California Cannabis Regulations

Licensing & Compliance for California Cannabis Regulations, 2021 Important Information & Updates

California Cannabis Regulations

State Authority & Contact:

Bureau of Cannabis Control (CA Department of Consumer Affairs)
PO Box 419016, Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-9106
Phone: 1-833-768-5880

Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (CA Department of Public Health)
PO Box 997377, MS 7606, Sacramento CA 95899-7377
Phone: 855-421-7887

CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing (CA Department of Food & Agriculture)
Phone: 1-833-CALGROW (1-833-225-4769)

Scope of Licenses:

Medicinal (M-) and Adult-Use Recreational (A-):
  • Type 1 (Cultivation; Specialty outdoor; Small)
  • Type 1A (Cultivation; Specialty indoor; Small)
  • Type 1B (Cultivation; Specialty mixed-light; Small)
  • Type 1C (Cultivation; Specialty cottage; Small)
  • Type 2 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Small)
  • Type 2A (Cultivation; Indoor; Small)
  • Type 2B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Small)
  • Type 3 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Medium)
  • Type 3A (Cultivation; Indoor; Medium)
  • Type 3B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Medium)
  • Type 4 (Cultivation; Nursery)
  • Type 5 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Large)
  • Type 5A (Cultivation; Indoor; Large)
  • Type 5B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Large)
  • Type 6 (Manufacturer 1) Extraction: Non-volatile Solvents, Mechanical Methods
  • Type 7 (Manufacturer 2) Extraction: Volatile Solvents
  • Type N Infusions (optional packaging and labeling)
  • Type P Packaging & Labeling Only
  • Type S (coming soon, shared-use manufacturing facilities)
  • Type 8 (Testing Laboratory)
  • Type 9 (Non-Storefront Retailer)
  • Type 10 (Retailer)
  • Type 11 (Distributor)
  • Type 12 (Microbusiness)
  • Type 13 (Distributor Transport Only)
  • Type 14 (Cannabis Event Organizer)

California Cannabis Regulation References:


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s regulatory authority for licensing cannabis cultivators and implementing a track-and-trace system?

When a state legislature passes—and the governor approves—a law (also known as a statute), this enacts a new program or changes the laws governing an existing program. After the law’s passage, one or more state agencies must adopt new regulations, amend existing regulations, and/or repeal existing regulations to ensure the program runs effectively. When the California State Legislature passed the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act in 2015, and California voters passed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64) in 2016, both acts designated responsibilities for oversight of commercial cannabis to several state agencies. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) was granted the authority to (a) establish a cannabis cultivation licensing process for the state, and (b) develop a track-and-trace system to record the movement of cannabis and cannabis products through the state’s supply chain. As a result, CDFA created a new division called CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, which is tasked with overseeing these projects. On June 27, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the cannabis trailer bill (also known as California Senate Bill 94). A trailer bill is legislation that implements specific changes to the law to enact the state budget. Generally a separate trailer bill is needed for each major area of budget appropriation, such as transportation, human services, education, revenue, or, in this case, cannabis. These bills typically are negotiated as part of the entire budget package each fiscal year. In this instance, the cannabis trailer bill effectively merged the two existing cannabis bills—the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act and the Adult Use of Marijuana Act—into one streamlined bill: the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA). Having one comprehensive state law will provide for a more unified and efficient regulatory process governing both medicinal and adult-use (recreational) cannabis. For a link to the most recent version of MAUCRSA, please visit the CalCannabis website at

What is the process for creating the state cannabis cultivation regulations?

The California Administrative Procedure Act establishes the rulemaking procedures and standards for California’s state agencies. The act’s requirements are designed to provide the public with a meaningful opportunity to participate in the adoption of state regulations and help ensure the regulations are clear, necessary, and legally valid. The majority of adopted regulations that conform to the Administrative Procedure Act are submitted to the Office of Administrative Law as a “regular rulemaking.” Unless a proposed rulemaking action is submitted to the Office of Administrative Law as an “emergency rulemaking,” or is exempt from the Administrative Procedure Act, the regular rulemaking process must be followed when a state agency undergoes a rulemaking action.

What is the regular rulemaking process?

The state agency must prepare the following documents and submit them to the Office of Administrative Law to initiate the regular rulemaking process: Economic Impact Assessment (for nonmajor regulations with less than $50 million in economic impacts) or Standardized Regulatory Impact Assessment (also known as a SRIA, pronounced sir-RHEE-uh, for major regulations with more than $50 million in economic impacts) – A SRIA is required with the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) regulatory package because the cannabis cultivation regulations are considered a major regulation. It includes information on how the regulations will impact businesses and jobs and the potential impacts on competition and investment in California. The SRIA is posted on the California Department of Finance website at Economic and Fiscal Impact Statement (Form STD.399) – This is a California Department of Finance form that includes information on the estimated economic and fiscal monetary impacts of the proposed regulations. Notice of Proposed Action – This notice provides critical information about the regulations, including a summary of existing laws that pertain to cannabis, the specific statutory authority that requires CDFA to create regulations, and details about the process for receiving the public’s comments. Initial Statement of Reasons (ISR) – The Initial Statement of Reasons provides the rationale behind CDFA’s decisions for including each section of the regulations and describes the purpose, need, and benefits of the regulations. It also identifies the supporting materials used to make regulatory decisions. Proposed Text of Regulations (Express Terms) – This text identifies any proposed changes to the California Code of Regulations. The state agency must publish the Notice of Proposed Action in the California Regulatory Notice Register and mail a copy to those who have requested it. The agency also must post on its website the Notice of Proposed Action, Initial Statement of Reasons, and the Proposed Text of Regulations. Once a Notice of Proposed Action has been issued by the state agency and published by the Office of Administrative Law, a regular rulemaking record will officially be opened and the minimum 45-day public comment period commences. The state agency may hold a public hearing; if the agency does not schedule a public hearing, anyone interested in having one may submit a written request for a hearing at least 15 days prior to the close of the written comment period, and that request must be granted. The state agency then receives and reviews the comments received during the official public comment period—and must summarize and respond to all of the comments. Some comments might ask for clarification of the proposed regulations, other comments might propose regulatory changes. If the state agency makes changes to the regulations, the changes are categorized as follows: Nonsubstantial Changes—Or No Changes Nonsubstantial changes do not alter the regulatory effect of the proposed provisions, and therefore the rulemaking process continues. The state agency updates the Informative Digest and prepares a Final Statement of Reasons (with a summary and a response to the public comments) and a Final Text of Regulations. Substantial and Sufficiently Related Changes These are changes considered reasonably foreseeable based on the Notice of Proposed Action and must be made available for public comment for at least 15 days. The state agency mails a notice of opportunity for commenting on the proposed changes (along with a copy of the proposed changes) to each person who has submitted written comments about the proposal, testified at an official public hearing (and provided contact information), or asked to receive any notices of modification. The agency also must post this notice on its website. When no further substantial changes are made to the proposed regulations, the agency updates the Informative Digest and prepares the Final Statement of Reasons (with a summary and a response to the public comments) and the Final Text of Regulations. Substantial Changes Not Sufficiently Related—Or Major Changes These are changes to the original proposal that are not reasonably foreseeable based on the Notice of Proposed Action. The state agency is obligated to publish another Notice of Proposed Action in the California Regulatory Notice Register, and hold another 45-day or longer public comment period. When no further substantial changes are made to the proposed regulations, the agency updates the Informative Digest and prepares the Final Statement of Reasons (with a summary and a response to the public comments) and the Final Text of Regulations. The state agency must transmit a rulemaking action to the Office of Administrative Law for review within one year from the date the notice was published in the California Regulatory Notice Register. Once submitted, the Office of Administrative Law has 30 working days to conduct a review of the rulemaking record. Generally, regulations go into effect on one of four quarterly dates, which are based on the dates the final regulations are filed with California’s Secretary of State: January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1. However, an effective date may vary if a specific effective date is stated in statute or other law, the adopting agency requests a later effective date, or the agency demonstrates good cause for an earlier effective date. For an illustrated step-by-step guide to this process, see the flowcharts on pages 5 and 7 for regular rulemaking and emergency rulemaking.

What is the emergency rulemaking process?

Before California Governor Jerry Brown approved the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) in June 2017, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) had followed the regular rulemaking process and submitted proposed regulations for the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act to the Office of Administrative Law. However, once MAUCRSA became law, CDFA had to withdraw those regulations; instead, a new set of regulations consistent with changes in the new law was proposed in November 2017. CDFA followed the emergency rulemaking process for these regulations. This will be followed immediately by the regular rulemaking process to make the regulations permanent. To initiate the emergency rulemaking process, the state agency files emergency regulations with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) at least 10 calendar days before the effective date. During the first five days of OAL’s review period, the public may submit comments to OAL, with a copy for the state agency. The state agency has until the eighth day of OAL’s 10-day review period to submit to OAL a rebuttal to any public comments; however, this step is optional. The OAL’s deadline for a decision is on the tenth day after the emergency regulations were filed, and, if approved, the emergency regulations are filed with the Secretary of State and will become effective immediately for 180 days. (MAUCRSA allows for one 180-day re-adoption if the agency is making progress toward adopting the permanent regulations.) For an illustrated step-by-step guide to this process, see the flowcharts on pages 5 and 7 for regular rulemaking and emergency rulemaking.

Where can I read more about California’s cannabis licensing process?

For information about state licenses for cannabis farmers, please visit the CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing website at For details on other types of cannabis licensing in California, including manufacturing (such as edibles), testing, distribution, and retail, go to the California Cannabis Portal at

California Universal Symbol for Cannabis

California Universal Symbol for Cannabis

Download PNG file or Download JPG file

This site focuses or refers to information and services regarding 2021 revisions Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) local jurisdiction authorization CDPH-issued universal symbol labeling shared-use manufacturing facilities California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Cannabinoids Testing track and trace system Food-grade Butter/Oil Local Authorization Attachment good manufacturing practices some nutritional facts evidence of rehabilitation Foreign Material Testing Premises Diagram inhalable cannabis temporary license onsite sale and consumption of cannabis goods license review process disclosure of all criminal convictions quality control ownership premises is not within a Government cannabis cultivation licensing LICENSE APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS licensing cannabis retailers requiring refrigeration local jurisdiction hydrocarbon-based solvents remove THC/CBD immature live plants and seeds being transported from a licensed nursery medicinal and adult-use cannabis manufacturing security and cannabis waste disposal licensed cannabis manufacturers destruction of cannabis goods regulatory framework annual license application Owner commercial cannabis manufacturing activity 2021 new laws ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation chain of custody medicinal commercial cannabis activity product as a candy prohibited tinctures consumption of alcohol or tobacco local jurisdiction’s ordinances and regulations supply chain Distributor Transport Only activity for a period of 120 days Proposed Section 40133 cannabis cartoons Incorporating THC/CBD concentrates medicinal and adult-use markets California Public Records Act infusion secured area amount of THC content manned motor vehicle public Licensee Lookup Tool licensing cannabis distributors Category I Residual Pesticides Testing ANTICIPATED ANNUAL (NONTEMPORARY) LICENSE APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS at least 99% purity Moisture Content Testing CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing tamper-evident Arranging for laboratory testing Industrial Hemp Advisory Board BUREAU OF CANNABIS CONTROL licensed physical location (premises) tobacco products payable to the state of California Completed Temporary License Application Form Premises diagram packaging and labeling requirements 2,000 mg of THC per package for the medicinal-use market Financial information extraction disposal and destruction methods Bond in the amount of $5,000 Operating Procedures 100 mg of THC per package Local Issuing Authority cannabis training mandated warning statements Category II Residual Solvents and Processing Chemicals Testing Cultivation less than 10,000 commercial kitchens compliance with local jurisdiction periods of 90 days extensions basic nutritional information health impacts of cannabis A-licensees microbusinesses transportation of cannabis goods retailers product guidelines property for the commercial cannabis activity alcoholic beverages surety bond 2021 laws sugar THC levels testing laboratories Financial Interest investment into a commercial cannabis business nonlaboratory quality control Non-Storefront Retailer (Type 9) licensing cannabis microbusinesses shaped like a human, animal, insect, or fruit licensing scheme The Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB) The California Department of Public Health's access to the area(s) carbohydrates and fat per serving Transition Period conditional license sampling standards no infusion of nicotine waste disposal transport cannabis goods to retailer Cannabis Manufacturing medicinal and adult-use commercial cannabis activity inventory Temporary License Application Local Authorization CALIFORNIA BUREAU OF CANNABIS CONTROL contaminants Application Checklist cannabis market re-sealable must enter certain events testing of cannabis goods edibles packaging opaque A-license and an M-license no infusion of alcohol storage of cannabis goods secondary packaging Labor peace agreement child-resistant packaging Proposition 65 Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing division highly-concentrated oils or waxes licensed premises small product packaging manufacturing practices required limits exit packaging the commercial medicinal and adult-use (recreational) member manager Microbial Impurities Testing (A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. niger, A. terreus) designated structure cannabis waste Seller’s permit number Form # CDPH-9041 2021 proposed changes protocol structure and formation documents MCSB purchasing cannabis products on tribal lands unique ID/batch number finished product waste management laws separate applications procedures for inventory control Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Cannabis Control licensing and regulating commercial cannabis manufacturers online licensing system Distributor transport Retailer (nonstorefront) product formulation supplemental label Ethanol Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 (PPPA) Edibles– Products Heavy Metals Testing persons with a financial interest in the cannabis business Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) transportation and security Criminal History Butane/Hexane/Propane dried flower diagram of the business’s layout persons 21 years of age or older hang tag or a peel-back label Premises Information primary panel requirements capsules local jurisdiction’s requirements Department of Public Health’s Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act of 2015 health claims packaging and labeling requirements for pre-rolls Temporary event up to 4 days volatile solvent manufacturers who package for other producers operating premises medicinal and adult use cannabis goods transported together edible products licensing cannabis third-party testing laboratories security Category I Residual Solvents and Processing Chemicals Testing Manufactured Cannabis Licensing System (MCLS) Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch entry into the legal, regulated market secondary package 2021 resolutions amount of THC/CBD per serving and per package Licensees 120 days Retailer (Type 10) manufacture cannabis products licenses for both medicinal and adult-use cannabis manufacturing at the same premises MANUFACTURED CANNABIS SAFETY BRANCH motor carrier permit Vehicle Requirements exception for testing laboratories Business Organizational A-license Identifying information workshops hosted by the Bureau of Cannabis Control packaging Water Activity Testing of Solid or Semi-Solid Edibles Mechanical sanitary and hazard-free environment an officer or director of a cannabis business 600-foot radius of a school loan provided to a commercial cannabis business Proposition 64: The Adult Use of Cannabis Act of 2016 CDTFA seller’s permit testing lab public health and safety A-license and an M-license for the same commercial cannabis activity regulations for medical and adult-use cannabis in California 2021 updates 2021 regulations 2021 problems Carbon Dioxide (CO2) medicinal and adult-use or both markets Licensee Information amount of sodium conducting quality assurance review evidence of the legal right to occupy the premises Fingerprints manufacturing activities laboratory quality assurance CDPH-9041 Category II Residual Pesticides Testing commercial cannabis products shares of stock that are less than 5% of the total shares in a publicly traded company sales of cannabis goods The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) Homogeneity Testing of Edible Cannabis Products M-licensees Local Jurisdictions adult-use commercial cannabis activity delivery vehicle $3,000 of cannabis goods equity interest in a commercial cannabis business three cannabis licensing authorities recordkeeping Type S share facility space Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB) cannabis adult-use products Microbusiness manufacturing cannabis products shipping manifest Transport vehicles alarm system Terpenoids Testing topicals Business Information cannabis plants 600 foot radius of a school limited to a maximum of 10 mg of THC per serving minimum standards for extraction processes compliance with regulations Live Scans for each owner state cannabis licensing vape cartridges Extractions using CO2 transportation licensed cannabis distributors commercial cannabis manufacturing in California M-license extracts testing methods government warning statement label Personnel Requirements 2021 recent news managing member Manufacturing (non-volatile) emergency regulations 2021 issues Water/Food-grade Dry Ice potentially-hazardous foods stickers manufacturing financial interest holder no added caffeine distributors Mycotoxins Testing manufacturing (Level 1 manufacturing, Type 6) Conducting quality assurance review of cannabis goods Individual Owner regulations for medicinal and adult-use cannabis California Department of Public Health loop system commercial cannabis manufacturing operating procedures Physical address cultivation (on an area less than 10,000 square feet) Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act cannabis sales and/or consumption inventory and quality control CO2 and ethanol extractions Bond and Insurance Information limited to a maximum of 1,000 mg per package 2021 important information ingredient list commercial cannabis activity Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) cannabis products in container or wrapper for sale Licensee Lookup Tool highly-concentrated THC/CBD such as oil, wax and resin cultivation Business and Professions Code section 26050.1 supply chains for medicinal and adult-use cannabis products onsite consumption of cannabis goods Percentage of ownership transporting cannabis goods at least 20% ownership interest identity of the product aggregate interest of 20% or more three state cannabis-licensing authorities opaque exit package Track and Trace list of artificial food colorings certified by a California-licensed engineer final form premises diagram labels not be attractive informational panel 2021 compliance written procedures for inventory control disposal manufacturer's name packaging and labeling meat and seafood, and other products period of 120 days concentrate commercial cannabis manufacturers Temporary Cannabis Event cannabis event organizer license child-resistant outer package licensed cannabis cultivators contaminant free convicted of a substantially related crime allergen information cannabis industries 2021 fines sanitary workplaces definition of owner pre-made or purchased scaled to the gross annual revenue of the licensed premises comply with all packaging and labeling requirements Microbial Impurities Testing (Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp.) MCSB’s temporary license application valid waiver Temporary License Application Information paper inserted into the packaging and more.

In addition, Extraction Quality gross annual revenue for first year in operation under MAUCRSA Medium Outdoor cakes, cookies, beverages and juices, tea and coffee, chocolates, gummies, gum, and mints Specialty Cottage Indoor THC cannabis concentrates Validation Batch Unique identifier list of cannabis manufacturers Cannabis product UID Small Mixed-Light Tier 1 Track and trace system Harvest Batch infused butters and oils as concentrates Package Pathogen Processing aid Type N Infusions (optional packaging and labeling) Department Nonmanufactured cannabis product Small Outdoor CBD Type 4 (Cultivation; Nursery) Primary panel Track-and-trace systems Specialty Mixed-Light Tier 2 Universal symbol Mixed-light cultivation Type 8 (Testing Laboratory) Premises Flowering Mixed-light Tier 2 Qualified individual Type 2A (Cultivation; Indoor; Small) Personnel Indoor cultivation alternate use of a manufacturing premises Lot Distribution Actual yield Proposition 65 warning statement Net weight Medium Indoor Limited-access area Request for Live Scan Specialty Cottage Mixed-Light Tier 2 Type 9 (Non-Storefront Retailer) Labeling Hazard Type S (coming soon, shared-use manufacturing facilities) Cultivation site Commercial-grade, non-residential door lock Immature plant Type 3 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Medium) Canopy Edible cannabis product Process Specialty Mixed-Light Tier 1 Type N – for infusions THC limit of 10 milligrams per serving and 100 milligrams per package Verification Specialty Cottage Outdoor Type 5A (Cultivation; Indoor; Large) MCSB 90-day extension periods Nursery Type P – for packaging and labeling only Specialty Cottage Mixed-Light Tier 1 Type 12 (Microbusiness) Watts per square foot Commercial cannabis activity Allergen cross-contact Raw material Medium Mixed-Light Tier 1 Product Identity Manufacturer licensee Processor Small Mixed-Light Tier 2 Type 7 – for extraction using a volatile solvent (ex: butane, propane and hexane) Type P Packaging & Labeling Only Bureau Licensee Infusion Type 10 (Retailer) Mixed-light Tier 1 Theoretical yield Type 3A (Cultivation; Indoor; Medium) Type 3B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Medium) Applicant Type 6 – for extraction using a mechanical method or non-volatile solvent (ex: CO2, ethanol, water, or food-grade dry ice, cooking oils or butter) Environmental pathogen Adequate Monitor Kief Type 14 (Cannabis Event Organizer) Processing Quality control personnel Type 5B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Large) CBD from industrial hemp Type 1A (Cultivation; Specialty indoor; Small) Type 6 (Manufacturer 1) Extraction: Non-volatile Solvents, Mechanical Methods Type 7 (Manufacturer 2) Extraction: Volatile Solvents Pre-roll Cultivation Medium Mixed-Light Tier 2 Type 2 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Small) Sanitize Outdoor cultivation Type 2B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Small) Ingredient Topical cannabis product Microorganisms Allergen Informational panel M-license Type 11 (Distributor) Type 1B (Cultivation; Specialty mixed-light; Small) Pest Type 13 (Distributor Transport Only) Small Indoor Nonvolatile solvent Preventive controls products similar to traditional food products prohibited Specialty Outdoor Adulterated Type 1 (Cultivation; Specialty outdoor; Small) Type 1C (Cultivation; Specialty cottage; Small) Type 5 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Large) Quarantine Manufacture track and trace system Mature plant Component infused pre-rolls Wet weight Specialty Indoor Adult-use Market adulteration Dried flower Serving Quality control operation DPH-17-010E Finished product Contact surface In-process material Holding package flower or pre-rolls Volatile solvent and more.

Disclaimer: Informational and educational purposes. Self-help services (not legal advice). Site is not affiliated with any state agency. Note that site might not contain the most updated information. Your receipt of any information from this site does not create a relationship. Prior results do not guarantee or suggest a similar result in other matters. No promise is made with regard to services or content's reliability, availabilty, or ability to meet any needs. Information and services provided "AS IS."

Eco Certified
Green Trusted
All Rights Reserved