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

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 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.

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

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