California Cannabis Regulations: Navigating The Turbulent Waters


Cannabis companies in California are topic to one particular of the most strict bodies of cannabis regulations in the planet. And since regulations right here have been in a state of perpetual flux for a lot of years, navigating the state’s regulatory waters can be treacherous for each veterans and newcomers alike.

The existing status of California cannabis regulations as of the time of writing is that they are in a purgatory among initially instituted “emergency regulations” and promised permanent regulations. A set of proposed regulations are outlined in this 160-web page PDF document published by the California Bureau of Cannabis Handle, nevertheless, they have however to get final approval.

For fairly some time now detractors of the BCC’s strategy to regulation have warned that more than-regulation and higher taxes would strangle a lot of of the compact companies that try to play by the guidelines although producing it hard for them to compete with black marketplace sources.

That prediction proved correct when it was not too long ago announced that the state basically sold about $500 million much less marijuana in 2018 with a recreational marketplace in spot than was sold in 2017 when only health-related cannabis was permitted. And the quantity of taxes collected by the state are projected to come in at much less than half what officials anticipated.

And matters look to be finding worse, not greater.


On Jan. 9, 2019, the grandfather period for health-related marijuana collectives and cooperatives ended. As a outcome, these dispensaries, some of which have been operating in the state for more than two decades, will be forced to either get a valid license, close up shop, or operate in noncompliance. A lot of of these operations will decide on the latter, risking getting raided and shuttered by law enforcement and facing feasible criminal charges and hefty fines. With roughly two-thirds of California’s cities and counties obtaining banned retail cannabis companies, a lot of of these issues — most of them compact companies — will come across it not possible to get a license.

Some of these companies have received short-term permits below emergency guidelines, but it will be hard for a lot of of these operators to safe complete annual permits. Despite the fact that officials predicted there would be as a lot of as six,000 cannabis licenses awarded in the very first couple of years, at the time of writing much less than 1/10th of these have been handed out.

In order to get a state license, cannabis producers will have to submit applications to as a lot of as 5 state agencies. And it is not only the state that these companies have to deal with.  In addition to state guidelines, cannabis companies will have to play by county and municipal guidelines which can be just as stifling if not worse.

Just 89 of California’s 482 cities let retail sales. And in Los Angeles, “the biggest Marijuana marketplace in the planet,” just six of 88 municipalities have authorized retail sales. Despite the fact that state law permits dwelling delivery, the Bureau of Cannabis Handle has however to finalize proposed guidelines which could let dispensaries to provide their goods to towns exactly where retail sales are banned.


Following input from the public regulators finalized a set of proposed permanent guidelines in early December. The proposed regulations created below the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Security Act come from 3 agencies — the Bureau of Cannabis Handle, Division of Meals and Agriculture and Division of Public Well being — and touch on all elements of the cannabis sector from seed to sale like advertising.

Right here are some of the extra precise modifications proposed by regulators in the most current draft of sector guidelines.

  • Cannabis delivery by third-celebration organizations that do not have state MJ industrial licenses will be prohibited.

  • The quantity of inventory a single delivery car is permitted to carry will be decreased from $10,000 to $five,000.

  • Licensed applications will expected applicants to disclose far extra info about folks and organizations that hold ownership stakes.

  • Licensing and branding agreements with legacy operators that had been increasing or manufacturing with out a state permit would be expressly prohibited.

These are just a couple of of the regulations outlined in this 160-web page document. But, like we stated, these guidelines have not been completely authorized however. So like it or not, if you are in the cannabis sector in California, you will require to be very carefully tuned into additional developments in order to stay in compliance.


What are the greatest difficulties that California cannabis companies are experiencing when it comes to regulatory compliance? According to IndicaOnline, a publication focused on cannabis retailers, as of January 2018, the 5 most frequent violations committed by California dispensaries had been:

  1. Operating with out a license

  2. Failing to report inventory

  3. Exceeding patient obtain limits

  4. Sales to minors

  5. Lack of documentation for deliveries.

According to the article’s author, “If cannabis compliance violations are committed, the offending cannabis retailer will very first be sent a notice to comply. If the violation is not addressed inside 15 days of getting the notice, the marijuana dispensary could be topic to citations and administrative charges up to $five,000.”

The finest way to prevent these and other regulatory violations is to implement a robust seed-to-sale tracking application such as the one particular constructed into Viridian Science’s cannabis ERP technique. Our seed-to-sale tracking technique has up-to-date regulatory needs constructed ideal in, as nicely as auditing and reporting tools which make it straightforward to comply with regulations.

Viridian Sciences ERP has been created to integrate with any expected compliance technique to allow tracking and reporting. It is developed to manage various places as nicely as various sector verticals like growers, processors, labs, distributors, and dispensaries, as nicely as to be versatile and scalable to develop with your small business.

The California Cannabis sector is in a state of fast adjust. Inside this evolving atmosphere, it is reassuring to know you are operating a trusted seed-to-sale trace-potential technique. 1 that will support preserve you up-to-date with regulations and needs for each and every nation, state or city.




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