Licenses

California began issuing licenses for "commercial cannabis activity" on January 1, 2018.

In 2017, California's legislature passed the Medical and Adult Use Regulation and Safety Act, which combined the state's medicinal and adult use cannabis laws into a single system. The MAUCRSA provides a comprehensive regulatory framework for licensing commercial cannabis in California. 



Where do I apply for a license?

The following agencies issue licenses for commercial cannabis activities:


What license types were created?

Cultivation licenses:

  • Type 1 = Cultivation; Specialty outdoor;
  • Type 1A = Cultivation; Specialty indoor;
  • Type 1B = Cultivation; Specialty mixed-light;
  • Type 1C = Cultivation; Specialty cottage; (AB 2516, 2016)
  • 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; Unlimited; (Prop. 64, 2016. Not available until 2023)

Other licenses:

  • Type 6 = Manufacturer 1.
  • Type 7 = Manufacturer 2.
  • Type 8 = Testing.
  • Type 9 = Non-Storefront Dispensary (delivery).
  • Type 10 = Storefront Dispensary.
  • Type 11 = Distribution.
  • Type 12 = Microbusiness.
  • Type 13 = Distribution Transport-Only.
  • Type 14 = Cannabis Event Organizer.

What are the fees for licenses?

Current licensing fees are set by the emergency regulations released in June 2018, but may change when new regulations are released. Licensing fees are scaled by size and vary by type of activity.

Cultivation Licensing Fees

License Type Application Fee Annual License Fee
Specialty Cottage Outdoor $135 $1,205
Specialty Cottage Indoor $205 $1,830
Specialty Cottage Mixed-Light Tier 1 $340 $3,035
Specialty Cottage Mixed-Light Tier 2 $580 $5,200
Specialty Outdoor $270 $2,410
Specialty Indoor $2,170 $19,540
Specialty Mixed-Light Tier 1 $655 $5,900
Specialty Mixed-Light Tier 2 $1,125 $10,120
Small Outdoor $535 $4,820
Small Indoor $3,935 $25,410
Small Mixed-Light Tier 1 $1,310 $11,800
Small Mixed-Light Tier 2 $2,250 $20,235
Medium Outdoor $1,555 $13,990
Medium Indoor $8,655 $77,905
Medium Mixed-Light Tier 1 $2,885 $25,970
Medium Mixed-Light Tier 2 $4,945 $44,517
Nursery $520 $4,685
Processor $1,040 $9,370

Distribution, Retail, Testing, Microbusiness, and Event License Fees

Fees for these license types are tiered by the total value of product tested, distributed, transported, or retailed.

License Type Application Fee Annual License Fee
Distributor: <$3,000,000 $1,000 $1,200
Distributor: $3,000,000-$12,000,000 $1,000 $10,000
Distributor: $12,000,000-$60,000,000 $1,000 $50,000
Distributor: $60,000,000-$120,000,000 $1,000 $100,000
Distributor: >$120,000,000 $1,000 $200,000
Distribution Transport-Only: Self-Distribution: <$3,000,000 $1,000 $500
Distribution Transport-Only: Self-Distribution: $3,000,000-$12,000,000 $1,000 $1,500
Distribution Transport-Only: Self-Distribution: >$12,000,000 $1,000 $4,000
Distribution Transport-Only: <$3,000,000 $1,000 $800
Distribution Transport-Only: $3,000,000-$12,000,000 $1,000 $2,500
Distribution Transport-Only: >$12,000,000 $1,000 $6,000
Retailer: <$750,000 $1,000 $4,000
Retailer: $750,000-$2,500,000 $1,000 $20,000
Retailer: $2,500,000-$7,500,000 $1,000 $64,000
Retailer: >$7,500,000 $1,000 $120,000
Microbusiness: <$750,000 $1,000 $10,000
Microbusiness: $750,000-$2,500,000 $1,000 $30,000
Microbusiness: $2,500,000-$7,500,000 $1,000 $100,000
Microbusiness: >$7,500,000 $1,000 $180,000
Testing laboratory: <$50,000,000 $1,000 $12,500
Testing laboratory: $50,000,000-$400,000,000 $1,000 $45,000
Testing laboratory: >$400,000,000 $1,000 $90,000
Cannabis Event Organizer: 1-10 events annually $1,000 $5,000
Cannabis Event Organizer: >10 events annually $1,000 $10,000
Temporary Cannabis Event $1,000 N/A

Manufacturing License Fees

Fees for these license types are tiered by annual gross revenue.

License Type Application Fee Annual License Fee
Annual Gross Revenue <$100,000 $1,000 $2,000
Annual Gross Revenue $100,001-$500,000 $1,000 $7,500
Annual Gross Revenue $500,001-$1,500,000 $1,000 $15,000
Annual Gross Revenue $1,500,001-$3,000,000 $1,000 $25,000
Annual Gross Revenue $3,000,001-$5,000,000 $1,000 $35,000
Annual Gross Revenue $5,000,001-$10,000,000 $1,000 $50,000
Annual Gross Revenue >$10,000,000 $1,000 $75,000

Will there be limits on the number of licenses issued?

CDFA has capped Type 3 (medium cultivation) licenses at one per person, but there are currently no other limits on the number of licenses that can be issued.

 


Can I vertically integrate?

For the most part, yes. Under the MCRSA, medicinal cannabis legislation passed in 2015, the legislature took a decidedly cautious approach on vertical integration. However, most of these limits were removed in 2016 after the passage of Proposition 64. Vertical integration is now allowed, with the exception of testing laboratories, which are prohibited from holding ownership interest in any other license type.