Marijuana Business Law

The passage of the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) allowed California residents to cultivate and sell marijuana recreationally and medically. The act provides a framework for business owners looking to enter the industry. This framework includes required licensing, how to start a cannabis corporation, securities compliance, regulatory compliance, employment law, and much more in regard to marijuana businesses.

Although there is a lot involved in starting a business, the benefits of said business are immense. It was recorded that in 2018 $2.5 billion was made from cannabis in the state of California. The industry is booming and just seems to be getting bigger by the day. However, before you step foot in these unknown waters it’s important you have legal representation ready. A California cannabis business lawyer can help you through every step of the process to ensure you have a smooth transition into the business without any setbacks.

Cannabis Business Attorney in Ventura County, California

If you’re looking to enter the cannabis industry, it’s imperative you have legal representation with extensive experience in marijuana laws on your side. Jay Leiderman of Jay Leiderman Law has been practicing law for over two decades and has an in-depth understanding behind the business side of cannabis.

Call Jay Leiderman Law today to discuss your legal options in the marijuana industry. He does everything possible to meet the unique needs, challenges, and opportunities of his cannabis business clients whether they are retailers, processors, investors, growers, or ancillary businesses. Call Jay Leiderman Law today to start having him do the same for you. Jay Leiderman Law accepts clients throughout the greater Ventura County area and surrounding communities including Oak Park, Santa Barbara, Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Ojai, Camarillo, Piru, Fillmore, Buellton, Van Nuys, Goleta, Santa Ynex, Oxnard, and Los Alamos.

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Types of Cannabis Licenses You Can Apply for in California

In California, three agencies are in charge of licensing services for those interested in entering the marijuana industry. These agencies are divided by the type of market they focus on and are enforced by the state of California. Each agency has their own rules, applications, and requirements for licensing you must follow if you want to apply.

  • The Bureau of Cannabis Control (Bureau) – The lead agency for regulating cannabis licenses for adult-use and medical use in California is the Bureau of Cannabis Control. They are responsible for licensing distributors, retailers, microbusinesses, testing labs, as well as temporary cannabis events.
  • Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (OMCS) – OMCS is a division of the Department of Public Health (CDPH) and oversees regulating and licensing manufacturers within the state of California.
  • CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing – As a division of the Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), this agency licenses cultivators of medicinal and adult-use cannabis. They also implement track-and-trace systems to record the movement of cannabis while it’s going through the supply chain.

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Licensing Under the Bureau of Cannabis Control in California

The Bureau is in charge of the most common types of licenses sought by interested businessmen and women. They are currently the lead agency for regulating commercial cannabis licenses and offer the most licenses. They are currently accepting licensing through their online system, which provides in-depth information on how to apply.

Marijuana Retail License California

If you’re interested in a retailer license, you will have to go to the bureau. They offer storefront retailer licenses (Type 10), which allows the licensee to sell cannabis good to customers on the premises or by delivery. To obtain a Type 10 license, you’ll need to have a licensed physical location where all cannabis activities will be conducted. You will also need to provide information for other requirements such as detailed transportation and inventory procedures.

You can also apply to be a non-storefront retailer (Type 9). These licensees are allowed to sell cannabis goods but can only do so through delivery only. You cannot have a licensed premise to open a cannabis goods for delivery as the retailer cannot be open to the public.

Distribution License California

Another type of license you may want to pursue is a distributor license (Type 11). These licensees are responsible for transporting cannabis products between licensees. They also conduct quality assurance reviews on cannabis products to ensure all regulations regarding packaging/labeling are being followed. Distributors cannot sell cannabis; they can only transport it.

Distributor transport only (Type 13) is a license available for those who want to transport cannabis goods between licensees, but not to a licensed retailer or to the retailer portion of a microbusiness. The only exception to this is immature cannabis plants or seeds. If while applying you chose “Self-Distribution,” then you’ll only be able to transport cannabis products you cultivated or manufactured yourself.

Microbusiness License in California

Large-scale retail establishments for cannabis products can be an extremely expensive and risky investment for the everyday person. That is why many people choose to apply for a microbusiness license instead to get started. These licenses (Type 12) allow you to engage in cultivation of cannabis in an area less than 10,000 square feet as well as act as a licensed distributor, Level 1 manufacturer, and retailer.

To qualify for a license, you must first engage in at least 3 or 4 listed commercial cannabis activities. As well as the laws set forth by MAUCRSA, you must also follow the regulations set forth by the Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and Department of Public Health (CDPH).

Testing Laboratory License in California

You may be in need of a licensee that allows you to have a testing laboratory. You can do this by applying for a Testing Laboratory (Type 8) license which allows you to operate a laboratory, facility, or entity legally in California designed solely to test on cannabis products.

All testing laboratories must qualify for and maintain ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation. They can be given a provisional license which will allow them to operate until the obtain ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation, if they meet all other licensing requirements.

Cannabis Event Organizers

Since cannabis has become more of a product than a drug in California, the state allows business owners to throw an event if they have the right licensing. To legally execute a cannabis event, you must have a Cannabis Event Organizer (Type 14) license by the Bureau. The license will require a fee annually based on the number of events organized by the licensee that year.

Those with a Type 14 license cannot cultivate, distribute, manufacture, or sell cannabis products if they don’t have the appropriate licenses for them. They can only organize the event by finding an appropriate venue and creating an event plan. Sales at the event must adhere to the regulations set forth for on-site cannabis retailers.

Marijuana Cultivation License in California

If you’re looking to cultivate marijuana, you’ll have to turn to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and their division for licensing called the CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing agency. The division provides licensing for indoor and outdoor cultivation, establishes a track-and-trace system, and assists other state agencies.

The application review by the division will happen in three steps. First, the application is sent to the local jurisdiction it was filed in to ensure the business is following all ordinances. The second step is the application will go through an extensive administrative review, which will include a thorough background check. The last step is the application will then undergo an environmental review to ensure you are following the rules set forth in the California Environment Quality Act (CEQA).


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Cannabis Manufacturing License

The California’s Department of Health’s division for manufacturing is referred to as the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB). They are responsible for licensing all manufacturers in the cannabis industry in California. Manufacturing licensees must follow the rules set forth by the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA).

Those with a manufacturing license must following labeling requirements, authorize release of information to financial institutions, and every other rule established under MCSB.


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Additional Resources

Apply for a License | California Licensing Agencies – Visit the official website of the California Government: Cannabis Portal to read up on their licensing regulations and rules. Access the site to learn about the various agencies in charge of licenses, which licenses you may be eligible for, and the applications required.

Local Cannabis Ordinances in Ventura County – Visit the official website for the local ordinances for Ventura County. Access the site to learn more about their local rules and regulations for cannabis businesses.


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Marijuana Business & Licensing Lawyer in Ventura, CA

If you are interested in entering the marijuana industry, contact Jay Leiderman Law Jay Leiderman has helped numerous people get their feet wet in the cannabis market, who then went on to have a thriving business. To learn more about your options, call Jay Leiderman Law at (805) 654-0200.

Jay Leiderman Law accepts clients throughout the greater Ventura County area including Santa Barbara County and Van Nuys.