California Cannabis License Solutions

Our experienced team at Cannabis License Experts (CLE) will assist you in obtaining your California cannabis license quickly and with an unrivaled success record. Having to repeat your California cannabis license application procedure can set your business back by months and substantially reduce your earning potential. Book your free consultation today and let us show you how we’ll help you on your path to a California cannabis license and much more.
15+

Years Expirence

1200+

Clients Served

100%

Success Rate

130,000+

Services Completed

Market Potential

California has perhaps the longest history and richest culture within the US cannabis markets across the country. The first state to legalize medical cannabis with Prop 215 and subsequent recreational legalization in 2018 with Prop 64.

California remains number one as the largest cannabis market in the nation. With both adult-use and medical marijuana, the state has some of the most developed laws in the US, including areas with consumption lounges and special events. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) also referred to as Proposition 64, ushered in full legalization in 2016 with the first recreational cannabis sales in California occurring in January 2018.
*Via California Department of Cannabis Control, information is accurate as of Feb. 3, 2022.

Licensing Requirements, Timelines, and Selection

Receiving cannabis licensing for any California cannabis operation varies greatly from County to County and/or City and Town jurisdictions. Application processes vary from in person submissions, online portals, and interview panels with elected and local officials. Requirements to obtain a license may require an RFP, RFQ, or other formal request as well as State or County forms, affidavits, and presentation materials.

California is a dual licensing state, meaning both a local and state California Cannabis License is required before operations can be fully licensed to commence. Applicants must first receive approval and licensing from their city or town before approaching the State for licensure. At the State level, Cannabis is governed by the Department of Cannabis Control.

Dual licensing requirements, renewal process, and general timelines vary from jurisdiction, however, State licensing is consistent for all applicants. Commonly the formal licensing application is supported by business plans, operational plans, and security overlays.
8483
Cultivation
873
Retail Storefront
379
Delivery
27
Labs
1080
Distribution
909
Manufacturing

Hear from Our Successful Clients

Some of the World’s Largest Brands have Trusted CLE to Support their Cannabis Journey.

5 Star Google Reviews

Matthew Caton Yield Cannab

Canna License Experts, and their team were retained by our company to help us along the way with a retail canna license. Brian Wolf along with Kalpna Mistry and their team of experts were there the entire way through the process. Thanks again to Brian and Kalpna for all you support from our family at YIELD Cannab Co.

Lin Yan GMLL Pharma

We have contacted a few licensing company before I decided to contact with Canna licensing Experts. So far I think I have made the right choice and I am happy with the work they have done for us. The team answer questions promptly and never leave us alone. Not to mention their charge are reasonable comparing the similar type of consulting company and quality of their job.

Joseph Dow Dow Testing Labs

Brian and Kalpna at Cannabis License Experts were very pleasant, informative, and knowledgeable regarding licensing. They helped us fill out all the forms needed and guided us through the entire process. I am sure that without their guidance our application would still be in process, or have been dismissed because of some missing information.

    Financial Requirements

    Many States and local jurisdictions require a certain level of liquidity, cash on hand, and /or CPA and/or Bank letters to ensure that applicants have the financial wherewithal from the licensing process through to the initial 2-5 years of operations. Commonly a 3-5 year Financial Pro Forma is also required. Financial requirements typically include a minimum amount of liquid cash on hand and/or CPA letter. This is common for most jurisdictions as a mandatory part of the application. General minimum requirements for license applications is a 2-3 year Pro Forma
    Financial Requirements License Applications

    License Types

    All license types, including consumptions lounges, events licensing, and distribution. Vertical operations available in some areas. 
    Specialty Cottage Outdoorup to 25 mature plants
    Specialty Cottage Indoorup to 500 sqft of canopy
    Specialty Cottage Mixed Light tier 1 and tier 2up to 2,500 sqft of canopy
    Specialty Outdoorup to 50 mature plants or up to 5,000 sqft of canopy
    Specialty Indoor501 to 5,000 sqft of canopy
    Specialty mixed-light tier 1 and tier 22,501 to 5,000 sqft of canopy
    Small Outdoor5,001 to 10,000 sqft of canopy
    Small Indoor5,001 to 10,000 sqft of canopy
    Small Mixed-light Tier 1 and Tier 25,001 to 10,000 sqft
    Medium Outdoor10,001 sqft to 1 acre of canopy
    Medium Indoor10,001 to 22,000 sqft of canopy
    Medium Mixed-light Tier 1 and Tier 210,001 – 22,000 sqft of canopy
    LargeLarge size cultivation licenses cannot be issued until after Jan 1. 2023
    Nursery LicenseSpecific to cultivators who only grow clones, immature plants, seeds, and/or other forms of cannabis used for propagation
    Processor LicenseSpecific to the activities of trim, cure, dry, grade, package or label cannabis
    Type 7 Volatile Solvent Manufacturing
    Type 6 Non-Volatile Solvent Manufacturing
    Type N Infusion of products
    Type P Packaging and Labeling
    Specialty Indoor 501 to 5,000 sqft of canopy
    Type S Shared Use Facility
    Type 10 Storefront Retailer
    Type 9 Non-storefront Retailer / Delivery Only
    Type 11 allows for cannabis to be moved between license types and premises
    Type 13 Transport-only distributor

    Type 12 Microbusiness license is for businesses that engage in three seperate licensed activities in one location.

    Cultivation License Types

    Cultivation license types are designated by the license activity, facility type, and/or size.
    Specialty Cottage Outdoor up to 25 mature plants
    Specialty Cottage Indoor up to 500 sqft of canopy
    Specialty Cottage Mixed Light tier 1 and tier 2 up to 2,500 sqft of canopy
    Specialty Outdoor up to 50 mature plants or up to 5,000 sqft of canopy
    Specialty Indoor 501 to 5,000 sqft of canopy
    Specialty mixed-light tier 1 and tier 2 2,501 to 5,000 sqft of canopy
    Small Outdoor 5,001 to 10,000 sqft of canopy
    Small Indoor 5,001 to 10,000 sqft of canopy
    Small Mixed-light Tier 1 and Tier 2 5,001 to 10,000 sqft
    Medium Outdoor 10,001 sqft to 1 acre of canopy
    Medium Indoor 10,001 to 22,000 sqft of canopy
    Medium Mixed-light Tier 1 and Tier 2 10,001 - 22,000 sqft of canopy
    Large Large size cultivation licenses cannot be issued until after Jan 1. 2023
    Nursery License Specific to cultivators who only grow clones, immature plants, seeds, and/or other forms of cannabis used for propagation
    Processor License Specific to the activities of trim, cure, dry, grade, package or label cannabis

    Regional Cannabis Markets

    Because of its size, the state has been broken down into three separate regions below.
    Northern California

    Northern California

    Home of the Emerald Triangle and the birthplace of modern cannabis legalization, the Northern California market is unmatched in quality of products, passionate Master Growers, and innovative operators with over 20 years running some of the first dispensaries in the country. Along with this rich history of grassroots individuals also comes old habits and reluctance to join a legal, regulated, and taxed cannabis.
    Southern California

    Southern California

    Home of the Emerald Triangle and the birthplace of modern cannabis legalization, the Northern California market is unmatched in quality of products, passionate Master Growers, and innovative operators with over 20 years running some of the first dispensaries in the country. Along with this rich history of grassroots individuals also comes old habits and reluctance to join a legal, regulated, and taxed cannabis.
    Inland / Rural California

    Inland / Rural California

    In the recent past many inland, rural communities within the state have traditionally banned cannabis operations with moratoriums, lack of licensing structures, and/or temporary bans. This stems from the fact that many black market growers and illegal operators have used these farming areas to conceal unregulated cultivations and grow operations moving product to out of state black markets across the country.
    Additional Information
    Online Submission Portal Varies from County to County
    State Online Submission Yes
    Basic Demographic Information
    Resources include the US Census Bureau, City-Data.com, and any additional relevant resources.
    Total # of Counties58
    Total # of Cities/Towns481 *cities (459) and towns (22)

    Los Angeles

    37
    Median Age
    $72K
    Medial Income
    $880K
    Median Home Price
    $950 - $1500M

    Fair Market Rent

    San Francisco

    38

    Median Age

    $110k

    Medical Income

    $1.2MM

    Median Home Price

    $1,950M

    Fair Market Rent

    10,039,107

    Country Population in 2019

    Business Climate Cannabis Licensing

    Business Climate

    Overall, the majority of the state has embraced the formal legalization of cannabis for both medical and recreational use. With few notable exceptions, licensing of all cannabis operations continues to be moving at a reasonable pace.

    According to national organization rankings, California ranks poorly on indexes focusing on taxes and costs. Although the state’s employment, wages, and output continue to grow, there are many persistent political and social issues that affect the state’s ability to provide an inviting business environment.

    Real Estate & Zoning

    Consideration for regional and local zoning with regard to allowed proximity to certain business types, schools, and other prohibited areas should be researched according to local and municipal rules. Possession of real estate is often a requirement for licensing prior to application submission.

    The following are a list of significant cannabis locations by City and/or County. Further details can be provided on each location in a further detailed report, per client and license specific review.

    One-Stop Business Solutions Provider

    When you partner with CLE, you are able to leverage our proven knowledge and best industry resources to provide you a complete Cannabis Business Solution.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    California is a dual licensing state meaning that there are separate licensing processes for local and state permitting. At the state level a cannabis dispensary licenses non-refundable application fee is $1,000 with an annual licensing fee ranging from $2,500 – $96,000 depending on the store’s gross annual revenue. To get an understanding of local licensing fees as well as licensing requirements please book a consultation with the Cannabis License Experts team.
    Yes, licensed manufacturers are permitted to produce cannabis infused edibles for sale to adults 21+. The production of edibles requires either a type n, type 6, or type 7 manufacturing license. THC infused edibles are limited to 10mg servings with a cap of 100 mg per product.
    While California does not have a social equity program for cannabis at a state level, individual municipalities offer social equity licensing and potential funding for eligible applicants. Two notable cities include Los Angeles and Oakland.
    No, California does not have a limit on the number of licenses one owner or interest holder can have. The exception is they do not allow owners of testing labs to have ownership in other license types.
    Yes, the Department of Cannabis Control accepts commercial cannabis licensing for retail storefront, retail non-store front, distribution, manufacturing and cultivation on an ongoing basis. It’s important to make sure that you are checking with your local municipality in which you would like to locate this business to ensure that they are accepting commercial cannabis license applications. If you’d like to learn more about what cities allow commercial cannabis facilities please book a consultation with our team.
    California’s Department of Cannabis Control issues all cultivation licensing at the state level. Specific cultivation licenses are broken down into tiers based on cultivation type and canopy size. The first step in figuring out what license you need is determining what type of cultivation you will be doing, cultivation types are generally categorized as outdoor, indoor and mixed-light greenhouse. Local municipalities have licensing requirements that are separate from the Department of Cannabis Controls application process.

    Don't Know Where To Begin? Get Started Now

    Applications are accepted on a rolling basis at the state level and new jurisdictions are consistently developing ordinance’s designing the framework for licensing at the local level.
    CLE can develop a preliminary business and feasibility plan to help give an understanding of business viability within the local climate. We also provide you with insights and develop strategies with respect to facility design, construction, security compliance and digital marketing to get you sales ready.
    In order to get started, reach out to one of our regulatory experts today to learn more about Cannabis Business Solutions.
    cannabis licensing