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California Consumer Medical Marijuana businesses / potential licensees

California Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation FAQ’s for Businesses and Potential Licensees

In 2015, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed into law three bills (Assembly Bills 243 and 266, and Senate Bill 643) that create a licensing and regulatory framework for medical marijuana. It is anticipated that the regulations will be developed by January 1, 2018. In the meantime, here are some questions and answers for businesses / potential licensees.

Q. What types of licenses will the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation (Bureau) issue?

A. The Bureau is authorized to issue licenses for distributors, dispensaries, and transporters.

Q. How can I apply for a license?

A. The Department of Consumer Affairs (Department) is in the early stages of establishing the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation and is not issuing licenses at this time. The Department recommends interested parties continue to work with their city or county governments to procure the local licenses and permits required to establish a medical marijuana business.

Q. How will these new laws impact my existing business?

A. There should be no change in the way you do business. At this time the new law does not impact a local government’s ability to establish its own marijuana regulations and at this time the Department is placing no additional requirements on existing marijuana businesses.

Q. What is the timeline for the development of regulations?

A. The Department anticipates that regulations will be developed by January 1, 2018.

Q. How can I receive updates regarding regulation development?

A. Once the Department commences regulations, information will be posted on its website in order to announce proposed regulatory actions and solicit stakeholder input.

Q. How will the Department develop regulations?

A. The Department will convene stakeholders, members of the public, and other licensing authorities to develop the standards and regulations necessary to successfully implement a statewide medical marijuana regulatory structure in California.

Q. How long will licenses be active before they must be renewed?

A. Licenses will be effective for one year, at which time they must be renewed in order for the licensee to continue distributing, dispensing, or transporting medical cannabis.

Q. Where will I be able to obtain a license to grow medical marijuana?

A. The California Department of Food and Agriculture is the agency responsible for licensing cultivation. They will also be responsible for implementing a tracking program for plants from cultivation to sale. Their website is

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