February 12, 2023

California cannabis attorneys

At Manzuri Law, our California cannabis attorneys understand  that entering the retail market in this highly competitive industry takes significant coordination. Often, applicants are competing with other start-ups for a limited number of licenses and limited funding opportunities. In addition, obtaining an appropriate retail space, is made difficult by complicated  city and county ordinances

Additionally, zoning restrictions, application requirements, and the requirement to convince local authorities that your cannabis retail business will be an asset to their community create barriers that befuddle even the most experienced entrepreneurs.

With each step, it is critical to be well connected and well prepared. We can help.

Since 2010, our cannabis, CBD, and hemp attorneys in California have helped more than 200 businesses procure and/or maintain state and local industry licenses, assisted in closing over $100 million in mergers and acquisitions and other kinds of corporate transactions, and devoted over 300 hours of pro-bono legal services to our communities

This experience gives our cannabis retail clients a competitive edge when creating a complete business plan, including financial forecasts, start-up costs and timeline, and details of day-to-day operations to comply with the relevant industry regulations that impact their businesses.

Here is how we can help you get started.  

Determine Which Type of California Cannabis Retail License Your Operation Needs

A California storefront retailers must have a physical commercial location where cannabis goods are sold to the public. This license type required is a Type 10.

A non-storefront retailer sells cannabis goods to customers only through delivery and requires a physical commercial location to apply with the DCC.  This license type required is a Type 9.

Cannabis retailers can only sell goods that have passed state-mandated testing and quality assurance review. These type of products, include:

  • Packaged Flower.
  • Pre-rolls.
  • Topicals.
  • Edibles. 

Licensed retailers may also sell cannabis accessories, including:

  •  Pipes.
  • Rolling paper.
  • Vape cartridge batteries.
  •  Branded merchandise for a licensed business.

Upon initial application and annual renewal, California cannabis retail application and licensing fees are based upon your projected gross income for that year.

Applying for a Cannabis Retail License in California

Once you determine which type of California cannabis retail license is right for your business, you must apply for the license, which will require you to compile (or create) business ownership and formation documents.

The most critical step in this process is finding a cannabis compliant location for your business. Zoning laws  vary between city and county, and retail businesses often face restrictions that other types of cannabis businesses do not.

Before you can receive a California cannabis retail license from the California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) you will first need to secure approval and probably a permit from the local jurisdiction (city and/or county), where the business will be located.

In some California locales there are additional limits on “Undue Concentration,” restricting the number of cannabis businesses that can be located within a single-zoned area.  Due to complicated local policies, it is important to partner with an experienced California real estate, land use, and zoning attorney who can take the lead in finding the best location for your cannabis retail business.

Once a location has been secured, you are required to  submit your California cannabis retail application with the following documents:

Following the issuance of your California cannabis retail license, you can expect state and local officials to regularly conduct physical inspections of your business to ensure you remain in compliance with all applicable regulations. Our skilled attorneys can guide you in preparing for these inspections. The comprehensive nature of successfully applying for a California cannabis retail license requires partnering with experienced attorneys who provide end-to-end legal services. We are here to help. 

If you are interested in pursuing a California cannabis retail license or are seeking advice from a compliance advocate, 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.

Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash.