Cannabis Consulting in California
California Cannabis Regulations

Metropolitan Local Licensing Law & Compliance for California Cannabis Regulations, 2019 Local News, 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 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 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 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

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.

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 CDTFA seller’s permit medicinal and adult-use cannabis manufacturing Premises Information Business Organizational concentrate 600-foot radius of a school Industrial Hemp Advisory Board Criminal History mandated warning statements licensing cannabis microbusinesses child-resistant packaging edibles packaging opaque Proposition 64: The Adult Use of Cannabis Act of 2016 Bond and Insurance Information Microbial Impurities Testing (Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp.) manufacturer's name Heavy Metals Testing operating premises packaging and labeling MANUFACTURED CANNABIS SAFETY BRANCH waste management laws financial interest holder Mycotoxins Testing transportation of cannabis goods licensed cannabis manufacturers Incorporating THC/CBD concentrates Proposed Section 40133 licensing scheme at least 99% purity persons 21 years of age or older Live Scans for each owner amount of sodium product as a candy prohibited list of artificial food colorings cultivation (on an area less than 10,000 square feet) Manufacturing (non-volatile) public health and safety 2019 new laws potentially-hazardous foods Application Checklist The Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB) labels not be attractive medicinal and adult use cannabis goods transported together Department of Public Health’s Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch Fingerprints onsite sale and consumption of cannabis goods contaminants surety bond secured area cultivation Licensee Information carbohydrates and fat per serving sampling standards protocol nonlaboratory quality control retailers public Licensee Lookup Tool Extractions using CO2 remove THC/CBD definition of owner cannabis sales and/or consumption sales of cannabis goods 2019 laws Temporary event up to 4 days Local Authorization the commercial medicinal and adult-use (recreational) convicted of a substantially related crime 2019 problems Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB) Track and Trace Retailer (Type 10) CDPH-9041 Category II Residual Pesticides Testing medicinal and adult-use markets track and trace system 2019 resolutions Temporary License Application Information good manufacturing practices waste disposal Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) contaminant free packaging and labeling requirements for pre-rolls licensing cannabis third-party testing laboratories Transition Period storage of cannabis goods medicinal and adult-use commercial cannabis activity Seller’s permit number ownership premises is not within a Government tinctures commercial cannabis activity Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Cannabis Control commercial cannabis products small product packaging designated structure pre-made or purchased alcoholic beverages secondary packaging access to the area(s) MCSB manufacturing practices health impacts of cannabis cannabis cultivation licensing Butane/Hexane/Propane A-license and an M-license for the same commercial cannabis activity supply chains for medicinal and adult-use cannabis products quality control manufacturing cannabis products transportation manned motor vehicle Food-grade Butter/Oil Terpenoids Testing shares of stock that are less than 5% of the total shares in a publicly traded company disclosure of all criminal convictions Premises Diagram no infusion of nicotine 2019 compliance The California Department of Public Health's packaging and labeling requirements an officer or director of a cannabis business vape cartridges informational panel supplemental label 120 days shaped like a human, animal, insect, or fruit disposal and destruction methods conditional license A-licensees tobacco products testing lab written procedures for inventory control Temporary License Application Microbusiness cannabis training activity for a period of 120 days emergency regulations Edibles– Products basic nutritional information amount of THC/CBD per serving and per package Labor peace agreement distributors infusion 2019 updates Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing division secondary package procedures for inventory control local jurisdiction Personnel Requirements annual license application Moisture Content Testing 100 mg of THC per package Licensee Lookup Tool property for the commercial cannabis activity extracts CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing hang tag or a peel-back label CALIFORNIA BUREAU OF CANNABIS CONTROL Cannabis Manufacturing capsules Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 (PPPA) regulatory framework scaled to the gross annual revenue of the licensed premises manufacturing activities local jurisdiction’s requirements sanitary and hazard-free environment Ethanol security Proposition 65 product formulation Business and Professions Code section 26050.1 ANTICIPATED ANNUAL (NONTEMPORARY) LICENSE APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation exception for testing laboratories exit packaging onsite consumption of cannabis goods licensing cannabis retailers Premises diagram Physical address limited to a maximum of 10 mg of THC per serving motor carrier permit licensed physical location (premises) persons with a financial interest in the cannabis business investment into a commercial cannabis business The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) health claims CO2 and ethanol extractions transporting cannabis goods Financial Interest Foreign Material Testing licensed cannabis distributors Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) commercial cannabis manufacturing medicinal commercial cannabis activity cannabis plants BUREAU OF CANNABIS CONTROL Arranging for laboratory testing local jurisdiction’s ordinances and regulations final form temporary license Cannabinoids Testing CDPH-issued universal symbol Bond in the amount of $5,000 testing laboratories LICENSE APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS Retailer (nonstorefront) 2019 regulations 2019 recent news inventory purchasing cannabis products on tribal lands re-sealable recordkeeping medicinal and adult-use or both markets Distributor transport operating procedures inventory and quality control California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Individual Owner required limits Homogeneity Testing of Edible Cannabis Products shipping manifest transportation and security Local Issuing Authority comply with all packaging and labeling requirements premises diagram Non-Storefront Retailer (Type 9) evidence of rehabilitation Type S share facility space manufacturing (Level 1 manufacturing, Type 6) A-license and an M-license packaging sanitary workplaces disposal three cannabis licensing authorities equity interest in a commercial cannabis business no infusion of alcohol Microbial Impurities Testing (A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. niger, A. terreus) 2019 revisions adult-use commercial cannabis activity Identifying information tamper-evident Transport vehicles alarm system security and cannabis waste disposal separate applications sugar requiring refrigeration California Department of Public Health chain of custody 2,000 mg of THC per package for the medicinal-use market Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act licenses for both medicinal and adult-use cannabis manufacturing at the same premises evidence of the legal right to occupy the premises product guidelines 2019 fines licensing cannabis distributors topicals Water Activity Testing of Solid or Semi-Solid Edibles certified by a California-licensed engineer testing methods regulations for medicinal and adult-use cannabis ingredient list workshops hosted by the Bureau of Cannabis Control M-licensees conducting quality assurance review volatile solvent Category I Residual Solvents and Processing Chemicals Testing no added caffeine Vehicle Requirements managing member manufacturing Local Jurisdictions Owner Cultivation less than 10,000 structure and formation documents 600 foot radius of a school highly-concentrated oils or waxes Mechanical hydrocarbon-based solvents cannabis waste A-license compliance with local jurisdiction amount of THC content cannabis industries Completed Temporary License Application Form MCSB’s temporary license application local jurisdiction authorization inhalable cannabis 2019 issues aggregate interest of 20% or more commercial cannabis manufacturers licensed premises Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) state cannabis licensing entry into the legal, regulated market Category I Residual Pesticides Testing payable to the state of California unique ID/batch number Percentage of ownership commercial cannabis manufacturing in California Distributor Transport Only periods of 90 days extensions THC levels child-resistant outer package labeling loan provided to a commercial cannabis business license review process consumption of alcohol or tobacco licensing and regulating commercial cannabis manufacturers Manufactured Cannabis Licensing System (MCLS) microbusinesses 2019 proposed changes paper inserted into the packaging Conducting quality assurance review of cannabis goods compliance with regulations dried flower some nutritional facts commercial kitchens 2019 important information Licensees online licensing system valid waiver delivery vehicle $3,000 of cannabis goods edible products cannabis adult-use products Operating Procedures M-license supply chain period of 120 days Carbon Dioxide (CO2) testing of cannabis goods immature live plants and seeds being transported from a licensed nursery allergen information cannabis market California Public Records Act government warning statement label opaque exit package finished product manufacture cannabis products transport cannabis goods to retailer loop system extraction limited to a maximum of 1,000 mg per package destruction of cannabis goods diagram of the business’s layout identity of the product Business Information licensed cannabis cultivators at least 20% ownership interest minimum standards for extraction processes Financial information laboratory quality assurance highly-concentrated THC/CBD such as oil, wax and resin commercial cannabis manufacturing activity regulations for medical and adult-use cannabis in California shared-use manufacturing facilities must enter certain events Form # CDPH-9041 meat and seafood, and other products member manager Water/Food-grade Dry Ice cannabis cartoons Temporary Cannabis Event cannabis products in container or wrapper for sale cannabis event organizer license stickers Local Authorization Attachment manufacturers who package for other producers Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act of 2015 three state cannabis-licensing authorities Category II Residual Solvents and Processing Chemicals Testing primary panel requirements and more.

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

All Rights Reserved