Legally Opening a Marijuana Cultivation Facility in California
The State of California requires cultivators to gain local approval before they consider giving them a license. Local ordinances can vary by municipality, and some areas do not permit marijuana cultivation at all, such as Fresno.
While the process is different depending on the area one wants to grow in, the city will generally ask that a cultivator provide a business plan, security plan, finance plan, and any other general information about the cultivation premises. This also includes the following environmental codes, which also can vary by city. Wastewater management, conservation regulations, and other environmental issues all fall under this.
Business and Professions Code 26050
According to Business and Professions Code 26050, there are 16 different types of cultivation/manufacturing licenses, some of which must be held at the same time depending on a variety of factors.
The size of the cultivation facility, the amount of plants, the type of lighting, and the type of cannabis product being made are what determine the license(s) one must obtain. For bigger operations, the licenses granted by the state are limited in number. It is also possible for the state to limit the number of licenses in an area if the concentration of cannabis-related businesses becomes too high.
Requirements for Obtaining a Marijuana Cultivation License
Business and Professions Code 26051.5 outlines the requirements for obtaining a license. One must provide fingerprint information and pass a background check, documentation of the legal right to occupy the land, evidence that the operation follows local and statewide zoning ordinances, and a detailed description of the growing methods, business practice, quality control, and security.
Lastly, given that the cultivation operation is meant for selling cannabis, not just for personal use, the cultivator will need to obtain a seller’s permit, which is outlined in Business and Professions Code 6001. The seller’s permit ID must be provided before obtaining any cultivation license.
Choosing the type of cultivation/manufacturing license(s) one must obtain is dependent on the size of the cultivation project, whether the plants are grown inside or outside, and the type of cannabis product being made. For example, if a grower has a 7,500 square foot indoor operation, and also makes cannabis concentrates and hash, they must get a type 2a cultivation license, and also get a type 7 manufacturer’s license to make the concentrated products.
When the type of license is chosen, the steps to obtain it are fairly consistent between them all. It requires one to follow all local ordinances, pass a background check, provide a business, security, and financial plan, and obtain a seller’s license.