California Recreational Marijuana Licensing 

California’s recreational marijuana legalization initiative, also known as Proposition 64, is entering the licensing stage.  The economic impact this licensing scheme will bestow upon the state of California will be epic.  The Los Angeles Times estimates that recreational marijuana will soon soar to a $5 billion industry, noting, “the economic projections are both encouraging and daunting to state officials who hope to begin issuing licenses in January to thousands of businesses that will grow, transport, test and sell marijuana…” [1] 

The Bureau of Cannabis Control  (the Bureau) is charged with the promulgation of regulations for both medical and recreational (adult-use) cannabis within the state of California.  The Bureau is also responsible for licensing key players in the adult-use marijuana supply chain, including retailers, distributors, testing laboratories and microbusinesses.

The Bureau is currently accepting temporary license applications for Retailers, Distributors, Microbusinesses, Testing Laboratories and Cannabis Event Organizers.  The application process is extensive.  Applicants must undertake a series of comprehensive financial disclosures, submit requisite bonding, meet insurance thresholds, and surrender to extensive criminal background checks.  No temporary licenses will become effective before January 1, 2018.  Once a temporary license is effective, the licensee may operate for 120 days, upon which time they must then apply for an annual license.  The annual license application process has not yet opened.     

LicenseLogix anticipates a robust licensing process.  The Bureau will evaluate each and every applicant to make sure they satisfy the licensing requirements.  Agency processing times may be lengthy due to the anticipated large number of applicants.  The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this year that the Bureau was working to staff up to adequately review the anticipated high volume of license applications. [2]  Deficient license application submissions will cost applicants significant approval time.  Applicants should be armed with all the requisite information prior to submission to ensure a smooth and timely approval. 

Let LicenseLogix help you navigate through the license submission process.  We have helped clients across numerous emerging industries understand and secure newly created licenses.  Our compliance tools ensure that your business is staying abreast of license developments at all stages of the application process and post license award. 

Contact us today to learn more about the California Bureau of Cannabis Control’s licensing program.  

[1] Legal Marijuana Could be a $5-Billion Boon to California's Economy

[2] Lawmakers have Doubts that the System to License Marijuana Sales in California will be in Place by Deadline