Licensing Law & Compliance Attorney for California Cannabis Regulations, 2020 Important News, Attorney Information & Updates

California Cannabis Regulations

State Authority & Contact:

Bureau of Cannabis Control (CA Department of Consumer Affairs)
PO Box 419016, Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-9106
Phone: 1-833-768-5880

Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (CA Department of Public Health)
PO Box 997377, MS 7606, Sacramento CA 95899-7377
Phone: 855-421-7887

CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing (CA Department of Food & Agriculture)
Phone: 1-833-CALGROW (1-833-225-4769)

Scope of Licenses:

Medicinal (M-) and Adult-Use Recreational (A-):
  • Type 1 (Cultivation; Specialty outdoor; Small)
  • Type 1A (Cultivation; Specialty indoor; Small)
  • Type 1B (Cultivation; Specialty mixed-light; Small)
  • Type 1C (Cultivation; Specialty cottage; Small)
  • Type 2 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Small)
  • Type 2A (Cultivation; Indoor; Small)
  • Type 2B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Small)
  • Type 3 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Medium)
  • Type 3A (Cultivation; Indoor; Medium)
  • Type 3B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Medium)
  • Type 4 (Cultivation; Nursery)
  • Type 5 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Large)
  • Type 5A (Cultivation; Indoor; Large)
  • Type 5B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Large)
  • Type 6 (Manufacturer 1) Extraction: Non-volatile Solvents, Mechanical Methods
  • Type 7 (Manufacturer 2) Extraction: Volatile Solvents
  • Type N Infusions (optional packaging and labeling)
  • Type P Packaging & Labeling Only
  • Type S (coming soon, shared-use manufacturing facilities)
  • Type 8 (Testing Laboratory)
  • Type 9 (Non-Storefront Retailer)
  • Type 10 (Retailer)
  • Type 11 (Distributor)
  • Type 12 (Microbusiness)
  • Type 13 (Distributor Transport Only)
  • Type 14 (Cannabis Event Organizer)

California Cannabis Regulation References:


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the emergency rulemaking process?

Before California Governor Jerry Brown approved the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) in June 2017, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) had followed the regular rulemaking process and submitted proposed regulations for the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act to the Office of Administrative Law. However, once MAUCRSA became law, CDFA had to withdraw those regulations; instead, a new set of regulations consistent with changes in the new law was proposed in November 2017. CDFA followed the emergency rulemaking process for these regulations. This will be followed immediately by the regular rulemaking process to make the regulations permanent. To initiate the emergency rulemaking process, the state agency files emergency regulations with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) at least 10 calendar days before the effective date. During the first five days of OAL’s review period, the public may submit comments to OAL, with a copy for the state agency. The state agency has until the eighth day of OAL’s 10-day review period to submit to OAL a rebuttal to any public comments; however, this step is optional. The OAL’s deadline for a decision is on the tenth day after the emergency regulations were filed, and, if approved, the emergency regulations are filed with the Secretary of State and will become effective immediately for 180 days. (MAUCRSA allows for one 180-day re-adoption if the agency is making progress toward adopting the permanent regulations.) For an illustrated step-by-step guide to this process, see the flowcharts on pages 5 and 7 for regular rulemaking and emergency rulemaking.

What is the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s regulatory authority for licensing cannabis cultivators and implementing a track-and-trace system?

When a state legislature passes—and the governor approves—a law (also known as a statute), this enacts a new program or changes the laws governing an existing program. After the law’s passage, one or more state agencies must adopt new regulations, amend existing regulations, and/or repeal existing regulations to ensure the program runs effectively. When the California State Legislature passed the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act in 2015, and California voters passed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64) in 2016, both acts designated responsibilities for oversight of commercial cannabis to several state agencies. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) was granted the authority to (a) establish a cannabis cultivation licensing process for the state, and (b) develop a track-and-trace system to record the movement of cannabis and cannabis products through the state’s supply chain. As a result, CDFA created a new division called CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, which is tasked with overseeing these projects. On June 27, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the cannabis trailer bill (also known as California Senate Bill 94). A trailer bill is legislation that implements specific changes to the law to enact the state budget. Generally a separate trailer bill is needed for each major area of budget appropriation, such as transportation, human services, education, revenue, or, in this case, cannabis. These bills typically are negotiated as part of the entire budget package each fiscal year. In this instance, the cannabis trailer bill effectively merged the two existing cannabis bills—the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act and the Adult Use of Marijuana Act—into one streamlined bill: the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA). Having one comprehensive state law will provide for a more unified and efficient regulatory process governing both medicinal and adult-use (recreational) cannabis. For a link to the most recent version of MAUCRSA, please visit the CalCannabis website at

What is the process for creating the state cannabis cultivation regulations?

The California Administrative Procedure Act establishes the rulemaking procedures and standards for California’s state agencies. The act’s requirements are designed to provide the public with a meaningful opportunity to participate in the adoption of state regulations and help ensure the regulations are clear, necessary, and legally valid. The majority of adopted regulations that conform to the Administrative Procedure Act are submitted to the Office of Administrative Law as a “regular rulemaking.” Unless a proposed rulemaking action is submitted to the Office of Administrative Law as an “emergency rulemaking,” or is exempt from the Administrative Procedure Act, the regular rulemaking process must be followed when a state agency undergoes a rulemaking action.

What is the regular rulemaking process?

The state agency must prepare the following documents and submit them to the Office of Administrative Law to initiate the regular rulemaking process: Economic Impact Assessment (for nonmajor regulations with less than $50 million in economic impacts) or Standardized Regulatory Impact Assessment (also known as a SRIA, pronounced sir-RHEE-uh, for major regulations with more than $50 million in economic impacts) – A SRIA is required with the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) regulatory package because the cannabis cultivation regulations are considered a major regulation. It includes information on how the regulations will impact businesses and jobs and the potential impacts on competition and investment in California. The SRIA is posted on the California Department of Finance website at Economic and Fiscal Impact Statement (Form STD.399) – This is a California Department of Finance form that includes information on the estimated economic and fiscal monetary impacts of the proposed regulations. Notice of Proposed Action – This notice provides critical information about the regulations, including a summary of existing laws that pertain to cannabis, the specific statutory authority that requires CDFA to create regulations, and details about the process for receiving the public’s comments. Initial Statement of Reasons (ISR) – The Initial Statement of Reasons provides the rationale behind CDFA’s decisions for including each section of the regulations and describes the purpose, need, and benefits of the regulations. It also identifies the supporting materials used to make regulatory decisions. Proposed Text of Regulations (Express Terms) – This text identifies any proposed changes to the California Code of Regulations. The state agency must publish the Notice of Proposed Action in the California Regulatory Notice Register and mail a copy to those who have requested it. The agency also must post on its website the Notice of Proposed Action, Initial Statement of Reasons, and the Proposed Text of Regulations. Once a Notice of Proposed Action has been issued by the state agency and published by the Office of Administrative Law, a regular rulemaking record will officially be opened and the minimum 45-day public comment period commences. The state agency may hold a public hearing; if the agency does not schedule a public hearing, anyone interested in having one may submit a written request for a hearing at least 15 days prior to the close of the written comment period, and that request must be granted. The state agency then receives and reviews the comments received during the official public comment period—and must summarize and respond to all of the comments. Some comments might ask for clarification of the proposed regulations, other comments might propose regulatory changes. If the state agency makes changes to the regulations, the changes are categorized as follows: Nonsubstantial Changes—Or No Changes Nonsubstantial changes do not alter the regulatory effect of the proposed provisions, and therefore the rulemaking process continues. The state agency updates the Informative Digest and prepares a Final Statement of Reasons (with a summary and a response to the public comments) and a Final Text of Regulations. Substantial and Sufficiently Related Changes These are changes considered reasonably foreseeable based on the Notice of Proposed Action and must be made available for public comment for at least 15 days. The state agency mails a notice of opportunity for commenting on the proposed changes (along with a copy of the proposed changes) to each person who has submitted written comments about the proposal, testified at an official public hearing (and provided contact information), or asked to receive any notices of modification. The agency also must post this notice on its website. When no further substantial changes are made to the proposed regulations, the agency updates the Informative Digest and prepares the Final Statement of Reasons (with a summary and a response to the public comments) and the Final Text of Regulations. Substantial Changes Not Sufficiently Related—Or Major Changes These are changes to the original proposal that are not reasonably foreseeable based on the Notice of Proposed Action. The state agency is obligated to publish another Notice of Proposed Action in the California Regulatory Notice Register, and hold another 45-day or longer public comment period. When no further substantial changes are made to the proposed regulations, the agency updates the Informative Digest and prepares the Final Statement of Reasons (with a summary and a response to the public comments) and the Final Text of Regulations. The state agency must transmit a rulemaking action to the Office of Administrative Law for review within one year from the date the notice was published in the California Regulatory Notice Register. Once submitted, the Office of Administrative Law has 30 working days to conduct a review of the rulemaking record. Generally, regulations go into effect on one of four quarterly dates, which are based on the dates the final regulations are filed with California’s Secretary of State: January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1. However, an effective date may vary if a specific effective date is stated in statute or other law, the adopting agency requests a later effective date, or the agency demonstrates good cause for an earlier effective date. For an illustrated step-by-step guide to this process, see the flowcharts on pages 5 and 7 for regular rulemaking and emergency rulemaking.

Where can I read more about California’s cannabis licensing process?

For information about state licenses for cannabis farmers, please visit the CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing website at For details on other types of cannabis licensing in California, including manufacturing (such as edibles), testing, distribution, and retail, go to the California Cannabis Portal at

California Universal Symbol for Cannabis

California Universal Symbol for Cannabis

Download PNG file or Download JPG file

This site focuses or refers to information and services regarding Ethanol ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation structure and formation documents security period of 120 days persons with a financial interest in the cannabis business Business Organizational three cannabis licensing authorities 2020 compliance security and cannabis waste disposal Transport vehicles alarm system Proposition 64: The Adult Use of Cannabis Act of 2016 cultivation cannabis sales and/or consumption no added caffeine medicinal and adult-use or both markets basic nutritional information A-license purchasing cannabis products on tribal lands persons 21 years of age or older 2020 resolutions procedures for inventory control Manufacturing (non-volatile) onsite sale and consumption of cannabis goods LICENSE APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS managing member waste management laws medicinal and adult-use commercial cannabis activity Financial Interest 600 foot radius of a school Form # CDPH-9041 Cannabinoids Testing 600-foot radius of a school commercial cannabis manufacturing activity annual license application cannabis market Retailer (Type 10) inventory Owner Cultivation less than 10,000 licensed cannabis cultivators good manufacturing practices licensed premises highly-concentrated THC/CBD such as oil, wax and resin tamper-evident conducting quality assurance review licensing cannabis retailers investment into a commercial cannabis business Identifying information Local Authorization licensed cannabis distributors cannabis industries contaminant free manufacture cannabis products California Public Records Act surety bond supply chains for medicinal and adult-use cannabis products local jurisdiction’s ordinances and regulations Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) designated structure concentrate Food-grade Butter/Oil commercial kitchens primary panel requirements Local Issuing Authority amount of THC content Category II Residual Pesticides Testing CDPH-9041 local jurisdiction authorization Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB) packaging and labeling requirements disposal disposal and destruction methods list of artificial food colorings capsules remove THC/CBD California Department of Public Health Criminal History microbusinesses informational panel The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) immature live plants and seeds being transported from a licensed nursery Temporary License Application labeling property for the commercial cannabis activity evidence of the legal right to occupy the premises dried flower Personnel Requirements product formulation valid waiver minimum standards for extraction processes hydrocarbon-based solvents MCSB’s temporary license application transporting cannabis goods chain of custody cannabis event organizer license Temporary event up to 4 days required limits adult-use commercial cannabis activity sales of cannabis goods Fingerprints Proposed Section 40133 licensed physical location (premises) sanitary and hazard-free environment loan provided to a commercial cannabis business exception for testing laboratories Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) medicinal and adult-use markets limited to a maximum of 1,000 mg per package 2020 regulations CDPH-issued universal symbol paper inserted into the packaging Completed Temporary License Application Form volatile solvent nonlaboratory quality control 120 days Temporary License Application Information ownership premises is not within a Government manned motor vehicle cannabis adult-use products Arranging for laboratory testing online licensing system transportation of cannabis goods cannabis cartoons alcoholic beverages 2020 proposed changes track and trace system pre-made or purchased CO2 and ethanol extractions Financial information compliance with regulations BUREAU OF CANNABIS CONTROL manufacturing cannabis products testing lab manufacturers who package for other producers Non-Storefront Retailer (Type 9) manufacturer's name packaging Live Scans for each owner Transition Period waste disposal A-license and an M-license The California Department of Public Health's highly-concentrated oils or waxes Bond and Insurance Information stickers California Department of Public Health (CDPH) 2020 revisions potentially-hazardous foods Butane/Hexane/Propane evidence of rehabilitation transport cannabis goods to retailer financial interest holder CDTFA seller’s permit infusion extraction loop system vape cartridges The Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB) operating procedures cannabis waste Operating Procedures at least 20% ownership interest edible products protocol topicals Premises Information Moisture Content Testing Local Authorization Attachment shaped like a human, animal, insect, or fruit CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing medicinal and adult use cannabis goods transported together Application Checklist contaminants transportation packaging and labeling distributors Manufactured Cannabis Licensing System (MCLS) aggregate interest of 20% or more commercial cannabis manufacturing in California Heavy Metals Testing Cannabis Manufacturing sampling standards transportation and security separate applications an officer or director of a cannabis business Vehicle Requirements cannabis training cannabis plants no infusion of alcohol shared-use manufacturing facilities mandated warning statements temporary license destruction of cannabis goods Local Jurisdictions supplemental label Edibles– Products Category II Residual Solvents and Processing Chemicals Testing convicted of a substantially related crime Percentage of ownership Distributor Transport Only A-license and an M-license for the same commercial cannabis activity exit packaging storage of cannabis goods identity of the product 2020 issues carbohydrates and fat per serving commercial cannabis manufacturing delivery vehicle $3,000 of cannabis goods Premises Diagram Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) manufacturing (Level 1 manufacturing, Type 6) health impacts of cannabis onsite consumption of cannabis goods compliance with local jurisdiction the commercial medicinal and adult-use (recreational) testing laboratories tinctures Licensee Information Water Activity Testing of Solid or Semi-Solid Edibles finished product Premises diagram equity interest in a commercial cannabis business Licensees Physical address Microbial Impurities Testing (Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp.) Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing division secondary packaging tobacco products 2020 problems small product packaging Foreign Material Testing licensing cannabis distributors re-sealable Category I Residual Solvents and Processing Chemicals Testing regulatory framework Water/Food-grade Dry Ice medicinal commercial cannabis activity conditional license manufacturing practices government warning statement label testing of cannabis goods Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Cannabis Control recordkeeping MCSB secured area Carbon Dioxide (CO2) licensed cannabis manufacturers licensing scheme Retailer (nonstorefront) 100 mg of THC per package secondary package M-license child-resistant outer package premises diagram THC levels entry into the legal, regulated market Labor peace agreement quality control health claims ingredient list payable to the state of California written procedures for inventory control disclosure of all criminal convictions supply chain 2020 important information Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act of 2015 Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 (PPPA) Temporary Cannabis Event 2020 new laws extracts 2020 recent news 2020 laws unique ID/batch number sugar Individual Owner motor carrier permit Distributor transport allergen information Business and Professions Code section 26050.1 product as a candy prohibited scaled to the gross annual revenue of the licensed premises labels not be attractive periods of 90 days extensions public health and safety child-resistant packaging Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act Mechanical ANTICIPATED ANNUAL (NONTEMPORARY) LICENSE APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS Category I Residual Pesticides Testing medicinal and adult-use cannabis manufacturing some nutritional facts Incorporating THC/CBD concentrates must enter certain events cannabis products in container or wrapper for sale comply with all packaging and labeling requirements licensing cannabis third-party testing laboratories commercial cannabis products workshops hosted by the Bureau of Cannabis Control manufacturing activities Industrial Hemp Advisory Board regulations for medical and adult-use cannabis in California inhalable cannabis diagram of the business’s layout CALIFORNIA BUREAU OF CANNABIS CONTROL member manager shipping manifest opaque exit package commercial cannabis manufacturers Extractions using CO2 no infusion of nicotine laboratory quality assurance testing methods cultivation (on an area less than 10,000 square feet) regulations for medicinal and adult-use cannabis emergency regulations M-licensees public Licensee Lookup Tool 2020 updates Bond in the amount of $5,000 inventory and quality control 2020 fines licenses for both medicinal and adult-use cannabis manufacturing at the same premises final form licensing cannabis microbusinesses Terpenoids Testing Track and Trace shares of stock that are less than 5% of the total shares in a publicly traded company sanitary workplaces manufacturing Department of Public Health’s Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch Type S share facility space MANUFACTURED CANNABIS SAFETY BRANCH state cannabis licensing hang tag or a peel-back label Business Information Mycotoxins Testing activity for a period of 120 days requiring refrigeration operating premises local jurisdiction Proposition 65 certified by a California-licensed engineer Licensee Lookup Tool product guidelines Seller’s permit number local jurisdiction’s requirements retailers Homogeneity Testing of Edible Cannabis Products licensing and regulating commercial cannabis manufacturers packaging and labeling requirements for pre-rolls license review process Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch Microbusiness consumption of alcohol or tobacco cannabis cultivation licensing amount of THC/CBD per serving and per package definition of owner Conducting quality assurance review of cannabis goods edibles packaging opaque three state cannabis-licensing authorities amount of sodium access to the area(s) at least 99% purity commercial cannabis activity meat and seafood, and other products 2,000 mg of THC per package for the medicinal-use market Microbial Impurities Testing (A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. niger, A. terreus) A-licensees limited to a maximum of 10 mg of THC per serving and more.

In addition, UID Hazard Adequate Type P – for packaging and labeling only Track and trace system Specialty Indoor Adulterated Monitor cannabis concentrates Ingredient Specialty Cottage Mixed-Light Tier 2 Type 13 (Distributor Transport Only) Manufacturer licensee Indoor cultivation Unique identifier Qualified individual Type 12 (Microbusiness) Watts per square foot Wet weight Pest Microorganisms Small Mixed-Light Tier 1 Personnel Medium Mixed-Light Tier 2 Volatile solvent Type 5A (Cultivation; Indoor; Large) Actual yield Verification Environmental pathogen Infusion Processing aid Type 7 – for extraction using a volatile solvent (ex: butane, propane and hexane) Primary panel Small Indoor Applicant gross annual revenue for first year in operation under MAUCRSA Extraction Manufacture Bureau Process Specialty Cottage Outdoor Cultivation Nonmanufactured cannabis product infused butters and oils as concentrates Type 3A (Cultivation; Indoor; Medium) Type P Packaging & Labeling Only Type 1 (Cultivation; Specialty outdoor; Small) Commercial-grade, non-residential door lock Type 3 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Medium) Contact surface Licensee Labeling Informational panel THC limit of 10 milligrams per serving and 100 milligrams per package Small Mixed-Light Tier 2 Flowering package flower or pre-rolls Quality control personnel Type 5 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Large) Medium Indoor Batch Kief Mixed-light Tier 2 CBD Specialty Outdoor Sanitize Validation CBD from industrial hemp DPH-17-010E Specialty Cottage Indoor Quality Type 4 (Cultivation; Nursery) Serving Canopy MCSB 90-day extension periods Mature plant In-process material Type 7 (Manufacturer 2) Extraction: Volatile Solvents Processor Type 8 (Testing Laboratory) Specialty Mixed-Light Tier 2 Type 11 (Distributor) Immature plant adulteration Type S (coming soon, shared-use manufacturing facilities) Type 5B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Large) products similar to traditional food products prohibited Type 2A (Cultivation; Indoor; Small) Preventive controls Department Quarantine Type 6 – for extraction using a mechanical method or non-volatile solvent (ex: CO2, ethanol, water, or food-grade dry ice, cooking oils or butter) Package M-license Mixed-light Tier 1 Premises Lot Type 3B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Medium) Cultivation site Topical cannabis product Pre-roll Commercial cannabis activity list of cannabis manufacturers Universal symbol Adult-use Market Specialty Mixed-Light Tier 1 alternate use of a manufacturing premises Theoretical yield cakes, cookies, beverages and juices, tea and coffee, chocolates, gummies, gum, and mints Type 1A (Cultivation; Specialty indoor; Small) Type 9 (Non-Storefront Retailer) Distribution Product Identity Proposition 65 warning statement THC Quality control operation Nursery Type 1C (Cultivation; Specialty cottage; Small) Dried flower Medium Outdoor Edible cannabis product Limited-access area Type N – for infusions Pathogen Type 10 (Retailer) Specialty Cottage Mixed-Light Tier 1 Cannabis product Processing Type 1B (Cultivation; Specialty mixed-light; Small) Raw material Small Outdoor Allergen cross-contact Allergen Request for Live Scan Harvest Batch Outdoor cultivation Type 6 (Manufacturer 1) Extraction: Non-volatile Solvents, Mechanical Methods Track-and-trace systems infused pre-rolls Nonvolatile solvent Net weight Finished product Holding Type N Infusions (optional packaging and labeling) Type 14 (Cannabis Event Organizer) Component track and trace system Type 2 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Small) Medium Mixed-Light Tier 1 Type 2B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Small) Mixed-light cultivation and more.

Disclaimer: Informational and educational purposes. Self-help services (not legal advice). Site is not affiliated with any state agency. Note that site might not contain the most updated information. Your receipt of any information from this site does not create a relationship. Prior results do not guarantee or suggest a similar result in other matters. No promise is made with regard to services or content's reliability, availabilty, or ability to meet any needs. Information and services provided "AS IS."

Green Trusted
All Rights Reserved