Licensing and Oversight of California’s Cannabis Industry

With the 2016 voter passage of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), licensed California cannabis businesses are slated to begin selling recreational marijuana on January 1, 2018. State licenses will also begin to be issued on January 1 for other marijuana-related business such as cultivators, manufacturers, distributors and testing labs.

The AUMA tasks several state agencies with the oversight of the adult use marijuana program. These agencies include:

  • The Bureau of Marijuana Control, formerly the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation: regulating the seed-to-sale tracking system
  • The California Department of Food and Agriculture: licensing and regulation of marijuana cultivation
  • The California Department of Public Health: licensing and monitoring the manufacture of marijuana edibles
  • The California State Water Resources Control Board: regulating the environmental impacts of marijuana cultivation on water quality
  • The California Department of Fish and Wildlife: regulating the environmental impacts of marijuana cultivation on local environs
  • The California Department of Pesticide Regulation: regulating pesticide and nutrient use in marijuana cultivation

The attorneys in our Cannabis Practice recognize that businesses face many challenges as they seek to enter California’s emerging recreational and medical cannabis industry.  We are keeping a close watch on regulatory developments at the state and local levels so that we can provide our clients with the up-to-date information they need to successfully launch their business operations.