At Manzuri Law, our California cannabis attorneys have assisted hundreds of clients obtain and maintain business licenses in every facet of the industry, including new and annually renewed cultivation licenses.
While all California cannabis licenses require significant personal, professional, and legal regulation coordination, the cultivation license is particularly time intensive as it requires additional assessments by local and state government bodies.
Here is what prospective cultivation license holders need to know about the California cannabis licensing process.
Determine Which Type of California Cannabis Cultivation License Your Operation Needs
California cannabis cultivation licenses are categorized based on a number of factors including, the type of production, the number of plants grown or the size of the canopy, and the various lighting used.
California Cannabis Cultivation License types include:
- Specialty cottage outdoor: Up to 25 mature plants or up to 2,500 square feet of canopy.
- Specialty cottage indoor: Up to 500 square feet of canopy.
- Specialty cottage mixed-light tier 1 and 2: Up to 2,500 square feet of canopy.
- Specialty outdoor: Up to 50 mature plants or up to 5,000 square feet of canopy.
- Specialty indoor: 501 to 5,000 square feet of canopy.
- Specialty mixed-light tier 1 and 2 – 2,501 to 5,000 square feet of canopy.
- Small outdoor: 5,001 to 10,000 square feet of canopy.
- Small indoor: 5,001 to 10,000 square feet of canopy.
- Small mixed-light tier 1 and 2: 5,001 to 10,000 square feet of canopy.
- Medium outdoor: 10,001 square feet to 1 acre of canopy.
- Medium indoor: 10,001 to 22,000 square feet of canopy.
- Medium mixed-light tiers 1 and 2: 10,001 to 22,000 square feet of canopy.
- Large outdoor: More than 1 acre of total canopy.
- Large indoor: More than 22,000 square feet of total canopy.
- Large mixed-light: Mixed-light site with more than 22,000 square feet of total canopy.
Other Cannabis Cultivation Licenses:
- Nursery: For cultivators that only grow clones, immature plants, seeds, or other types of cannabis used for propagation.
- Processor: For cultivators that only trim, sift, cure, dry, grade, package, or label cannabis.
Determining Your License Type; Indoor vs. Outdoor Cultivation:
- Outdoor licenses are for cultivators who grow cannabis outside without using any artificial lighting on mature plants.
- Indoor licenses are for cultivators who grow cannabis in a permanent structure using at least 25 watts of artificial light per square foot.
Mixed-light licenses are for cultivators who grow cannabis in a:
- Other similar structure
Mixed-light licenses have two tiers based on the amount of artificial light used:
- Tier 1 – Up to 6 watts per square foot of artificial light.
- Tier 2 – 6 to 25 watts per square foot of artificial light.
The California cannabis cultivation application and license fees are based on your selected size and type of production or lighting.
Applying for a Cannabis Cultivation License in California
Once you determine which type of California cannabis cultivation license is right for your business, you must apply for a license, which requires extensive paperwork, the completion of numerous Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) forms, and coordination between multiple governing bodies.
To apply for a cannabis cultivation license in California, you must provide:
- Owner Information.
- Business Formation Documents.
- Premises Diagram: To show the layout of the property/facility.
- Local Authorization/Permit: Issued by the city or county where the facility will be or is currently located.
- Right to Occupy: When leasing a facility for cannabis-use, business owners must have “Right to Occupy” documentation from the property owner stating the owner has permission to cultivate commercial cannabis.
Additionally, the following forms must be submitted with your California cultivation license:
- Commercial cannabis licensee bond, in an amount of no less than $5,000, made payable to the Department of Cannabis Control.
- Pest management plans.
- Waste management plans.
- California Department of Fish and Wildlife Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreementor Exemption.
- Enrollment with the California State Water Resource Control Board
The DCC may also request the following forms, when needed during the application review process:
- Inventory procedures.
- Non-laboratory quality control procedures.
- Security procedures.
- Transportation procedures.
Applying for a California cannabis cultivation license is a detail-oriented process whereby our experienced attorneys can provide end-to-end legal services, fulfilling all local and state requirements.
Contact one of our California cannabis law firm specialists today by phone at (310) 912-2960 or online to learn more about how we can help with your business formation, operating plans, premises diagram, and other industry regulation requirements, so you can begin managing your cannabis cultivation business without delay.