Licensing Requirements for Marijuana Businesses in California


Obtaining a Cannabis Business License

California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control is the government agency that provides licenses for every kind of cannabis business, including retailers, distributors, cultivators, etc. While no licenses are currently being issued, regulations are set to be published in November 2017 so potential business owners can get the ball rolling and start their businesses as soon as possible after Proposition 64 goes into effect in January 2018. Licensing will be available for the following categories of cannabis businesses:

  • ~ Retailers (storefront and non-storefront)
  • ~Distributors (including distributor transport)
  • ~ Testing laboratories
  • ~ Microbusinesses

According to the BCC’s Anticipated Annual License Application Requirements, applicants seeking licensure to run a marijuana business in California will be required to provide the following:

  • ~ DBA (“Doing Business As”)
  • ~ Business contact information (address, phone, email, primary company contact, etc.)
  • ~ Documents detailing your business’ structure and formation
  • ~ Your permit number
  • ~ Detailed explanation of all operations (including everything from security to advertising)
  • ~ Business owner’s personal information
    • ~ SSN
    • ~ Name
    • ~ DOB
    • ~ Taxpayer ID number
    • ~ Government-issued ID
    • ~ Fingerprints/Background check
    • ~ Portion of ownership over business
  • ~ All relevant information about the business property
    • ~ Address
    • ~ Diagram of property
    • ~ Official documentation that property is more than 600 feet away from the nearest school
    • ~ Documented legal permission to run a cannabis business in that location

The BCC will be issuing different categories of licenses for cannabis businesses, and each premises (not just every business) must be licensed. Before receiving any license, applicants are required to meet state and local requirements. A-licenses will be issued to businesses where products will be sold for non-medical adult use for recreational or personal purposes. M-licenses will be issued for businesses where marijuana products are intended for medicinal use. A- and M-licensed cannabis businesses will not be able to do business with one another. (Cannabis testing laboratories are the only exception to this rule.)

According to the BCC, every license must also have a surety bond of up to $5,000. In cases of cannabis distribution businesses, “distributors must carry and maintain commercial general liability insurance in the aggregate in an amount no less than $2 million and in an amount no less than $1 million for each loss.”

Temporary licenses will also be issued after January 1, 2018. These will allow cannabis businesses to operate for 120 days with the proper permits, license, or other permission from local and state government.

Cannabis Business Law Attorneys in San Diego

If you hope to start a cannabis business of any kind after adult-use marijuana becomes a legal commodity in 2018, you’re going to need the help of legal professionals who are familiar with the developing cannabis business laws in California. There are a lot of regulatory hoops you will have to jump through before ever making a profit. Let the experienced cannabis law attorneys at Purdy & Bailey, LLP help.

Call today at (858) 360-7080 or fill out this online form to receive a complimentary evaluation.

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