Posts tagged Regulations

The moment cannabis became legal in a wide array of states including California for medical and recreational uses; Cannapreneurs as well as cannabis investors knew the game was changing. This change meant certain laws were enacted to govern and of course, ensure a level playing field for everyone in the industry.

Cannabis Compliance

The moment you’ve been granted a cannabis license in California to retail cannabis, means you are officially a member of the world’s largest legal cannabis trade. Being handed the opportunity to sell cannabis legally in this state or any other state in the US is a lifetime opportunity. This means, you now have the right to retail, distribute, and of course dispense cannabis.

All of which must be done in compliance with every Californian law and regulation applicable. Taking to mind the aforementioned tip, it should be worthy to note that, the moment the license is obtained, your ability to stay compliant with the laws and regulations shouldn’t be neglected. Operating contrary to this is tantamount to losing the license you worked so hard to gain.

California Cannabis Compliance Guide

With that in mind, enclosed below are some of the key California cannabis compliance aspects you’d need to know.

Documentation And Reconciliation of Inventory Requirements

The state of California requires that all legal cannabis retailers record and maintain detailed inventory records. Meaning you must reconcile your inventory physically, along site your internal records at least once every 2 weeks.


Customer Verification as well as Daily Purchase Limits

When it comes to cannabis compliance in California, nothing is for granted. All of which is evident considering you must verify your client's identities and their ages. This must be done to ensure you aren’t dealing minors, because doing so may place you at the wrong side of the law. Like the laws stipulates, Adult-use customers must be 21 or older and must present a valid identification document.

Medical patients or caregivers on the other hand must be 18 or older and must equally present a valid identification document. Unlike Adult-use customers, Medical patients or caregivers must present a recommendation from a certified physician.

Always Track and Trace All Reporting Requirements

Tagged as “seed to sale” reporting, track and trace reporting is a key cannabis compliance aspect in California. This method of cannabis compliance gives access to the state to monitor the cultivation, processing, transportation, and sales of every cannabis plant. With the aid of Metrc (MED Marijuana Inventory Tracking System), the whole process is made easy and stress-free.

Metrc Reporting

Once you’ve successfully created and had your account setup in Metrc, then you can either report your daily activities manually or automatically. With manual reporting, you’d be required to log in daily into your Metrc account. Specifically at the end of every business day, to input and or record all data from the different transactions carried out. With automated reporting, you’d have to use certain cannabis-related retail software solutions.

Most of which must be integrated with Metrc, to synchronize all data from your store's transactions so they can occur in real-time.

Compiling Reports With No Internet

Should you be faced with situations of this magnitude, which made you lose access to Metrc for daily reporting, endeavor to compile a detailed record of all of the data. When that is done, make sure it is backlogged into Metrc within three days of restored connectivity.

Final Note

Making it big in the legal cannabis trade isn’t all about venturing into the industry with a lot of capital. While capital is essential and tagged as the lifeblood of every business, your ability to make it big in the legal cannabis trade in California depends solely on how much you comply with the laws governing the cannabis trade within the state. Do that and you’d be thrilled with the outcome.


For Cannabis Business Licensing help, call at . We help cannabis business owners navigate the complex world of State and Local Cannabis Regulations while helping to develop and grow your business in the right direction. CAP can assist with projects large or small. Whether you’re looking for full-service state and local cannabis licensing or other services such as Cannabis Pro Forma, Cannabis Business Plan, Cannabis Business SOP, and Cannabis Investor Presentation development, we have you covered.

Michigan Cuts Off Cannabis Caregivers
Michigan Cuts Off Cannabis Caregivers
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Starting October 1st, 2020, Michigan will prevent licensed caregivers from selling cannabis to the legal market. Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency plans to cut off the caregivers in order for the market to work itself out. Originally, caregivers were allowed by the state to provide cannabis to up to five medical cardholders. To overcome a shortage of cannabis, they also allowed caregivers to sell to licensed growers and processors. Today, Michigan has nearly 200 licensed medical cannabis growers.

“We have always put patients first when we make decisions regarding medical marijuana,” MRA Executive Director Andrew Brisbo said in the bulletin. “This phase out process is an important next step in implementing the will of Michigan voters and making sure that patients continue to have access to their medicine.”

Beginning Sunday, growers and processors were prohibited from obtaining marijuana plants, concentrates, vape cartridges, and infused products from caregivers. Growers and processors will be permitted to continue buying unlimited flower from caregivers until May 31. From June 1 to Sept. 30, a commercial grower can only obtain caregiver-grown marijuana flower that weighs less than or equal to 50% of the total weight of flower that the commercial grower harvests. The final phase is Oct. 1, when growers can no longer obtain flower from caregivers.

For Cannabis Business Licensing help, call at . We help cannabis business owners navigate the complex world of State and Local Cannabis Regulations while helping to develop and grow your business in the right direction. CAP can assist with projects large or small. Whether you’re looking for full-service state and local cannabis licensing or other services such as Cannabis Pro Forma, Cannabis Business Plan, Cannabis Business SOP, and Cannabis Investor Presentation development, we have you covered.

Weedmaps Remove 2,700 Illegally Operating Cannabis Dispensaries
Weedmaps Remove 2,700 Illegally Operating Cannabis Dispensaries

Weedmaps has reportedly removed about 2,700 illegally operating cannabis dispensaries from its site since the start of the year. A law that passed last year allows California regulators to impose a $30,000-per-day fine for violations by a company advertising illegal cannabis companies.

But Weedmaps’ new filtering system hasn’t stopped all unlicensed operators from advertising on the site, and many in the regulated market expect even more diligent filtering from the prominent and dynamic platform. This system allows unlicensed cannabis retailers to stay on the site by pasting “CBD” into their names, said McGowan, noting that companies in the CBD category do not need to enter a commercial license number to do so. advertising. According to McGowan, other rogue advertisers “simply enter legal cannabis license numbers that they poach to real licensees.”

According to McGowan, a cannabis consultant following the weedmaps trends, says number of marijuana retail ads on Weedmaps fell from 5,610 on December 31 to 2,920 on January 3, down 2,690 illicit stores, or about 48% of Weedmaps’ retail ads .

Sacramento Serves Warrants to 24 Unlicensed Dispensaries
Sacramento Serves Warrants to 24 Unlicensed Dispensaries

SACRAMENTO – The Bureau of Cannabis Control (Bureau) and the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Cannabis Enforcement Unit (DOI-CEU) today announced a series of enforcement actions against illegal cannabis retailers operating in Los Angeles.

Search warrants were served on 24 unlicensed locations over a 3-day period from December 10 to December 12 and resulted in the seizing of $8.8 million in cannabis and cannabis products. Enforcement staff also confiscated 9,885 illegal vape pens and $128,742 in cash.

“This week’s collaborative enforcement efforts were a huge success,” said Bureau Chief Lori Ajax. “We look forward to working with local jurisdictions and law enforcement as we continue to shut down unlicensed operators in the illicit cannabis market.”

All commercial cannabis activity in California must be conducted on a premises with a valid license issued by the appropriate state cannabis licensing authority. Manufacturing, distributing or selling cannabis goods without a state license or at a location that is not licensed is a violation of state law. To file a complaint regarding illegal activity, click here – Enforcement Online Services.

To check and see if a cannabis business is licensed by the state, visit

Long Beach to Lower Cannabis Taxes for Non-Storefront Businesses
Long Beach to Lower Cannabis Taxes for Non-Storefront Businesses

The Long Beach City Council has voted to lower the tax rate for cannabis cultivators, manufacturers, distributors and testing labs from 6% to 1%.

 Although this new rate won’t come into effect until an ordinance is created, many cannabis business owners are starting to feel more at ease after months of lobbying for lower taxes.

The City Council purposely left retail taxes out of the picture. By lowering the taxes of other cannabis business sectors, cannabis dispensaries will pass on less product costs to their customers. This will give the Long Beach legal cannabis market time to establish itself and outgrow the black-market shops.

As of August 2019, the city had received 618 cannabis business applications, in which only 106 of those had been issued a business license. Hundreds of facilities remain under construction, under building plan review or pending building plants or initial zoning review.

At 6%, Long Beach currently holds one of the highest taxes for any non-storefront cannabis business. Even Los Angeles holds a 2% tax on cultivation on manufacturing and cultivation and 1% on distribution and lab testing.

The city’s cannabis revenue will drop a few hundred thousand dollars, but this will depend on how many cannabis businesses the city allows to open its doors.

The ordinance will be drafted in the next coming months and will not go into effect until the city council approves it twice and at least 30 days have passed after the mayor signs it into law.

Thousands of cannabis licenses are set to expire in California. 'Some of them won’t be able to survive.'
Thousands of cannabis licenses are set to expire in California. 'Some of them won’t be able to survive.'

Amy DiPierro, Palm Springs Desert SunPublished 4:19 p.m. PT March 20, 2019 | Updated 4:57 p.m. PT March 20, 2019

The clock is ticking for thousands of legal cannabis licenses set to expire over the coming months.

More than 10,000 licenses are due to lapse over the next six months, according to a Desert Sun analysis of state licensing data downloaded March 14. The anticipated expirations complicate the efforts of legal cannabis companies to follow the letter of state law, which requires all businesses touching the marijuana plant to have a valid license. Without a license, operators face a choice to either close their doors or slip into the black market.

California regulators awarded thousands of temporary licenses in 2018, each lasting 120 days plus additional 90-day extensions.

To transition the industry to a permanent licensing system, state rules prohibit the renewal of the temporary licenses in 2019. But the operators of cannabis companies that have opened for business with temporary licenses worry their current paperwork will expire before state regulators award them annual licenses.

The number of active and inactive cannabis licenses fluctuates each day, as state agencies award new licenses and existing licenses expire.  

An analysis of cannabis licensing data from the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), the California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) also found:

  • The number of temporary licenses awarded by the CDFA and the BCC, minus the expired licenses, spiked in the final months of 2018 before the agencies had to stop awarding temporary licenses under state rules.

  • Many licenses awarded by the CDFA and the CDPH, which oversees the manufacturers of products like edibles and tinctures, will start to expire before the bulk of licenses awarded by the BCC, which regulates retailers, distributors and laboratories.

  • More than 6,000 licenses awarded by the CDFA, which regulates cultivators, are due to expire in the six months ending Sept. 14 if they do not receive replacement licenses, the most expirations of the three agencies.

  • As of March 20, the three agencies had awarded a total of 124 annual licenses, a figure dwarfed by thousands of temporary licenses expected to expire.

Lawmakers have already created one avenue to tide over temporary licensees: A non-renewable provisional license meant to bridge the gap between temporary and annual licenses, which agencies can issue through Jan. 1.

A statement from CDPH said the agency "is working diligently to process license applications before the temporary license expires," adding that applicants can speed up the review process by responding to questions quickly. 

The expirations are a less pressing concern at the Bureau of Cannabis Control, where most temporary licenses won't start expiring until June. The agency plans to issue provisional licenses to qualifying temporary licensees and annual licenses to companies that don't have a temporary license, said Alex Traverso, a spokesperson for the Bureau.

California lawmakers are also contemplating an additional fix, SB-67, which would extend all temporary license expiration dates until the end of 2019 and allow regulators to issue provisional licenses through July 1, 2020. The bill, which has garnered support from cannabis growers and industry groups, was last amended March 4.

Coachella Valley cannabis insiders said they have been keeping in touch with the three state licensing authorities in the hopes of getting annual licenses before their temporary ones run out, but most are hopeful that SB-67 will reform the rules so that companies trying to stay compliant aren’t forced out of the legal business.

Jeff Homolya examines marijuana plants at Canndescent in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., where he works as the Cultivation Manager, March 7, 2018. (Photo: Zoe Meyers/The Desert Sun)

Canndescent, a 200-person company that grows, manufactures and distributes cannabis in Desert Hot Springs, has reassigned an employee from her usual job to have her focus on licensing, said Tom DiGiovanni, the company’s chief financial officer. Canndescent has 13 licenses in California, and it needs to convert all of them to annual licenses, he said, so staying in contact with regulators and sending them additional information as requested is a full-time job.  

DiGiovanni said he’s optimistic that lawmakers will devise a stopgap measure to extend temporary licenses. But Canndescent could face serious pipeline problems if not, he added. If one of Canndescent’s cultivation licenses lapses, the growers can’t simply transfer the crop to another Canndescent license that’s still valid under state rules. And Canndescent could face a shrinking list of customers if the retailers that buy its products lose their temporary licenses.

“Some of them won’t be able to survive. They won’t come back,” DiGiovanni said. “That supports the illegal market, so it doesn’t do anybody good.”

Canndescent has capital reserves to fall back on, but tapping into those funds “would not be ideal by any stretch of the imagination,” DiGiovanni said, because it would divert money away from investing in the company's growth. Canndescent's leaders aim to quadruple annual revenue and hit $40 million in 2019, he said.

Rod McClelland trims marijuana at Canndescent in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., March 7, 2018. (Photo: Zoe Meyers/The Desert Sun)

Licensing deadlines are also approaching for another big player, MedMen, which operates in five states. MedMen’s manufacturing license in Desert Hot Springs, for example, will expire on April 8. The expiration date won’t interfere with MedMen operations, since the facility is still under construction, according to Daniel Yi, the company’s senior vice president of corporate communications.

Yi said MedMen employees are in the process of applying for annual licenses. He said he doesn’t foresee that the company’s retail licenses, which won't expire until July and August, will be interrupted by licensing hiccups either.

“We’re trying to legalize cannabis,” Yi said. “I hope nobody thought it was going to be simple.”

In this Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, file photo pedestrians walk past one of the MedMen marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles. (Photo: Richard Vogel, AP file)

But for smaller operations, the uncertainty is hard to stomach. James Montoya, the owner of GGMP Veterans Corporation, a startup in Desert Hot Springs that only has one cultivation license, hasn’t harvested its first crop. The company's temporary license expires March 27, so Montoya has been calling state regulators regularly to ask if his annual license is ready. He first submitted paperwork for the license in September.

“It’s like you finished high school, you turned everything in, you took your finals, but no one can tell you when you’re going to graduate,” he said. “A half a year later and we’re still in the same place where we began.”

Montoya is worried that if he doesn’t get an annual license before the temporary one lapses, he’ll be forced to lay off his four employees and lose thousands of dollars.

Still, Brent Buhrman, the president of the Coachella Valley Cannabis Alliance Network, a trade group, said the consensus among his organization's members is decidedly chill.

“Where you would think there’d be a level of concern, it’s more of a wait-and-see attitude,” he said. “I can’t see the state letting this entire thing get this far and then basically implode on itself.”

Buhrman said he and his staff haven’t fielded a phone call from so much as one concerned member.

Laurie Holcomb, the founder of BlackStar Industrial Properties, is developing a 620,000-square-foot campus in Desert Hot Springs for growing, manufacturing and distributing cannabis. So far, BlackStar has tenants in the process of moving into their spaces, but none of the tenants will be open for another 6 to 8 weeks.

Holcomb said she thinks regulators will grant provisional licenses to businesses that have applied for an annual license but haven’t been awarded one yet.

“From our viewpoint, it’s been a fair process,” she said.

But Holcomb sees a bigger issue on the horizon. If the state doesn’t start issuing more annual licenses to cultivators, where will manufacturers and retailers get their weed?  

“There’s going to be a supply and demand problem,” she said.

Amy DiPierro covers real estate and business at The Desert Sun in Palm Springs. Reach her at or 760-218-2359.

Summary of Major Changes of the Recently Amended Article 4 of Chapter X City of Los Angeles Ordinance
Summary of Major Changes of the Recently Amended Article 4 of Chapter X City of Los Angeles Ordinance

The most significant updates to Article 4 include a revised definition of “Undue Concentration” to increase the number of the number of cannabis businesses and define ownership concentration.  In addition, a tiered system of “Social Equity Applicants” was permitted to allow for economically disadvantaged persons to apply for cannabis licenses.

  • The definition of undue concentration was updated to allow for additional business licenses according to population density and applicable zoning laws.  This includes:

    • One Store Front Retail (Type 10 license) for every 10,000 residents.

    • One Microbusiness (Type 12 license) for every 7,500 residents.  A Microbusiness is an entity that engages in cultivation on less than 10,000 square feet.

    • One square foot (1 sq. ft.) of cultivation space for every 350 square feet of zoned land.

    • One license to manufacturer (Type7) for every 7,500 residents.

    • Existing dispensaries (EMMD) and processors (as defined under Section 104.08) are not subject to this new rule.

    • Additional rules, including calendar days, for how applications are submitted, accepted, processed, approved and denied was also clarified. Some limits pertaining to zoning (i.e. M1-M3, MR1, MR2), as well as limits on the number of licenses (i.e. 1 cultivation license per every 2,500 square feet of cultivation space) were also delineated.

    • The Undue Concentration provisions may be waived if the City Council believes doing so would serve “public convenience or necessity.”

  • Ownership & Percentages was also updated to clarify and limit the number of individuals that may own cannabis businesses

    • A person may own or have a maximum 20% profit share in up to three Storefront retail (Type 10) or Delivery (Type 9) businesses. 

  • Three types of Social Equity Applications (Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3, each which must be approved by DCR), were introduced:

    • Tier 1 applicants are reserved for those with low income AND a prior California Cannabis Arrest or Conviction; OR Low income and a minimum of 5 years California residency. 

      • Restrictions, including a minimum ownership requirement (51%), as well as benefits including expedited renewal processing, fee deferrals are also detailed.

    • A “Tier 2 Social Equity Applicant” was also defined to include anyone with a Low Income & 5 years' residency or 10 years residency and no less than a 33.3% ownership.

    • A “Tier 3 Social Equity Applicant” was also defined to essentially include those entities that support Tier 1 & Tier 2 applicants and regulates the price per square foot of property, in certain instances.

  • Finally, this ordinance also requires a completed financial statement for the “most recently completed fiscal year” for any cannabis businesses applying for a renewal license.

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CAP Secures Two Major Cannabis Licensing Wins in San Bernardino, CA
CAP Secures Two Major Cannabis Licensing Wins in San Bernardino, CA

CAP continues its successful navigation of the complex cannabis licensing process to obtain client licenses.

LONG BEACH and SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (PRWEB) March 01, 2019

Cannabis Advising Partners (CAP), a leading cannabis licensing, compliance, and business consultant, proudly announced that it attained two Commercial Cannabis Business (CCB) licenses for its clients at the San Bernardino City Council meeting on February 21. The two approved licenses achieved the highest ratings possible in their distinct categories.

“We’re thrilled for our clients’ successful outcomes in San Bernardino,” said Gasper Guarrasi, founder and chief executive officer at CAP. While explaining that the licensing process is time-consuming and demanding, Guarrasi credited the City of San Bernardino with its “efficient approach to the complex multi-phase process.”

Cannabis licenses in the city are awarded on a neutral point system, organized and run by HdL's cannabis program services, with the highest points holders earning the commercial business licenses. Out of sixteen total licenses awarded, CAP secured two of these positions—the number one and number three points holders overall. The two licenses were also rated number one in their respective categories of retail and microbusiness.

“CAP played an instrumental role in helping us prepare a business plan and application to help position us, our credentials and our story to secure a license,” said one of CAP’s successful clients upon learning of its win. “We look forward to our continued work with CAP on other licenses in other cities and through the compliance process.”

Background on Cannabis Advising Partners (CAP)
Cannabis Advising Partners (CAP) provides full-service licensing, compliance and business services to cultivators, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, microbusinesses and other industry-related companies. By utilizing its 20 plus years of experience in environmental compliance and management of more than 1,300 facilities, CAP provides the highest level of strategic advice in the industry. CAP advises and positions cannabis companies to properly navigate the new and complex requirements that surround all aspects of business formation and growth needs, including the submission of an annual license application, sustainability, business plans, legal consultation, investment strategies, social- equity requirements, branding and marketing, and the broad range of intricate compliance standards that are mandated by law. For more information, please visit

Lori Rhodes
Cannabis Advising Partners +1 800-819-0149

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