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License to Sell Cannabis in California

Did you know that California has no license cap and no residency requirement for a business license within the state? This means anyone with initiative and capital can essentially obtain a business license. So, if you want a license to sell cannabis in California, make sure to contact our cannabis consultants at Quantum 9 so you can start your business venture.

California is known for being one of the first states to legalize a legal cannabis program within the United States. Although this market is well-established, there is still a lot of business opportunities available for the cannabis industry in California. This post focuses on all you need to know about cannabis licensing in California. So stop waiting, and start your application for a license to grow, process, and sell cannabis in California. Our cannabis consultants in California are here to explain the steps that you need to take in order to start a cannabis business in California.

license to sell cannabis in california

Cannabis Licenses in California

To begin with, a state license is mandatory to engage in commercial cannabis activity in California. With that, the local jurisdiction needs to approve the license. Cannabis licenses in California are issued by the Bureau of Cannabis Control, CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, and CDPH’s Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch for cultivators, manufacturers, retailers, distributors, microbusinesses, testing laboratories, and event organizers. As of now, more than 10,000 cannabis operators hold state licenses.

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How to Apply for a Cannabis Business in California

As mentioned before, the Bureau of Cannabis Control is the lead agency that regulates commercial cannabis licenses. This includes medical and adult-use cannabis businesses. With that, the bureau currently accepts license applications through its’ online licensing system. They issue licenses for the following businesses:

  • Retailers (Cannabis Dispensaries)
  • Distributors
  • Testing Laboratories
  • Microbusinesses
  • Temporary Cannabis Events

If you want a license to cultivate cannabis in California, you have to apply with CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing. They also implement a track-and-trace system and track cannabis through the distribution chain. They are currently accepting applications as well.

Dispensary License in California

Let’s say you want to open a dispensary in California. First, you need to apply with the Bureau of Cannabis Control. There are multiple steps you need to take in order to make a successful application. These applications are costly, so make sure to talk to a cannabis consultant in California so you can guarantee a spot. Here are some of the things that our cannabis consultants create for you.

Plans for a Cannabis Application to get a License to Sell Cannabis in California

operation plan cannabis california

 Operation Plan

First, you need an operation or general business plan. This includes stating your goal for the business and making sure you have the right property. We also help you create a work plan so you have an exact idea of how the business will function.

Building Plan

Next, you need a building plan. Zoning is an important aspect when it comes to cannabis businesses. There are many laws and regulations, so you have to make sure to get it right within your application.

You also need to make a model of your business and make sure you have the exact details. Our cannabis consultants at Quantum 9 consistently create successful building plans and win cannabis licenses. Contact us for additional assistance on your application.

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Business and Financial Plan

A business and financial plan is also essential for your application. This plan includes a summary of your background in the cannabis industry or other highly regulated industries.

Another important part of this plan is proof of capital and financing. You can provide proof of this with:

  • Statements from your bank
  • Business financial statements
  • Net worth statements
  • Debt and equity statements

Safety and Security Plan

A safety and security plan is an incredibly important part of the cannabis application process in California. Whether you want a license to grow cannabis in California or a cannabis dispensary, you need a solid safety and security plan. Within this part of the application, you need to include information such as:

  • Licensed security personnel
  • Alarm and video surveillance system
  • Access and visitor management
  • Facility designs which include the locations of cameras and alarms
  • Diversion prevention plan
  • Emergency management plan
  • Sanitation practices

Environmental Plan

cannabis license in california

A solid and detailed environmental plan is also incredibly important for the application. Our cannabis consultants in California can assist you in creating a plan so you can have a sustainable business plan.

With that, you have to make sure you specify how you will keep your business sustainable. The carbon footprint of your cannabis business is really important for the bureau. A detailed plan to minimize odor, light and noise pollution is a necessity in order for you to obtain a cannabis license in California.

Additionally, you may need to get approval from CalFire or the Department of Fish and Wildlife depending on the business you want to operate.

This is just a basis of the material you need within a cannabis application in California You also need information in order to guarantee a cannabis license in California. Make sure to contact our cannabis consultants at Quantum 9 for an easy application process.

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Get to Know your Local Government so you can Sell Cannabis in California

In order to have a chance within the cannabis industry in California, you need approval from different agencies and local/state governments. For example, you need to get approval from the Department of Tax and Fee Administration and the Secretary of State in California. This is extremely important if you want a license to sell cannabis in California.

You also need to form a legal entity through the California Secretary of State. With that, you need to determine whether you are an LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, or MBNPC.

Additionally, you need to seek local approval. It is essential that you talk to your local government officials. Also, some localities do not approve of cannabis businesses, so you need to make sure you are planning your business correctly. Each locality is unique, so you need to know the environment.

License to Grow Cannabis in California: 2021

Although the cannabis industry is well-established within California, there are still changes to be made. The cannabis industry is still a relatively new business and we can expect markets to shift.

So, what are new changes to the cannabis market within California in 2021?

A new change includes the merging of three state regulatory agencies into one. This regulatory agency shall be called the Department of Cannabis Control.

Additionally, there should be more licensing opportunities for business entrepreneurs.

Something unique about the market in California is that they do not have a state license cap. Additionally, they do not have a residency requirement. This means that anyone with the initiative and the capital can have a business license.

This new merger also simplifies the licensing process in California. This change within the cannabis regulatory board is to be completed by July 2021.

Lastly, if you want a cannabis business in California, now is the time to apply. Our cannabis consultants at Quantum 9 provide an easy and successful application process. Contact us here.


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Natalie Jachymiak

About Natalie Jachymiak

Natalie is an author and marketing expert who covers topics related to business, policy, and licensing within the cannabis industry. She specializes in content creation, advertising, and public relations. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago majoring in Communications and Marketing.

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