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How to Apply for a California Cannabis Business License

by Faith Fidura March 15, 2018

State Applications Open for California Cannabis Business Licenses

California opened state applications for cannabis business licenses in January 2018 and is still accepting applications today. There is currently no deadline for application submission. If you plan on applying for a license, you need to familiarize yourself with the state’s program and the correlation between the city and state application process.

How to Apply for a California Cannabis Business License

First, you’ll need to identify which type of cannabis business license you’d like to apply for. The different cannabis business licenses you can apply for in the state of California include specific types of Cultivation,  Product Manufacturing, Testing, Retail, Distribution, and Microbusinesses.

Today, compliance with local jurisdiction is still priority in California, which means you must obtain approval from the local government before applying to the state for a cannabis business license. Cities and counties have the authority to ban or allow cannabis businesses, so your next step will be identifying a city that allows for your cannabis business. To help you out, the Dispensary Permits team has already done a bit of research on the following cities:


Once you apply for and gain city approval, your last step will be to submit an application to the state. For a better understanding on how to apply for a California State Cannabis Business License, download our California Cannabis Business Application Package, which includes an Informational Overview and Application Guide & Checklist - along with a Business Plan Template and Financial Plan Template to help you start drafting your application!


Need Custom Help Drafting Your Application for a California Cannabis Business?

The Dispensary Permits team has successfully assisted clients in obtaining California Cannabis Business Licenses. To inquire about our custom solutions, fill out our contact form or call 602-621-0648.


California Cannabis Business Overview

California was the first state to legalize medical cannabis in 1996 but fell short on providing consistently safe regulations for medical cannabis-related businesses. As a result, cities begin regulating cannabis business within their city limits. However, on October 9, 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown signed three bills that collectively established a statewide regulatory system for medical cannabis businesses which includes dispensing, transportation, cultivation, processing and testing. In addition, the passage of Proposition 64, on the November 2016 Ballot, legalized cannabis for people 21 years of age and older. The sale of cannabis is highly regulated to protect consumers and kids.