California’s Marijuana Regulatory Framework

The California Cannabis Industry is strictly regulated by numerous governmental agencies.

In November of 2016, 56% of California voters chose to legalize recreational marijuana in the state. Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), has permitted adults to grow, sell and smoke the drug without a medical reason since January of 2018. However, the industry as a whole is strictly regulated by numerous governmental agencies.

Oversight of the Cannabis Industry

The State of California has a comprehensive regulatory framework for the licensing, cultivation, manufacturing, testing, distribution, transport and sale of medical and recreational marijuana. The following governmental agencies are responsible for administering laws and regulations concerning the cannabis industry:

  • The California Bureau of Marijuana Control (formerly the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation) is charged with establishing and maintaining a licensing system for those who produce, cultivate, and distribute marijuana for both medical and recreational use. This includes retailers, distributors, testing laboratories, microbusinesses, and those planning cannabis-related events.
  • The California Department of Public Health’s Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB) regulates all commercial cannabis manufacturing, to ensure that marijuana is produced in safe and sanitary conditions, meets product guidelines, and that all marijuana products produced in the state are properly packaged and labeled.
  • CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, a division of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), licenses and regulates cultivators of commercial cannabis in the state. This agency tracks and traces the movement of cannabis and cannabis products through the supply chain (cultivation, manufacture and sale), to ensure that the source of any bad product can be identified quickly, and to prevent the product from being diverted to and from the black market.

Individuals with the drive and commitment to succeed in business should not be disadvantaged by unjust marijuana license revocations, denials, fines, sanctions, and penalties. Hiring an experienced legal professional to help you complete your licensing application, or represent you in a hearing or administrative agency audit, will enable your operation to move forward more quickly and efficiently.

Experienced cannabis lawyers to help you challenge legal and administrative decisions

The cannabis law attorneys at Moskowitz, LLP are dedicated to the rights of marijuana growers, retailers, distributors, and microbusinesses. We regularly handle legal challenges to individual administrative decisions and actions by government departments or public officials. Our firm has successfully handled thousands of tax law and administration cases, including a landmark tax case that forced the IRS to modify a section of the Internal Revenue Manual. Contact our San Francisco office today for a confidential consultation.