California Cannabis Consulting
California Cannabis Regulations

Permit Licensing Law & Compliance for California Cannabis Regulations, 2019 Essential 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 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.

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 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.

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

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