Who Regulates the Cannabis Industry in California?

The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) licenses and regulates all commercial cannabis activity in the state of California.

However, California’s Cannabis Laws require that commercial cannabis businesses must have BOTH local approval from their city/county as well as a state license to operate. Local jurisdictions have substantial authority in the regulation of commercial cannabis within their geographic area, including local zoning, land use requirements, and business license requirements. To put it plainly, if you can’t get local approval for your business premises, you will not be able to legally operate a commercial cannabis business. 

This means, if you are just getting started and are seeking a location for your cannabis business, or if you have a cannabis business looking to expand in California, you must start your search based on the locally required criteria.

The more you know about the potential business premises location in California, the better equipped you will be to pursue the licensing and regulatory requirements that apply to that specific city, county, or both when they differ. We can help.

Since 2010, Manzuri Law’s California cannabis, CBD, and hemp attorneys have helped more than 200 businesses procure and/or maintain state and local industry licenses, negotiated and finalized commercial contracts, and have assisted in closing over $100 million in mergers and acquisitions.

We can help you apply for or renew a cannabis license, create or modify the appropriate corporate structure for your cannabis business, and ensure your cannabis operations are compliant, allowing you and your team to reach success with fewer obstacles.

Contact us today to learn more about your legal options, so you can get started without delay.

What Are California’s Cannabis Laws?

California became the first state to allow medicinal cannabis use when voters passed the Compassionate Use Act in 1996. Twenty years later, in 2016, California voters legalized adult-use recreational marijuana with the passage of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act

California’s Cannabis Laws were drafted with public safety in mind. Commercial cannabis businesses are strictly regulated to ensure that they  operate safely, products are contaminant-free and properly labeled to inform purchasers, and cannabis is kept away from children.

In California, you can buy legal cannabis if you are:

  • 18 or older with a physician’s recommendation (medicinal use).
  • 21 or older (adult use).

Consumers may use cannabis on private property, but not in public places like restaurants or bars, unless the premises is a  licensed social consumption lounge.

The DCC has formulated a license search to assist in finding a licensed retailer near you, and: 

  • Order online for in-store pickup.
  • Order online for delivery.
  • Visit a store.

Retailers must conspicuously display their state license in their front window so customers can inspect  it.  A unique QR code must be featured on the license certificate to allow consumers to verify their license status.

It’s important to note that because cannabis remains illegal under federal law, you cannot use or possess cannabis on federal lands, including in  national parks, sell, or transport cannabis across state lines.

Just like alcohol,  it is illegal to have  an open container of cannabis while driving or riding in a vehicle unless it is in a sealed package or container, or placed securely in the trunk of the vehicle. Law enforcement officers can pull you over to conduct a sobriety test if they suspect you are operating a car, boat, or another vehicle under the influence of cannabis.

At Manzuri Law, Our Skilled Cannabis Attorneys and Specialists Also Focuses On The Following Practice Areas:

How Does the DCC Regulate the California Cannabis Industry?

California’s cannabis industry is highly regulated by DCC and local ordinances that require end-to-end compliance, otherwise business owners may have their licenses denied, suspended, or revoked.

The DCC issues cannabis business licenses and regulates retail, distribution, testing, and microbusiness, and outlines all: 

Depending on the type of cannabis business, the overseeing party may also include:

How Can Manzuri Law Help My California Cannabis Business with DCC Compliance Regulations?

Starting a California cannabis business requires a lengthy license application process that reflects the ownership credentials, type of business, and business premise location. Our skilled cannabis lawyers in California provide end-to-end legal solutions from the beginning and throughout the licensing process and can take the lead during any portion of the business’s administration and operations, so your rights are protected at every turn.

Our attorneys have over a decade of expertise in providing cogent and novel legal representation to analyze and process  DCC disciplinary guidelines and other resources,including: 

If you need help ensuring your California cannabis business is operating compliantly from the start, contact one of our California cannabis law firm specialists today by phone at (310) 912-2960 or online. We are here to help, no matter which stage of the cannabis industry process you are in.

0 +
0 +
$ 0 million+