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 November 2017, 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

$35,410

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: <$2,000,000

$1,000

$1,200

Distributor: $2,000,000-$8,000,000

$1,000

$5,000

Distributor: $8,000,000-$80,000,000

$1,000

$36,000

Distributor: >$80,000,000

$1,000

$125,000

Distribution Transport-Only: Self-Distribution: <$2,000,000

$1,000

$500

Distribution Transport-Only: Self-Distribution: $2,000,000-$8,000,000

$1,000

$2,000

Distribution Transport-Only: <$2,000,000

$1,000

$800

Distribution Transport-Only: $2,000,000-$8,000,000

$1,000

$2,500

Retailer: <$500,000

$1,000

$4,000

Retailer: $500,000-$1,500,000

$1,000

$12,000

Retailer: $1,500,000-$4,500,000

$1,000

$36,000

Retailer: >$4,500,000

$1,000

$72,000

Microbusiness: <$500,000

$1,000

$5,000

Microbusiness: $500,000-$1,500,000

$1,000

$15,000

Microbusiness: $1,500,000-$4,500,000

$1,000

$42,000

Microbusiness: >$4,500,000

$1,000

$120,000

Testing laboratory: <$50,000,000

$1,000

$20,000

Testing laboratory: $50,000,000-$500,000,000

$1,000

$45,000

Testing laboratory: >$500,000,000

$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 Tier

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.