Regulatory agencies are responsible for day-to-day implementation, rulemaking, and enforcement of California cannabis law. CalGrowers is committed to working with state regulators to ensure that California's cannabis program is successful, protects public health and safety, and reduces barriers to entry for small and independent businesses.
Information on all the state agencies is available from www.cannabis.ca.gov
For a timeline and history of of the state regulatory process, you can read more here.
Current State Regulations
Each agency issued emergency regulations in November 2017 which establish application procedures, licensing fees, and rules for operation for cannabis businesses. These regulations are the current rules that all licensed cannabis businesses are required to follow.
May 2018 Update: Emergency Regulations ReadoptedState regulators released new emergency regulations on May 18 that extend previous rules while making a small number of meaningful changes. The decision to extend emergency rules means that the full rulemaking period, which involves substantial public comment over 45 days, will be postponed until later in 2018. New emergency regulations will be open for an abbreviated public comment between May 25 and May 30, after which they'll go into effect. The Office of Administrative Law has more information on the emergency regulation process and how to submit public comment.
The biggest-impact change in the new emergency regulations are rules that make it easier for A and M licensees to work together. The proposed regulations would allow A and M licensees to do business with each other indefinitely and would remove the need for businesses to pay double licensing fees to participate in each market. Products under the proposed rules can be labelled for sale in the M market at any time, including by the retailer, by adding a sticker reading "for medical use only."
State Regulatory Agencies
Three separate state agencies are responsible for taking the lead on cannabis regulation:
- The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), which regulates retailers, distributors, testing laboratories, microbusinesses and cannabis events.
- The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), which regulates cultivators.
- The California Department of Public Health (DPH), which regulates manufacturers.
Several other state agencies are also involved in regulating cannabis businesses:
- The State Water Board is responsible for water regulations and has issued a Cannabis Cultivation Policy.
- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is responsible for issuing Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreements for cultivators that impact lakes or streams.
- The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) is responsible for collecting and enforcing cannabis taxes.
- The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is responsible for setting pesticide standards for cannabis cultivation.
- The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) is responsible for enforcing rules for employee health and safety, and will be considering additional cannabis-specific rules in 2018.
As regulators work to develop new rules, CalGrowers has proactively provided detailed recommendations to the agencies that address major concerns our members have identified in the first months of 2018. Some of our major priorities include:
- Allowing adult-use and medicinal licensees to transact with each other freely, and streamlining regulatory costs for businesses that want to participate in both markets.
- Reversing the decline in compassionate use programs, and ensuring that cannabis can be provided for free to patients with severe medical needs.
- Implementing policies to ensure maximum opportunity for existing growers to transition and succeed and prevent harmful consolidation by acknowledging and managing oversupply.
- Managing substantial increases in the cost of laboratory testing that disproportionately affect small and independent businesses.
- Addressing barriers that prevent producers from obtaining transportation licenses
- Increasing access to microbusiness licenses for small and independent businesses.
Read our full recommendations here.
Reinstating a cap on total cultivation acreage continues to be a top priority and CGA is currently in litigation with CDFA on that topic. Read our legal brief here.
When agencies release new regulations as part of the regular rulemaking period, CalGrowers will be working actively to develop public comment based on members' feedback.