Skip to main content

Would you like to start a cannabis business in California? Would you like help with your California Cannabis License application? Save time by allowing our California Cannabis Business Consultants to manage your application from start to finish.

You’ll find everything you need to know about applying for a cannabis business license in this post, including a step-by-step guide on how to win. But if you’d rather talk to our marijuana business consultants in California directly, click the button below to schedule a free consultation

California Cannabis Business Consultants California Cannabis Business Consultants

Laws and Regulations

To begin, our California cannabis consulting firm recommends that you read the laws and regulations. By doing so, you’ll understand the marijuana license application process as well as the operational requirements for your business. All of this is governed by the Department of Cannabis Control.

More specifically, our California cannabis application writers recommend that you read:

Don’t have time to read several hundred pages of laws and regulations? That’s okay. Our California Cannabis Business Consultants summarize the important information for applicants below.

Timeline for License Applications

The Department is accepting California marijuana business license applications on a rolling basis. However, local municipalities will have their own licensing round with specific dates.

Thus, you should check with the municipality that you’d like to locate in as to when they will accept license applications. The image below outlines upcoming cannabis licensing rounds in California during 2022, according to MJBiz daily.

California Cannabis Consulting Firm

Contact our California Marijuana Business Consultants for help with your State and local license application.

California Cannabis Business Consultants Types of Cannabis Licenses in California

There are several types of California Marijuana Business Licenses that you can apply for. So it’s important that you choose the cannabis license for your operations.

You can apply for the following California Cannabis business licenses:

  • Cultivation Licenses
  • Manufacturing Licenses
  • Distribution Licenses
  • Testing Laboratory Licenses
  • Retail Licenses
  • Microbusiness Licenses
  • Event Licenses

*Here is a full list and description of the types of California Marijuana Business Licenses.

Application Process

The Application for a Cannabis Business License in California starts at the local municipal level. In other words, you will have to obtain a local permit for your proposed cannabis business before you apply for a State license.

Each municipality will have its own licensing process, so make sure you check the local ordinances for the application process. Based on our cannabis license application writer’s experience, we most commonly find that a municipality will require you to submit:

  • Business Plan;
  • Site Plan;
  • Security Plan;
  • Operating Plan;
  • Financial Plan;
  • Community Impact Plan; and
  • more.

Once you receive a local permit, then you can apply for a State cannabis business license online.

The State cannabis license application requires you to submit information about your owners, business entity, proposed site, and standard operating procedures.

Each of your owners will also undergo a criminal background check to identify any disqualifying criminal convictions.

Additionally, depending on the type of license you choose, you’ll have to submit Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for:

  • Inventory Control;
  • Quality Control;
  • Transportation;
  • Security;
  • Waste Management;
  • Operations;
  • Delivery; and
  • others.

Once you submit, the Department will review and score your application. Next, our marijuana license application writers in California break down the application review and scoring process.

Application Review Process

The Department of Cannabis Control will review applications on a rolling basis and in the order that they are received. It’s best that you submit a complete and detailed cannabis license application so that the review process is quickened.

The Department will score your California Cannabis Busines License application on:

  • Completion;
  • City approval;
  • Business Ownership history and experience; and
  • Compliant Procedures.

As you can see, the application process for a cannabis business license in California is lengthy and requires technical writing. To make matters worse, the market is extremely competitive, so the highest scoring applications will win the licenses.

Why risk it? Work with our California Cannabis Business Consultants to write your application and win a license. We’ll manage your application from start to finish.

California Cannabis Business Consultants

Fees for Cannabis Applicants in California

You will have to pay two types of fees to obtain a California marijuana business license:

  • Application fees (non-refundable and due at submission); and
  • License Fees (due when your application is approved and upon renewal).

More specifically, you’ll have to pay a fee that is specific to your license type. Application fees range from $500 – $1,000 and license fees range from $1,200 – $300,000 based on annual gross revenue.

Step-by-step guide on How to Win a California Cannabis License

Now, our Cannabis Business Consultants in California

Step 1: Read the Laws and Regulations

You should begin by reading the laws and regulations governing the California Cannabis Industry, as described above.

Step 2: Choose your marijuana license type

Once you’ve read the laws and regulations, the next step is to choose which cannabis business license you will apply for. There are several types of marijuana licenses in California, so pick the right one for you.

Step 3: Engage a California Cannabis Business  Consultant

Now that you’ve chosen the cannabis license that is right for you, the next step is to engage a California marijuana business consultant, such as our cannabis application writers.

Our cannabis business consultants in California will manage your application from start to finish. Sit back and let the pros do the heavy lifting. Reach out today to speak with our California Cannabis Consultants and learn how we can help you win a license.

California Cannabis Business Consultants

Step 4: Choose a location

At this point, you’ll want to choose a location for your proposed cannabis business. We recommend starting at the city level. Choose a city that you would like to operate in and then check if they allow your type of cannabis business to operate in their jurisdiction.

You’ll also want to verify that they are accepting new license applications.

Step 5: Submit City Permit Application

After you’ve chosen your city, the next step is to apply for a permit. Each city will have its own licensing process, some more competitive than others. You can check the city’s cannabis ordinance for information about applying for a license.

Step 6: Apply for State License an application

The last step, after you’ve received your city approval, is to write and submit your State license application. As described above, the application process for a California Cannabis Business License is competitive and complex. It requires you to write several plans and standard operating procedures for your proposed business.

Conclusions from our California Cannabis Business License

We understand how confusing it can be to apply for a cannabis license in California. Make it easier for yourself by engaging a professional. Allow our California Cannabis License Consultants to write your application for you. We have one of the highest success rates in the industry for winning cannabis licenses (90.12%). So feel free to reach out today to learn how we can help you win a California cannabis business license:

California Cannabis Business Consultants

Supplemental Information related to California Cannabis Business Licensing

Social Equity in California Cannabis

Unlike New Jersey or New York, Social Equity applications do not exist at the State level. Instead, Social Equity only exists at the city level in California.

The following cities created social equity ordinances. These cities prioritize licensing cannabis businesses that qualify as Social Equity Status:

Our Cannabis Business Consultants in California suggest that you contact your city or county office to learn more about their equity program.

Ownership Limitations

To the best of our California cannabis consultant’s knowledge, it seems that there are no limitations on the number of California cannabis licenses you can have ownership in. This is in contrast to other States, such as Illinois, where you can only have ownership in up to 10 dispensary licenses.

Transferring Ownership

Our Marijuana consultant in California wants to emphasize that you are allowed to sell your cannabis license or company. However, you must get approval from the Department before you can legally transfer the ownership of the license.

Work with our California cannabis license consultants to learn more about buying or selling cannabis business licenses.

Related Articles from our California Cannabis Business Consultants

Julio Soriagalvarro

Author Julio Soriagalvarro

As the Managing Director at Quantum 9, I help entrepreneurs and investors win licenses and start cannabis businesses in medical and adult-use markets. I manage teams that continuously produce cannabis business license applications that outcompete the best attorneys and largest multi-state operators in the world. We’ve helped clients become cannabis business owners in 27 US States and 6 countries.

More posts by Julio Soriagalvarro

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.