California Marijuana Cultivation License >
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There are 30 cannabis business license types in California authorizing various marijuana business activities. It is possible for a cannabis business to hold more than one license in California. However, some licenses are exclusive. For example, entities with the cannabis testing license are not permitted to hold other types of cannabis licenses. Similarly, large cultivators cannot obtain California’s cannabis microbusiness license.
There are currently 17 cannabis cultivation licenses in the State of California. These include:
California offers two tiers of mixed-light cultivation licenses. Tier 1 licensees must use artificial light outputting up to 6 watts per square foot while the Tier 2 license allows 6 - 25 watts of artificial light per square foot.
This license is issued to cultivators only interested in growing cannabis used for propagation such as clones, seeds, and immature plants.
This is the license needed by cultivators that only conduct tasks required for the processing of cultivated cannabis. Such tasks include trimming, drying, curing, grading, packaging, and labeling cannabis products.
California has five cannabis manufacturing licenses. The state classifies these license types by the manufacturing activities conducted; the chemicals used during extraction and post-processing; and whether a facility is used solely for cannabis manufacturing or shared with other cannabis manufacturers.
This manufacturing license covers the scopes of all the other manufacturing licenses except for Type S. This is the license to get for manufacturers intending to use volatile solvents in the extraction and post-extraction processing of cannabis extracts. Manufacturers with this license may also use mechanical methods of extraction and non-volatile solvents during extraction and post-extraction steps. The license also allows them to make infused cannabis products as well as package and label cannabis products.
California defines volatile solvents as chemicals that may produce flammable vapor or gas. It approves the following volatile solvents for cannabis manufacturing:
This license covers all cannabis manufacturing activities except the use of volatile solvents and shared-use facilities. Therefore, license holders can use mechanical methods that rely on pressure or temperature changes to extract cannabinoids from cannabis. They may also use non-volatile solvents, which are chemicals that produce no flammable vapor or gas, during the extraction and post-extraction processing of cannabis. Commonly used non-volatile solvents in cannabis manufacturing include butter, cooking oil, ethanol, and carbon dioxide. With this license, a cannabis business can also infuse cannabis products as well as package and label those products.
Type N licensees can make cannabis products through infusion in order to improve their flavor or some other quality. They are also allowed to package and label cannabis products.
Manufacturers with this license are only allowed to package and label cannabis products.
A Type S license allows a business to share manufacturing space and equipment with other Type S license holders. Businesses with Type S license can extract cannabis using mechanical methods or water, animal fat, glycerin, vegetable oil, or food-grade oils. They may also manufacture infused cannabis products as well as package and label cannabis products. California allows any business with Type 6, 7, or N license to also obtain a Type S license.
Also referred to as Type 8 license, this license is issued to authorize the testing of cannabis products. Testing licensees are required to have their facilities pass the ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation. A testing licensee cannot hold a license in another cannabis license category. A licensee cannot also own or have an ownership interest in a facility licensed under the Department of Cannabis Control.
Also known as a delivery license, this is for a retailer that wants to sell cannabis products to customers only by delivery, without owning a dispensary.
This is the license required to operate a cannabis dispensary in California. It allows a retailer to sell cannabis products from a registered physical location. The license also allows the retailer to deliver cannabis products to shoppers’ addresses.
Businesses with Type 11 distributor licenses can provide storage and transport services for other licensees. They can move cannabis plants and products from cultivation sites to manufacturing and distribution locations and also to dispensaries and other retail outlets. Licensed distributors are also authorized to move, and arrange for, cannabis products for testing.
This is a limited distribution license that only allows for the transportation of cannabis products between cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution sites. California charges a lower Type 13 license fee for cultivators and manufacturers who only plan on transporting the cannabis they grow and produce.
This license is for small-scale vertically integrated cannabis businesses. California grants this license to any business intending to conduct at least three out of these cannabis activities in a single location:
California offers two types of cannabis event licenses: event organizer license and temporary cannabis event license. The event organizer license is for the individual holding a cannabis event while the temporary cannabis event license is for the event itself.