Cannabis Consulting
California Cannabis Regulations

Career Licensing Law & Compliance for California Cannabis Regulations, 2020 Career News, Information & Updates

California Cannabis Regulations

State Authority & Contact:

Bureau of Cannabis Control (CA Department of Consumer Affairs)
PO Box 419016, Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-9106
Phone: 1-833-768-5880

Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (CA Department of Public Health)
PO Box 997377, MS 7606, Sacramento CA 95899-7377
Phone: 855-421-7887

CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing (CA Department of Food & Agriculture)
Phone: 1-833-CALGROW (1-833-225-4769)

Scope of Licenses:

Medicinal (M-) and Adult-Use Recreational (A-):
  • Type 1 (Cultivation; Specialty outdoor; Small)
  • Type 1A (Cultivation; Specialty indoor; Small)
  • Type 1B (Cultivation; Specialty mixed-light; Small)
  • Type 1C (Cultivation; Specialty cottage; Small)
  • 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; Outdoor; Large)
  • Type 5A (Cultivation; Indoor; Large)
  • Type 5B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Large)
  • Type 6 (Manufacturer 1) Extraction: Non-volatile Solvents, Mechanical Methods
  • Type 7 (Manufacturer 2) Extraction: Volatile Solvents
  • Type N Infusions (optional packaging and labeling)
  • Type P Packaging & Labeling Only
  • Type S (coming soon, shared-use manufacturing facilities)
  • Type 8 (Testing Laboratory)
  • Type 9 (Non-Storefront Retailer)
  • Type 10 (Retailer)
  • Type 11 (Distributor)
  • Type 12 (Microbusiness)
  • Type 13 (Distributor Transport Only)
  • Type 14 (Cannabis Event Organizer)

California Cannabis Regulation References:


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the emergency rulemaking process?

Before California Governor Jerry Brown approved the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) in June 2017, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) had followed the regular rulemaking process and submitted proposed regulations for the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act to the Office of Administrative Law. However, once MAUCRSA became law, CDFA had to withdraw those regulations; instead, a new set of regulations consistent with changes in the new law was proposed in November 2017. CDFA followed the emergency rulemaking process for these regulations. This will be followed immediately by the regular rulemaking process to make the regulations permanent. To initiate the emergency rulemaking process, the state agency files emergency regulations with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) at least 10 calendar days before the effective date. During the first five days of OAL’s review period, the public may submit comments to OAL, with a copy for the state agency. The state agency has until the eighth day of OAL’s 10-day review period to submit to OAL a rebuttal to any public comments; however, this step is optional. The OAL’s deadline for a decision is on the tenth day after the emergency regulations were filed, and, if approved, the emergency regulations are filed with the Secretary of State and will become effective immediately for 180 days. (MAUCRSA allows for one 180-day re-adoption if the agency is making progress toward adopting the permanent regulations.) For an illustrated step-by-step guide to this process, see the flowcharts on pages 5 and 7 for regular rulemaking and emergency rulemaking.

What is the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s regulatory authority for licensing cannabis cultivators and implementing a track-and-trace system?

When a state legislature passes—and the governor approves—a law (also known as a statute), this enacts a new program or changes the laws governing an existing program. After the law’s passage, one or more state agencies must adopt new regulations, amend existing regulations, and/or repeal existing regulations to ensure the program runs effectively. When the California State Legislature passed the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act in 2015, and California voters passed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64) in 2016, both acts designated responsibilities for oversight of commercial cannabis to several state agencies. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) was granted the authority to (a) establish a cannabis cultivation licensing process for the state, and (b) develop a track-and-trace system to record the movement of cannabis and cannabis products through the state’s supply chain. As a result, CDFA created a new division called CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, which is tasked with overseeing these projects. On June 27, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the cannabis trailer bill (also known as California Senate Bill 94). A trailer bill is legislation that implements specific changes to the law to enact the state budget. Generally a separate trailer bill is needed for each major area of budget appropriation, such as transportation, human services, education, revenue, or, in this case, cannabis. These bills typically are negotiated as part of the entire budget package each fiscal year. In this instance, the cannabis trailer bill effectively merged the two existing cannabis bills—the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act and the Adult Use of Marijuana Act—into one streamlined bill: the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA). Having one comprehensive state law will provide for a more unified and efficient regulatory process governing both medicinal and adult-use (recreational) cannabis. For a link to the most recent version of MAUCRSA, please visit the CalCannabis website at

What is the regular rulemaking process?

The state agency must prepare the following documents and submit them to the Office of Administrative Law to initiate the regular rulemaking process: Economic Impact Assessment (for nonmajor regulations with less than $50 million in economic impacts) or Standardized Regulatory Impact Assessment (also known as a SRIA, pronounced sir-RHEE-uh, for major regulations with more than $50 million in economic impacts) – A SRIA is required with the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) regulatory package because the cannabis cultivation regulations are considered a major regulation. It includes information on how the regulations will impact businesses and jobs and the potential impacts on competition and investment in California. The SRIA is posted on the California Department of Finance website at Economic and Fiscal Impact Statement (Form STD.399) – This is a California Department of Finance form that includes information on the estimated economic and fiscal monetary impacts of the proposed regulations. Notice of Proposed Action – This notice provides critical information about the regulations, including a summary of existing laws that pertain to cannabis, the specific statutory authority that requires CDFA to create regulations, and details about the process for receiving the public’s comments. Initial Statement of Reasons (ISR) – The Initial Statement of Reasons provides the rationale behind CDFA’s decisions for including each section of the regulations and describes the purpose, need, and benefits of the regulations. It also identifies the supporting materials used to make regulatory decisions. Proposed Text of Regulations (Express Terms) – This text identifies any proposed changes to the California Code of Regulations. The state agency must publish the Notice of Proposed Action in the California Regulatory Notice Register and mail a copy to those who have requested it. The agency also must post on its website the Notice of Proposed Action, Initial Statement of Reasons, and the Proposed Text of Regulations. Once a Notice of Proposed Action has been issued by the state agency and published by the Office of Administrative Law, a regular rulemaking record will officially be opened and the minimum 45-day public comment period commences. The state agency may hold a public hearing; if the agency does not schedule a public hearing, anyone interested in having one may submit a written request for a hearing at least 15 days prior to the close of the written comment period, and that request must be granted. The state agency then receives and reviews the comments received during the official public comment period—and must summarize and respond to all of the comments. Some comments might ask for clarification of the proposed regulations, other comments might propose regulatory changes. If the state agency makes changes to the regulations, the changes are categorized as follows: Nonsubstantial Changes—Or No Changes Nonsubstantial changes do not alter the regulatory effect of the proposed provisions, and therefore the rulemaking process continues. The state agency updates the Informative Digest and prepares a Final Statement of Reasons (with a summary and a response to the public comments) and a Final Text of Regulations. Substantial and Sufficiently Related Changes These are changes considered reasonably foreseeable based on the Notice of Proposed Action and must be made available for public comment for at least 15 days. The state agency mails a notice of opportunity for commenting on the proposed changes (along with a copy of the proposed changes) to each person who has submitted written comments about the proposal, testified at an official public hearing (and provided contact information), or asked to receive any notices of modification. The agency also must post this notice on its website. When no further substantial changes are made to the proposed regulations, the agency updates the Informative Digest and prepares the Final Statement of Reasons (with a summary and a response to the public comments) and the Final Text of Regulations. Substantial Changes Not Sufficiently Related—Or Major Changes These are changes to the original proposal that are not reasonably foreseeable based on the Notice of Proposed Action. The state agency is obligated to publish another Notice of Proposed Action in the California Regulatory Notice Register, and hold another 45-day or longer public comment period. When no further substantial changes are made to the proposed regulations, the agency updates the Informative Digest and prepares the Final Statement of Reasons (with a summary and a response to the public comments) and the Final Text of Regulations. The state agency must transmit a rulemaking action to the Office of Administrative Law for review within one year from the date the notice was published in the California Regulatory Notice Register. Once submitted, the Office of Administrative Law has 30 working days to conduct a review of the rulemaking record. Generally, regulations go into effect on one of four quarterly dates, which are based on the dates the final regulations are filed with California’s Secretary of State: January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1. However, an effective date may vary if a specific effective date is stated in statute or other law, the adopting agency requests a later effective date, or the agency demonstrates good cause for an earlier effective date. For an illustrated step-by-step guide to this process, see the flowcharts on pages 5 and 7 for regular rulemaking and emergency rulemaking.

Where can I read more about California’s cannabis licensing process?

For information about state licenses for cannabis farmers, please visit the CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing website at For details on other types of cannabis licensing in California, including manufacturing (such as edibles), testing, distribution, and retail, go to the California Cannabis Portal at

What is the process for creating the state cannabis cultivation regulations?

The California Administrative Procedure Act establishes the rulemaking procedures and standards for California’s state agencies. The act’s requirements are designed to provide the public with a meaningful opportunity to participate in the adoption of state regulations and help ensure the regulations are clear, necessary, and legally valid. The majority of adopted regulations that conform to the Administrative Procedure Act are submitted to the Office of Administrative Law as a “regular rulemaking.” Unless a proposed rulemaking action is submitted to the Office of Administrative Law as an “emergency rulemaking,” or is exempt from the Administrative Procedure Act, the regular rulemaking process must be followed when a state agency undergoes a rulemaking action.

California Universal Symbol for Cannabis

California Universal Symbol for Cannabis

Download PNG file or Download JPG file

This site focuses or refers to information and services regarding Cannabis Manufacturing Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act of 2015 meat and seafood, and other products convicted of a substantially related crime premises diagram limited to a maximum of 1,000 mg per package Premises Diagram inventory Water/Food-grade Dry Ice Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing division volatile solvent licensed cannabis distributors packaging and labeling Live Scans for each owner Seller’s permit number transporting cannabis goods M-licensees opaque exit package manufacturer's name workshops hosted by the Bureau of Cannabis Control shaped like a human, animal, insect, or fruit equity interest in a commercial cannabis business Manufacturing (non-volatile) Transport vehicles alarm system stickers product formulation dried flower Homogeneity Testing of Edible Cannabis Products nonlaboratory quality control Local Authorization Attachment commercial kitchens packaging and labeling requirements commercial cannabis manufacturers cannabis training Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch evidence of rehabilitation Microbusiness scaled to the gross annual revenue of the licensed premises sanitary and hazard-free environment infusion CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing primary panel requirements cultivation (on an area less than 10,000 square feet) some nutritional facts pre-made or purchased protocol activity for a period of 120 days regulatory framework manufacture cannabis products hang tag or a peel-back label transportation of cannabis goods Retailer (Type 10) CDTFA seller’s permit tinctures required limits persons with a financial interest in the cannabis business storage of cannabis goods medicinal and adult-use or both markets exception for testing laboratories Business and Professions Code section 26050.1 Moisture Content Testing identity of the product Temporary Cannabis Event 2020 recent news compliance with regulations MCSB’s temporary license application sugar valid waiver contaminants Temporary License Application Information informational panel licensing scheme an officer or director of a cannabis business testing laboratories designated structure Criminal History capsules 2020 compliance written procedures for inventory control member manager ingredient list Temporary event up to 4 days amount of THC/CBD per serving and per package public Licensee Lookup Tool compliance with local jurisdiction allergen information Food-grade Butter/Oil child-resistant packaging Local Jurisdictions manufacturing cannabis products Cultivation less than 10,000 extracts security and cannabis waste disposal Fingerprints ownership premises is not within a Government requiring refrigeration Owner inhalable cannabis comply with all packaging and labeling requirements Premises Information Premises diagram microbusinesses medicinal and adult-use commercial cannabis activity destruction of cannabis goods payable to the state of California waste management laws A-license and an M-license for the same commercial cannabis activity manned motor vehicle The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) operating procedures Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) 2020 updates Distributor Transport Only packaging Category I Residual Pesticides Testing 2,000 mg of THC per package for the medicinal-use market period of 120 days edibles packaging opaque loan provided to a commercial cannabis business at least 20% ownership interest commercial cannabis activity Business Information Form # CDPH-9041 Labor peace agreement contaminant free property for the commercial cannabis activity medicinal and adult use cannabis goods transported together Track and Trace product guidelines Mechanical potentially-hazardous foods loop system CDPH-issued universal symbol onsite consumption of cannabis goods tamper-evident Local Issuing Authority Temporary License Application Carbon Dioxide (CO2) secondary package Arranging for laboratory testing Edibles– Products regulations for medical and adult-use cannabis in California delivery vehicle $3,000 of cannabis goods secured area Extractions using CO2 The Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB) online licensing system must enter certain events no added caffeine Local Authorization product as a candy prohibited Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) government warning statement label ANTICIPATED ANNUAL (NONTEMPORARY) LICENSE APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS Water Activity Testing of Solid or Semi-Solid Edibles tobacco products cannabis sales and/or consumption highly-concentrated oils or waxes labeling manufacturing (Level 1 manufacturing, Type 6) BUREAU OF CANNABIS CONTROL Microbial Impurities Testing (A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. niger, A. terreus) procedures for inventory control state cannabis licensing Type S share facility space distributors at least 99% purity medicinal and adult-use markets cannabis plants The California Department of Public Health's Heavy Metals Testing Financial Interest cannabis event organizer license chain of custody concentrate amount of THC content Butane/Hexane/Propane financial interest holder finished product persons 21 years of age or older secondary packaging vape cartridges licensing and regulating commercial cannabis manufacturers licensing cannabis third-party testing laboratories Cannabinoids Testing minimum standards for extraction processes cannabis adult-use products re-sealable carbohydrates and fat per serving track and trace system Percentage of ownership Physical address licensed cannabis manufacturers 2020 important information child-resistant outer package hydrocarbon-based solvents quality control cannabis products in container or wrapper for sale local jurisdiction’s requirements Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Cannabis Control cannabis cultivation licensing A-license and an M-license supply chains for medicinal and adult-use cannabis products diagram of the business’s layout Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 (PPPA) Identifying information shared-use manufacturing facilities Financial information edible products 2020 laws adult-use commercial cannabis activity Industrial Hemp Advisory Board Licensee Information disposal manufacturers who package for other producers amount of sodium structure and formation documents inventory and quality control periods of 90 days extensions entry into the legal, regulated market license review process Non-Storefront Retailer (Type 9) licenses for both medicinal and adult-use cannabis manufacturing at the same premises manufacturing practices Ethanol purchasing cannabis products on tribal lands California Department of Public Health (CDPH) shares of stock that are less than 5% of the total shares in a publicly traded company commercial cannabis manufacturing Category II Residual Solvents and Processing Chemicals Testing Completed Temporary License Application Form no infusion of alcohol 600-foot radius of a school Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) conducting quality assurance review final form 600 foot radius of a school cannabis waste small product packaging Foreign Material Testing retailers Manufactured Cannabis Licensing System (MCLS) testing methods three cannabis licensing authorities licensed cannabis cultivators Licensees laboratory quality assurance basic nutritional information local jurisdiction authorization cultivation licensing cannabis retailers California Department of Public Health Mycotoxins Testing Proposition 65 motor carrier permit Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB) 2020 revisions annual license application investment into a commercial cannabis business manufacturing activities supplemental label certified by a California-licensed engineer good manufacturing practices cannabis cartoons Bond and Insurance Information sanitary workplaces health claims Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act commercial cannabis manufacturing activity waste disposal California Public Records Act paper inserted into the packaging local jurisdiction’s ordinances and regulations M-license Terpenoids Testing highly-concentrated THC/CBD such as oil, wax and resin transportation operating premises Conducting quality assurance review of cannabis goods ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation sales of cannabis goods 2020 new laws Proposition 64: The Adult Use of Cannabis Act of 2016 transport cannabis goods to retailer labels not be attractive exit packaging Distributor transport managing member CALIFORNIA BUREAU OF CANNABIS CONTROL testing lab packaging and labeling requirements for pre-rolls 100 mg of THC per package health impacts of cannabis 2020 problems immature live plants and seeds being transported from a licensed nursery licensed physical location (premises) Retailer (nonstorefront) medicinal and adult-use cannabis manufacturing temporary license topicals separate applications local jurisdiction Personnel Requirements definition of owner conditional license licensing cannabis microbusinesses LICENSE APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS 2020 fines 2020 regulations commercial cannabis products CO2 and ethanol extractions no infusion of nicotine Business Organizational aggregate interest of 20% or more public health and safety onsite sale and consumption of cannabis goods consumption of alcohol or tobacco cannabis industries THC levels A-licensees Operating Procedures three state cannabis-licensing authorities emergency regulations alcoholic beverages supply chain access to the area(s) Category I Residual Solvents and Processing Chemicals Testing commercial cannabis manufacturing in California mandated warning statements Application Checklist Vehicle Requirements recordkeeping Licensee Lookup Tool licensed premises Department of Public Health’s Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch licensing cannabis distributors Incorporating THC/CBD concentrates CDPH-9041 120 days Individual Owner MCSB extraction A-license Bond in the amount of $5,000 transportation and security regulations for medicinal and adult-use cannabis manufacturing list of artificial food colorings sampling standards Transition Period evidence of the legal right to occupy the premises the commercial medicinal and adult-use (recreational) medicinal commercial cannabis activity 2020 resolutions cannabis market surety bond 2020 issues disclosure of all criminal convictions disposal and destruction methods Proposed Section 40133 MANUFACTURED CANNABIS SAFETY BRANCH 2020 proposed changes Category II Residual Pesticides Testing Microbial Impurities Testing (Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp.) unique ID/batch number remove THC/CBD testing of cannabis goods shipping manifest security limited to a maximum of 10 mg of THC per serving and more.

In addition, Quarantine Type 6 – for extraction using a mechanical method or non-volatile solvent (ex: CO2, ethanol, water, or food-grade dry ice, cooking oils or butter) Type 3A (Cultivation; Indoor; Medium) Track and trace system CBD from industrial hemp Type 3 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Medium) Adulterated Type 1 (Cultivation; Specialty outdoor; Small) Type 5B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Large) Bureau Processor UID Cultivation Ingredient THC Type 12 (Microbusiness) Medium Outdoor Extraction Watts per square foot Type 1B (Cultivation; Specialty mixed-light; Small) Allergen cross-contact Manufacturer licensee cannabis concentrates Cultivation site Licensee Specialty Indoor Small Mixed-Light Tier 2 Processing aid Indoor cultivation Personnel Labeling Pest Track-and-trace systems Type 11 (Distributor) Distribution Premises In-process material Manufacture Applicant Primary panel Harvest Batch Type N Infusions (optional packaging and labeling) Type 13 (Distributor Transport Only) Raw material Pathogen Microorganisms Allergen Processing Mixed-light cultivation Quality control operation Small Outdoor Type 5 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Large) Lot Immature plant Validation Medium Mixed-Light Tier 1 Hazard Batch Type 1A (Cultivation; Specialty indoor; Small) Commercial cannabis activity adulteration Sanitize Request for Live Scan Specialty Mixed-Light Tier 2 Type 6 (Manufacturer 1) Extraction: Non-volatile Solvents, Mechanical Methods Specialty Cottage Indoor Monitor Nursery DPH-17-010E Wet weight Type 10 (Retailer) Informational panel Limited-access area Net weight Volatile solvent Product Identity list of cannabis manufacturers Contact surface Specialty Cottage Mixed-Light Tier 2 Specialty Cottage Outdoor Adequate Type 1C (Cultivation; Specialty cottage; Small) Theoretical yield Proposition 65 warning statement Kief Nonvolatile solvent Small Mixed-Light Tier 1 alternate use of a manufacturing premises CBD Specialty Cottage Mixed-Light Tier 1 Finished product Type 3B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Medium) Mixed-light Tier 2 Edible cannabis product MCSB 90-day extension periods Type S (coming soon, shared-use manufacturing facilities) Commercial-grade, non-residential door lock Cannabis product Type 4 (Cultivation; Nursery) Infusion Specialty Mixed-Light Tier 1 Package Preventive controls Dried flower infused pre-rolls Type 8 (Testing Laboratory) Type P – for packaging and labeling only Type 2 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Small) Topical cannabis product Pre-roll Adult-use Market gross annual revenue for first year in operation under MAUCRSA Quality control personnel cakes, cookies, beverages and juices, tea and coffee, chocolates, gummies, gum, and mints Type 9 (Non-Storefront Retailer) track and trace system Medium Mixed-Light Tier 2 Actual yield M-license Specialty Outdoor Quality infused butters and oils as concentrates Department Mature plant Type 7 (Manufacturer 2) Extraction: Volatile Solvents package flower or pre-rolls Type N – for infusions Mixed-light Tier 1 Type 5A (Cultivation; Indoor; Large) Flowering Unique identifier Small Indoor Type 14 (Cannabis Event Organizer) Qualified individual Type P Packaging & Labeling Only Type 7 – for extraction using a volatile solvent (ex: butane, propane and hexane) products similar to traditional food products prohibited Type 2B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Small) Canopy Nonmanufactured cannabis product Holding Universal symbol Outdoor cultivation Medium Indoor Verification THC limit of 10 milligrams per serving and 100 milligrams per package Serving Type 2A (Cultivation; Indoor; Small) Environmental pathogen Component Process and more.

Disclaimer: Informational and educational purposes. Self-help services (not legal advice). Site is not affiliated with any state agency. Note that site might not contain the most updated information. Your receipt of any information from this site does not create a relationship. Prior results do not guarantee or suggest a similar result in other matters. No promise is made with regard to services or content's reliability, availabilty, or ability to meet any needs. Information and services provided "AS IS."

All Rights Reserved