7 min read

New California Cannabis Regulations Released

November 16, 2017

The long awaited California cannabis regulations have been released following an emergency meeting between the Bureau of Cannabis Control, the Department of Food and Agriculture, the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch and the Department of Tax and Fee Administration. With time running out before adult use marijuana is officially legal, we’ve broken down how these regulations will affect your medical marijuana dispensary or cannabis retailer.

Most of what we’ll be covering in the article pertains to Chapter 3 of the BCC’s regulation policy for retailers. The complete text of the new regulations can be found on the California Bureau of Cannabis Control website.

Limited Access Areas

Every marijuana dispensary must establish limited access areas where only employees or authorized individuals are allowed. According to California cannabis regulations, authorized individuals who qualify are contractors, vendors, or other representatives who are conducting business with the retailer and should always be escorted by a licensed employee. The cannabis business will be required to keep an up-to-date log of all authorized individuals to enter the limited access area to be made available to the BCC.

Retail Sales Floor

Entry onto the sales floor will only be allowed after customers present valid identification proving they are older than 21 years of age. Any customer between the ages of 18 and 21 will need to provide valid state issued ID and a current doctor’s medical recommendation. Acceptable forms of identification include: a California driver’s license, Armed forces identification card or a valid passport from the US or foreign country. To meet California cannabis regulations, at least one dispensary employee must be present at all times when customers are on the retail sales floor.  

Hours of Operation

All dispensaries and cannabis retailers are allowed to make sales and deliveries between the hours of 6am to 10pm PST. During non-operational hours the cannabis retailer must ensure the storefront is secure with commercial grade door locks and is protected by an active alarm system. Only dispensary employees and contractors are allowed on the premises before opening and after closing.

Cannabis Goods For Display

All marijuana used for the purposes of display and inspection by customers must remain in the retail area. Retailer are responsible that cannabis on display is not visible from outside of the premises. Marijuana that is removed from packaging and placed in display containers must only be accessible by customers with the assistance of a dispensary employee. Display cannabis is not allowed to be sold or consumed once removed from the packaging and must be destroyed once it’s no longer on display to satisfy California cannabis regulations.

Cannabis Goods for Sale

All cannabis goods will only be allowed to be sold to customers or patients if they were received from a licensed distributor. Dispensary employees are responsible for check the expiration or sell-by date before adding any product to the inventory. Any manufactured marijuana products must comply with the Business and Professions Code before being sold to customers.

Live Plants

Selling live plants or cannabis clones is allowed only if the following conditions are met. The marijuana plant must not be in the flowering phase and should only be acquired from a nursery with a Type-4 License. Labelling all plants or seeds with a tag stating “This product has not been tested pursuant to Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act.” Dispensary employees are not allowed to any pesticides on live plants that are being sold to the public.

Daily Purchase Limits

The new California cannabis regulations set different daily purchase limits for adult-use consumers and medical marijuana patients. Retailers are not permitted to sell more than 28.5 grams of non-concentrated marijuana in one day to a single adult-use customer. Dispensaries are only allowed to sell up to 8 grams of concentrate and 6 immature plants to recreational users to stay compliant. Medical patients can purchase a significantly more amount of cannabis as the limit is set at 8 ounces of marijuana unless otherwise specified by the physician’s recommendation.

Customer Returns

Cannabis retailers are allowed to accept returns from customers but will not be able to resell these products. Any marijuana good abandoned on-site at the dispensary will qualify as a customer return and must be destroyed in accordance with the new regulations set forth by the bureau.

Free Marijuana

Unfortunately adult-use consumers will not be benefitting from free marijuana. Only medical marijuana dispensaries and delivery services with an M-license will be allowed to distribute free cannabis to patients. The patient must present valid identification and a doctor’s recommendation. The marijuana provided must be recorded in a track-and-trace system and have undergone laboratory testing. Free marijuana given to medical patients must be applied to their daily limit and placed in opaque packaging before exiting the dispensary premises.

Packaging and Labelling

Labelling and packaging marijuana will no longer be allowed on-site at the cannabis retailer. Manufacturers and distributors will be responsible for labelling and packaging both flower and manufactured marijuana products. Dispensaries will not be allowed to possess, accept, or sell products that deviate from the original packaging and must place all purchase items in an opaque bag before customers exit.

Delivery Regulations

While the new marijuana delivery regulations are extensive, there are no real surprises. All deliveries must be performed by an employee of the retailer and be at least 21 years of age. Delivery drivers must always retain a copy of the retailer business license, valid government identification, and an employer name tag. Every delivery must be made in-person to a physical address within the State of California.

Motorcycles are not allowed to be used a delivery method as the new regulations specify that deliveries must be made within an enclosed vehicle. All marijuana related products must remain out of view of the public and never be left unattended in the vehicle without locking the doors and activating the car alarm.

The car must also be equipped with a permanent or temporary GPS device owned by the licensed cannabis business. Identifying the geo-location of each driver is mandatory per the new California cannabis regulations and must be submitted to the Bureau along with the vehicle make, model, color, VIN, plate number and registration upon request.The use of marijuana by marijuana delivery drivers is strictly prohibited and each vehicle shall carry no more than $3,000 worth of cannabis goods at one time.

After every delivery transaction the courier must provide the customer with a copy of the receipt. The receipt must include the name and address of the retailer, and the name and employee number of the driver and retail employee who prepared the order as well as the customer name and number. It must also provide the date and time the order was requested, the physical address, a detailed description of the products as well as weight and volume, and all associated charges, taxes or fees. After the transaction is made, the courier must not the time of completion and obtain a signature from the customer and keep a signed copy for the retailer records.

Retailer Inventory

Receiving shipments of cannabis products should only be through a distribute and only occur during the hours of operation. Transporting shipments into the retailer premises should not be done through an entrance that is available for public use. When adding product to the dispensary inventory, employees should include a detailed description, the quantity, the expiration date, the price paid, the date and time it was received, and the name and license number of the distributor and courier.

Marijuana retailers are required to do an inventory count (or reconciliation) every 14-days to verify the physical stock matches the recorded inventory in the point-of-sale software. Results of inventory reconciliation should be made available to the Bureau of cannabis control especially if there are any discrepancies. If the retailer has been a victim of theft or product loss, they should immediately report this to the bureau as well as law enforcement.

Records of Sales

Tracking sales is really where an advance dispensary POS system comes in handy. The new California cannabis regulations require an accurate record of every sale to every customer and must include detailed information pertaining to the purchase. Additional information such as the name and employee number of the personnel who processed the transaction, the date and time, the quantities of all purchased items, the price including taxes, and the customer name and assigned number.

Using a powerful marijuana POS software can really alleviate the burden of many of these new California cannabis regulations. Try a free 14-day trial of IndicaOnline to discover a multitude of features that can benefit your cannabis retailer before the start of 2018.