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California Starts Issuing Annual Cannabis Business Licenses

November 5, 2018

The State of California is beginning to issue some of the first annual cannabis business licenses to marijuana retailers and cultivators. The first recipients were a recreational cultivation business out of Humboldt County, and an edible manufacturer based in the Bay Area approved for both medical and recreational products. The majority of cannabis businesses in California are still operation under temporary cannabis business licenses but many of these will expire in a matter of weeks.

Cannabis Cultivation Licenses

Forbidden Fruit Farms was issued the first annual cannabis business license for cultivating recreational marijuana this past weekend by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The California Department of Public Health also issued an annual license to Om Edibles to manufacture cannabis infused products. It could be that regulators are focussing on issuing licenses to the beginning of the supply chain first in hopes of avoiding problems down the road.

A California Department of Food and Agriculture spokeswoman said that there will be many more annual cannabis business licenses rolling out in the weeks to come. The CDFA is sifting through approximately 2,500 applications that were submitted before October 29th. The CDPH on the other hand is attempting to process 373 application from cannabis manufacturers seeking an annual license.

Cannabis Retailer Licenses

On Friday, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control approved 12 annual cannabis business licenses, ten specifically to marijuana dispensaries signalling that there would be many more to come. While these cannabis retailers are approved they will need to pay all licensing fees before being issued their license.

Once marijuana retailers are issued an active business license, they will then need to start reporting their sales and inventory to the state using Metrc. Many industry professionals are concerned that there will be more hurdles to cross with the transition into compliance reporting. San Diego cannabis attorney, Kimberly Simms, noted that “We’ve been hearing for months that Metrc is ready to go. When we ask follow-up questions about that, we get crickets.”

Updating Applications

There are also growing concerns that annual license applications will need to be updated to the prolonged period of time that has passed since applying. This will be especially true if new regulations are passed that require more paperwork on ownership disclosure. “Certainly every one of my clients will (have to update their annual license applications) – unless you’re a sole proprietor in a really small operation,” Simms stated.

The most important factor for cannabis dispensaries is using a dispensary POS software that already has experience integrating with Metrc in other states. IndicaOnline has successfully offered marijuana businesses a seamless transition in Alaska and is already ahead of the curve in California.

After the licensees are issued their annual cannabis business licenses, they will just need to login to Metrc to acquire their API key, contact IndicaOnline, and then allow an overnight data migration. California cannabis retailers can learn more by scheduling a demo with one of our support specialists.