Adult-Use Cannabis License Types Available in California

To operate a commercial cannabis business in California, an operator must first apply for—and obtain— a local commercial cannabis business license. There are six primary license types, each with sub-licensing categories based on the Applicant's intended operational practices and facility design: cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, retail, delivery retail and third-party laboratory testing. Each license type is described in more detail throughout this page.

Cultivation Documents

  • Cultivation Security Procedures
  • Cultivation Transportation Procedures
  • Cultivation Integrated Pest Management Procedures
  • Cultivation Waste Management Procedures
  • Cultivation Inventory and Record Keeping Procedures
  • Cultivation Non-Laboratory Quality Control Procedures
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Manufacturing Documents

  • Manufacturing Security Procedures
  • Manufacturing Transportation Procedures
  • Manufacturing Integrated Pest Management Procedures
  • Manufacturing Waste Management Procedures
  • Manufacturing Inventory and Record Keeping Procedures
  • Manufacturing Non-Laboratory Quality Control Procedures
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DISTRIBUTION DocumeNts

  • Distribution Security Procedures
  • Distribution Transportation Procedures
  • Distribution Waste Management Procedures
  • Distribution Inventory and Record Keeping Procedures
  • Distribution Non-Laboratory Quality Control Procedures
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RETAIL Documents

  • Retail Security Procedures 
  • Retail Transportation Procedures
  • Retail Waste Management Procedures
  • Retail Inventory and Record Keeping Procedures
  • Retail Non-Laboratory Quality Control Procedures
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delivery Documents

  • Delivery Security Procedures
  • Delivery Transportation Procedures
  • Delivery Waste Management Procedures
  • Delivery Inventory and Record Keeping Procedures
  • Delivery Non-Laboratory Quality Control Procedures
  •  
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LICENSE Types

Cultivation License California

There are several California marijuana growing licenses, also known as ‘Cultivation Licenses,’ available through California’s permitting process. Becoming a legal grower in California, or cultivator, begins by selecting, applying for, and obtaining a license to cultivate marijuana. The following commercial growers licenses are available in California, also known as ‘Cultivation Licenses.

  • Type 1: License for a small outdoor specialty cultivation using no artificial lighting. A Type 1 cultivation site is limited to 5,000 square feet or less in canopy size OR limited to 50 mature plants on the site.
  • Type 1A: License for a small indoor specialty cultivation using only artificial lighting. A Type 1A cultivation site is limited to 5,000 square feet or less in total canopy size. Type 1B: License for a small mixed-light small indoor specialty cultivation using a combination of artificial and natural light. A Type 1B cultivation site is limited to 5,000 square feet or less in canopy size.
  • Type 1C: License for a small specialty cottage cultivation using a combination of artificial and natural light. A Type 1C cultivation site is limited to 2,500 square feet.
  • Type 2: License for a small outdoor cultivation using no artificial lighting. A Type 2 cultivation site is between 5,001 to 10,000 square feet including total canopy size.
  • Type 2A: License for a small indoor cultivation using only artificial lighting. A Type 2A cultivation site is between 5,001 to 10,000 square feet including total canopy size.
  • Type 2B: License for a small mixed-light indoor cultivation using a combination of artificial and natural light. A Type 2B cultivation site is between 5,001 to 10,000 square feet including total canopy size.
  • Type 3: License for a medium-sized outdoor cultivation using no artificial lighting. A Type 3 cultivation site is between 10,001 square feet to one acre including total canopy size.
  • Type 3A: License for a medium-sized indoor cultivation using only artificial lighting. A Type 3A cultivation site is between 10,001 to 22,000 square feet including total canopy size. 
  • Type 3B: License for a medium-sized indoor cultivation using a combination of artificial and natural light. A Type 3B cultivation site is between 10,001 to 22,000 square feet including total canopy size.
  • Type 4: A nursery license to grow adult-use cannabis and transport live plants.

FEATURED CALIFORNIA Cultivation Documents

Governing Agencies

The Bureau of Cannabis Control

The Bureau of Cannabis Control (herein, the BCC) specializes in the regulation of commercial cannabis businesses and operations. The BCC is the leading agency responsible for licensing different cannabis business operations and creating regulations surrounding medical and adult-use cannabis in the state of California.

The Department of Food & Agriculture

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (herein, the CDFA) is the leading agency specializing in agricultural best practices, safety and quality of grown products, and environmental regulation in the agricultural space.

The Department of Public Health

The California Department of Public Health (herein, the CDPH) focuses on and protects the general health and well-being of individuals living in California. The CDPH hold responsibilities in infectious disease control and prevention, food safety, emergency preparedness, patient safety, and family health and promotion.

The History of California Cannabis
About California’s Medical Cannabis Program