. They may not engage in any other distributor activities. 

Annual License Applications
Current Distributor Regulations
Resources for Distributors

Microbusinesses

Annual License Applications
Current Microbusiness Regulations
Microbusiness Resources

Type 12 License = This is a special license that provides a winery/craft brewery model for cannabis. With a Microbusiness license a cannabis business that cultivates less than 10,000 square feet may act as a licensed distributor, nonvolatile manufacturer, and retailer under this one license reducing the costs for small cannabis businesses. Type 4 Medium and Type 5 Large Cultivators may not obtain a Microbusiness license.

Cannabis Lounges

Cannabis lounges with onsite consumption will be allowed for retail licensees that have local approval from their city or county for this activity.

Cannabis Events

The State is now licensing large-scale cannabis events like the Emerald Cup. Applications are available from the Bureau of Cannabis Control.
Cannabis Event Fact Sheets

State Regulatory Agencies & Resources
Below are links to the state agencies responsible for licensing cannabis businesses. They each have detailed information and FAQ’s on their websites.

Bureau of Cannabis Control – Oversees all aspects of regulating California cannabis businesses. The Bureau is responsible for licensing retailers, distributors, testing labs, and microbusinesses.

California Cannabis Portal -The state’s one-stop shop for all news and updates related to the effort to regulate the cannabis industry.

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (Formerly the Board of Equalization) – Issues Seller’s Permits and collects cultivation and retail sales taxes. Cannabis Tax Facts and Cannabis Tax Resources

California Department of Public Health – Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch regulates manufacturing of cannabis products

California Department of Food and Agriculture – CalCannabis Division regulates cultivation.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Cannabis Program – Regulates the adverse impacts of cannabis cultivation. Requires Lake and Streambed Alteration Verification

California Department of Pesticide Regulation – See their published Cannabis Guide, Legal Pest Management Practices for Cannabis, and Pesticide and Rodenticide Handout

State Water Board Cannabis Cultivation Program – See their presentation on the final cannabis water policy. Review the background report for the final policy and read the Cannabis Cultivation Regulatory and Enforcement Unit list of enforcement priorities.

State Water Board Compiled Handouts for Water and Land Use

State Water Board Cannabis Water Rights

State Water Board Cannabis Water Quality – Regional offices issue water discharge regulations. See Region 1 North Coast OrdersBest Practices, Fact Sheet, and FAQ; Region 5 Central Valley Orders and Best Practices

Division of Measurement Standards – Regulates scales and cannabis packaging & labeling. Scales used for Cannabis. See their Recommendations for Weighing Cannabis.

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