Hundreds of California cannabis businesses have been concerned with licensing delays at the Bureau of Cannabis Control, the California Department of Public Health, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Temporary license holders were facing a deadline as the expiration of their business license crept closer. The BCC has now decided to issue provisional licenses to bridge the gap while their annual license is still in review.
Provisional Cannabis License
These regulatory agencies are tracking the expiration dates of each temporary license. They are planning to issue provisional licenses to qualified temporary license holders before their current temporary license expires. However there are some conditions that temporary license holders must meet before they qualify for a provisional license.
The first requirement is that the temporary license holder continue to occupy the same premises and operate under the same commercial cannabis activity for which the provisional license will be issued. The second requirement stipulates that a completed license application was submitted to the licensing authority, as well as a document stating that California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance is underway.
Pending Annual Licenses
If your cannabis business provided the above documentation and intends to continue operating as usual, the BBC should issue a provisional license before the temporary license expires. Regulators are really just checking to make sure that cannabis businesses are actively pursuing an annual business license.
In the words of the BCC it is important for temporary licensees to note that a, “...completed application for purposes of obtaining a provisional license is not the same as a sufficient application to obtain an annual license. Licensees issued a provisional license are expected to be diligently working toward completing all annual license requirements in order to maintain a provisional license.”
Avoiding Cannabis Shortage
This announcement is welcome news for cultivators, manufacturers, and retailers alike. If temporary license holders were forced to close their doors due to their license expiring the California cannabis industry would go into crisis mode. Cannabis shortages would ensue and many consumers would likely resort to finding marijuana on the black market.
It is possible that the California BCC could contact temporary license holders before it expires to provide additional information for a provisional license. They’re urging cannabis businesses to reply promptly so that the provisional licensing process is not further delayed. Solving this impending issue was a smart decision by the BCC and gives ample time for more annual licenses to be issued.