Industry Licensing Law & Compliance for California Cannabis Cultivators, 2021 Industry News, Events, Information & Updates


California Cannabis Cultivators


Frequently Asked Questions

Can cultivation licensees make material physical modification of premises?

Cultivation licensees cannot make material physical modifications of the licensed premises if it materially or substantially alters the licensed premise of the use thereof from the premises diagram without prior written approval by the department.

What records need to be maintained on the licensed premises?

Department issued cultivation license(s)
Cultivation plan
All records evidencing compliance with the environmental protection measures
All supporting documentation for data or information input into the track-and-trace system;
All UIDs assigned to product in inventory and all unassigned UIDs. UIDs associated with product that has been retired from the track-and-trace system must be retained for six (6) months after the date the tags were retired; Financial records related to the licensed commercial cannabis activity, including but not limited to, bank statements, tax records, sales invoices, and sales receipts; Personnel records, including each employee’s full name, social security, or individual tax payer identification number, date of beginning employment, and date of termination of employment if applicable; Records related to employee training for the track-and-track system or other requirements of this chapter. Records shall include, but are not limited to, the date(s) training occurred, description of the training provided, and the names of the employees that received the training; Contracts with other state licensed cannabis businesses; Permits, licenses, and other local authorizations to conduct the licensee’s commercial cannabis activity; Records associated with composting or disposal of cannabis waste. Documentation associated with loss of access to the track-and-trace system.

What is a Type 3B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Medium)?

Type 3B, or “mixed-light,” for cultivation using a combination of natural and supplemental artificial lighting at a maximum threshold to be determined by the licensing authority, between 10,001 and 22,000 square feet, inclusive, of total canopy size on one premises. The Department of Food and Agriculture shall limit the number of licenses allowed of this type.

What is a Type 5B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Large)?

Type 5B, or “mixed-light,” means for cultivation using a combination of natural and supplemental artificial lighting at a maximum threshold to be determined by the licensing authority, greater than 22,000 square feet, inclusive, of total canopy size on one premises.
No Type 5, Type 5A, or Type 5B cultivation licenses may be issued before January 1, 2023.
Commencing on January 1, 2023, a Type 5, Type 5A, or Type 5B licensee may apply for and hold a Type 6 or Type 7 license and apply for and hold a Type 10 license. A Type 5, Type 5A, or Type 5B licensee shall not be eligible to apply for or hold a Type 8, Type 11, or Type 12 license.

What is a Type 5A (Cultivation; Indoor; Large)?

Type 5A, or “indoor,” means for indoor cultivation using exclusively artificial lighting greater than 22,000 square feet, inclusive, of total canopy size on one premises.
No Type 5, Type 5A, or Type 5B cultivation licenses may be issued before January 1, 2023.
Commencing on January 1, 2023, a Type 5, Type 5A, or Type 5B licensee may apply for and hold a Type 6 or Type 7 license and apply for and hold a Type 10 license. A Type 5, Type 5A, or Type 5B licensee shall not be eligible to apply for or hold a Type 8, Type 11, or Type 12 license.

What type of licensees need a Cultivation Plan?

Specialty Cottage, Specialty, Small and Medium licenses need a detailed premises diagram.

What is a Type 2A (Cultivation; Indoor; Small)?

Type 2A, or “small indoor,” stands for indoor cultivation using exclusively artificial lighting between 5,001 and 10,000 square feet, inclusive, of total canopy size on one premises.

What should be included in a pest management plan?

Product name and active ingredient(s) of all pesticides to be applied to cannabis during any stage of plant growth. Integrated pest management protocols, including chemical, biological and cultural methods the applicant anticipates using to control or prevent the introduction of pests on the cultivation site.

What are the Generator Requirements?

Licensees using generators rated at fifty (50) horsepower and greater shall demonstrate compliance with Airborne Toxic Control Measures. Compliance shall be demonstrated by providing a copy of one of the following to the CalCannabis department upon request:
(1) A Portable Equipment Registration Certificate provided by the California Air Resources Board, or;
(2) A Permit to Operate obtained from the Local Air District with jurisdiction over the licensed premises.
Licensees using generators rated below fifty (50) horsepower shall designate the generator as emergency or low use, meet Tier 3 with level 3 diesel particulate filter requirements, and meet Tier 4 engine requirements.
All generators shall be equipped with nonresettable hour-meters.

Can Nurseries maintain an area for research and development?

Yes. Nurseries may maintain a research and development area, as identified in their cultivation plan, for the cultivation of mature plants. All mature plants shall be tagged with a UID. All products derived from these plants are prohibited from entering the commercial distribution chain.

What is a Type 1B (Cultivation; Specialty mixed-light; Small)?

Type 1B, or “specialty mixed-light,” stands for cultivation using a combination of natural and supplemental artificial lighting at a maximum threshold to be determined by the licensing authority, of between 2,501 and 5,000 square feet of total canopy size on one premises.

What is a Type 1C (Cultivation; Specialty cottage; Small)?

Type 1C, or “specialty cottage,” stands for cultivation using a combination of natural and supplemental artificial lighting at a maximum threshold to be determined by the licensing authority, of 2,500 square feet or less of total canopy size for mixed-light cultivation, up to 25 mature plants for outdoor cultivation, or 500 square feet or less of total canopy size for indoor cultivation, on one premises.

Who can licensees transfer their harvested cannabis to?

Licensees can transfer their harvested cannabis to a licensed processor,, manufacturer or distributor via a licensed distributor.

What are the records and reporting requirements?

Each licensee shall keep and maintain the records listed in subsection (d) for at least seven (7) years from the date the document was created.
Records shall be kept in a manner that allows the records to be provided at the licensed premises or delivered to the department, upon request.

What is a Type 4 (Cultivation; Nursery)?

Type 4, or “nursery” for cultivation of cannabis solely as a nursery.

What type of license needs a Lighting Diagram?

Lighting Diagrams are required for mixed-light types applications (Specialty Cottage, Specialty, Small and Medium).

What are the Renewable Energy Requirements?

Beginning January 1, 2023, all indoor, tier 2 mixed-light license types of all sizes, and nurseries using indoor or tier 2 mixed-light techniques, shall ensure that electrical power used for commercial cannabis activity meets the average electricity greenhouse gas emissions intensity required of their local utility provider.

What is a Type 2B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Small)?

Type 2B, or “small mixed-light,” for cultivation using a combination of natural and supplemental artificial lighting at a maximum threshold to be determined by the licensing authority, between 5,001 and 10,000 square feet, inclusive, of total canopy size on one premises.

What are the Pesticide Use Requirements?

Licensees shall comply with all pesticide laws and regulations enforced by the Department of Pesticide Regulation.
For all pesticides that comply with subsection (a) above and are exempt from registration requirements, licensees shall comply with the following pesticide application and storage protocols:
(1) Comply with all pesticide label directions;
(2) Store chemicals in a secure building or shed to prevent access by wildlife;
(3) Contain any chemical leaks and immediately clean up any spills;
(4) Apply the minimum amount of product necessary to control the target pest;
(5) Prevent offsite drift;
(6) Do not apply pesticides when pollinators are present;
(7) Do not allow drift to flowering plants attractive to pollinators;
(8) Do not spray directly to surface water or allow pesticide product to drift to surface water. Spray only when wind is blowing away from surface water bodies;
(9) Do not apply pesticides when they may reach surface water or groundwater; and
(10) Only use properly labeled pesticides

What is a Type 1 (Cultivation; Specialty outdoor; Small)?

Type 1, or “specialty outdoor,” stands for outdoor cultivation using no artificial lighting of less than or equal to 5,000 square feet of total canopy size on one premises, or up to 50 mature plants on noncontiguous plots.

According to the federal Controlled Substances Act, what type of drug is cannabis?

According to the federal Controlled Substances Act, Cannabis is a Schedule I drug.

What is a Type 2 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Small)?

Type 2, or “small outdoor,” stands for outdoor cultivation using no artificial lighting between 5,001 and 10,000 square feet, inclusive, of total canopy size on one premises.

What are the flowering requirements?

Cannabis plants maintained outside of the designated canopy area(s) for specialty cottage, specialty, small and medium licenses are prohibited from flowering. Should plants outside of the canopy area(s) begin to flower, a UID shall be applied, the plant(s) shall be moved to the designated canopy area without delay, and reported in the track-and-trace system.

What does a Cultivation Plan require?

Cultivation Plans require: Detailed Premises Diagram, Pest Management Plan, and a Cannabis Waste Management Plan.

Do plants for seed products need to be tagged with a UID?

Yes, all plants or portions thereof that are used for seed production need to be tagged with a UID.

What are the Cultivation Requirements for Processor Licenses?


(a) All aggregation of product shall adhere to track-and-trace requirements.
(b) Licensees may produce nonmanufactured cannabis products without a manufacturing license, provided compliance with packaging and labeling requirements.
(c) Cultivation of cannabis plants is prohibited at a licensed processor premises.

What is a Type 3 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Medium)?

Type 3, or “outdoor,” stands for outdoor cultivation using no artificial lighting from 10,001 square feet to one acre, inclusive, of total canopy size on one premises. The Department of Food and Agriculture shall limit the number of licenses allowed of this type.

What are the requirements of a Lighting Diagram?

A Lighting Diagram must include location of all lights in the canopy areas and maximum wattage of each light.

Do applicants need Track-and-Trace Training

Yes. Each applicant shall register for track-and-trace system training provided by the department within ten (10) business days of receiving notice from the department that their application for licensure has been received and is complete. Documentation of training completion shall be provided to the department within ten (10) business days of completion. Applicants approved for an annual license shall not have access to the track-and-trace system until the licensee’s designated account manager has completed, and provided proof of completion, of the track-and-trace training prescribed by the department.

What is a Type 5 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Large)?

Type 5, or “outdoor,” means for outdoor cultivation using no artificial lighting greater than one acre, inclusive, of total canopy size on one premises.
No Type 5, Type 5A, or Type 5B cultivation licenses may be issued before January 1, 2023.
Commencing on January 1, 2023, a Type 5, Type 5A, or Type 5B licensee may apply for and hold a Type 6 or Type 7 license and apply for and hold a Type 10 license. A Type 5, Type 5A, or Type 5B licensee shall not be eligible to apply for or hold a Type 8, Type 11, or Type 12 license.

What are the fines for violations?

For minor violations, the fine range is $100-500.
For moderate violations, the fine range is $501-$1,000.
For serious violations, the fine range is $1,001-$5,000.
For guidance on what constitutes a minor, moderate, or serious violation, refer to our regulations page.

What is a Type 1A (Cultivation; Specialty indoor; Small)?

Type 1A, or “specialty indoor,” stands for indoor cultivation using exclusively artificial lighting of between 501 and 5,000 square feet of total canopy size on one premises.

Are there Sales Invoice or Receipt Requirements?

The licensee shall prepare a sales invoice or receipt for every sale, transport, or transfer of cannabis or nonmanufactured cannabis product to another licensee. Sales invoices and receipts may be retained electronically but must be readily accessible for examination by the department, other state licensing authorities, any state or local law enforcement authority, and the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.
For complete requirements, refer to our regulations page.

What is the Cannabis Waste Management Requirements?

Among other things, a licensee shall dispose of cannabis waste in a secured waste receptacle or in a secured area on the licensed premises designated on the licensee’s premises diagram and as identified in the licensee’s cultivation plan. For the purposes of this section, “secure waste receptacle” or “secured area” means that physical access to the receptacle or area is restricted only to the licensee, employees of the licensee, or the local agency, a waste hauler franchised or contracted by a local agency, or a private waste hauler permitted by the local agency. Public access to the designated receptacle or area shall be strictly prohibited.
Transportation of self-hauled cannabis waste shall only be performed by the licensee or employees of the licensee.
A licensee shall maintain accurate and comprehensive records regarding cannabis waste that account for, reconcile, and evidence all activity related to the generation or disposition of cannabis waste.

What is a Type 3A (Cultivation; Indoor; Medium)?

Type 3A, or “indoor,” stands for indoor cultivation using exclusively artificial lighting between 10,001 and 22,000 square feet, inclusive, of total canopy size on one premises. The Department of Food and Agriculture shall limit the number of licenses allowed of this type.

Do licensees need a nursing license if they propogate immature plants for distribution or seed for distribution to another licnesee.

Yes. Licensees need a nursing license if they propogate immature plants for distribution or seed for distribution to another licnesee.

What does a detailed premises diagram include?

A detailed premise diagram must show all boundaries and dimensions (in feet) of the following areas:
(A) Canopy area(s), including aggregate square footage if the canopy areas are noncontiguous;
(B) Area(s) outside of the canopy where only immature plants shall be maintained, if applicable;
(C) Designated pesticide and other agricultural chemical storage area(s);
(D) Designated processing area(s) if the licensee will process on site;
(E) Designated packaging area(s) if the licensee will package products on site;
(F) Designated composting area(s) if the licensee will compost cannabis waste on site;
(G) Designated secured area(s) for cannabis waste if different than subsection (F) above;
(H) Designated area(s) for harvested cannabis storage;

What are the required General Environmental Protection Measures?

All licensees shall comply with all of the following environmental protection measures:
Compliance with section 13149 of the Water Code as implemented by the State Water Resources Control Board, Regional Water Quality Control Boards or California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Compliance with any conditions requested by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife or the State Water Resources Control Board under section 26060.1(b)(1) of the Business and Professions Code.
All outdoor lighting used for security purposes shall be shielded and downward facing.
Immediately halt cultivation activities and implement section 7050.5 of the Health and Safety Code if human remains are discovered.
Requirements for generators pursuant to section 8306 of this chapter.
Compliance with pesticide laws and regulations as enforced by the Department of Pesticide Regulation pursuant to section 8307 of this chapter.
Mixed-light license types of all tiers and sizes shall ensure that lights used for cultivation are shielded from sunset to sunrise to avoid nighttime glare.


State Authority & Contact:

CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing (CA Department of Food & Agriculture)
1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 1-833-CALGROW (1-833-225-4769)
Email: calcannabis@cdfa.ca.gov

Scope of Licenses:

Medicinal (M):
  • M-Type 1 (Cultivation; Specialty outdoor; Small)
  • M-Type 1A (Cultivation; Specialty indoor; Small)
  • M-Type 1B (Cultivation; Specialty mixed-light; Small)
  • M-Type 1C (Cultivation; Specialty cottage; Small)
  • M-Type 2 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Small)
  • M-Type 2A (Cultivation; Indoor; Small)
  • M-Type 2B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Small)
  • M-Type 3 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Medium)
  • M-Type 3A (Cultivation; Indoor; Medium)
  • M-Type 3B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Medium)
  • M-Type 4 (Cultivation; Nursery)
  • M-Type 5 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Large)
  • M-Type 5A (Cultivation; Indoor; Large)
  • M-Type 5B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Large)

Adult-Use Recreational (A):
  • A-Type 1 (Cultivation; Specialty outdoor; Small)
  • A-Type 1A (Cultivation; Specialty indoor; Small)
  • A-Type 1B (Cultivation; Specialty mixed-light; Small)
  • A-Type 1C (Cultivation; Specialty cottage; Small)
  • A-Type 2 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Small)
  • A-Type 2A (Cultivation; Indoor; Small)
  • A-Type 2B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Small)
  • A-Type 3 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Medium)
  • A-Type 3A (Cultivation; Indoor; Medium)
  • A-Type 3B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Medium)
  • A-Type 4 (Cultivation; Nursery)
  • A-Type 5 (Cultivation; Outdoor; Large)
  • A-Type 5A (Cultivation; Indoor; Large)
  • A-Type 5B (Cultivation; Mixed-light; Large)

Requirements:

  • Cultivation Plan: Detailed Premises Diagram (for Specialty Cottage, Specialty, Small and Medium licenses)
  • Legal Right to Occupy
  • Property Diagram
  • Any Water Source Information
  • Identification of Cannabis Waste Management Plan
  • Applicant Track and Trace Training
  • Proof of Local License, Permit, or Other Authorization
  • Disclosure of any substantially related offenses
  • Each entity shall obtain a separate license for each premises that engages in commercial cananbis cultivation
  • License shall be prominently displayed on premises
  • Seed Production Compliance(for Nurseries)
  • Research and Development Compliance (for Nurseries)
  • Environment Protection Measures
  • Renewable Energy Compliance
  • Generator Compliance
  • Pesticide Compliance
  • Cannabis Waste Compliance
  • Track-and-Trace Sytem Compliance
  • Record Retention
  • Cooperation with any Inventory Audits
  • Inspections Compliance
  • Notification of Theft, Lost, Diversion, or Criminal Activity
  • Bureau's Sample Collection in event of transfer
  • Packaging and Labeling Compliance
  • Weighing Device Compliance
  • If applicable, liense issuance in Impacted Watershed
  • Disclosre of Owners and Financial Interest Holders
  • Sales Invoice or Receipt
  • And More...

Application and Licensing Fees:

Application Fees:
  • Specialty Cottage Outdoor $135
  • Specialty Cottage Indoor $205
  • Specialty Cottage Mixed-Light Tier 1 $340
  • Specialty Cottage Mixed-Light Tier 2 $580
  • Specialty Outdoor $270
  • Specialty Indoor $2,170
  • Specialty Mixed-Light Tier 1 $655
  • Specialty Mixed-Light Tier 2 $1,125
  • Small Outdoor $535
  • Small Indoor $3,935
  • Small Mixed-Light Tier 1 $1,310
  • Small Mixed-Light Tier 2 $2,250
  • Medium Outdoor $1,555
  • Medium Indoor $8,655
  • Medium Mixed-Light Tier 1 $2,885
  • Medium Mixed-Light Tier 2 $4,945
  • Nursery $520
  • Processor $1,040

Licensing Fees:
  • Specialty Cottage Outdoor $1,205
  • Specialty Cottage Indoor $1,830
  • Specialty Cottage Mixed-Light Tier 1 $3,035
  • Specialty Cottage Mixed-Light Tier 2 $5,200
  • Specialty Outdoor $2,410
  • Specialty Indoor $19,540
  • Specialty Mixed-Light Tier 1 $5,900
  • Specialty Mixed-Light Tier 2 $10,120
  • Small Outdoor $4,820
  • Small Indoor $35,410
  • Small Mixed-Light Tier 1 $11,800
  • Small Mixed-Light Tier 2 $20,235
  • Medium Outdoor $13,990
  • Medium Indoor $77,905
  • Medium Mixed-Light Tier 1 $25,970
  • Medium Mixed-Light Tier 2 $44,517
  • Nursery $4,685
  • Processor $9,370

Forms:


Video Guide:

Temporary License Application


Annual License Application

Resources:








California Universal Symbol for Cannabis


California Universal Symbol for Cannabis

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