California extends temporary cannabis licensing rules

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Emergency regulations for cannabis manufacturers put into place by California government as it continues to development permanent regulations for the cannabis industry have been extended for 180 more days.

As state licensing agencies continue to refine permanent rules, temporary regulations remain in place, according to the California Department of Public Health on Wednesday. The bridge rules also apply to the Bureau of Cannabis Control and California Department of Food & Agriculture.

The health department stated there are some changes in the new, temporary rules. For example, it stated the latest regulations remove restrictions created by the adult use (“A”) and medicinal (“M”) license designations. Businesses will be able to complete one license application and receive one license allowing them to operate in both cannabis markets.

“Beginning June 6, 2018, designation of cannabis and cannabis products as adult-use or medicinal will primarily occur at the time of retail sale, except for higher-THC products permitted only in the medicinal market,” the Public Health Department said in the announcement.

Under previous rules, cannabis plants would have been designated at cultivation for either the A or M market and the plant material and resulting products would be required to maintain that designation throughout the supply chain.

The agency said pushback from industry groups was that maintaining separate designations would, among other things, reduce the number of business getting into the medicinal cannabis market. The department provided a summary of the new temporary rules.

FAQs for cannabis licensees in California

Q: I submitted two applications, for both A- and M-licenses, for my premises. Based on the changes in the re-adoption of the emergency regulations only one license application is required for both activities on one premises, so what will happen with the duplicate application fee I paid?

A: The balance of the funds will be applied to your license fee. License fees are due upon approval of your application by the Department.

Q: I submitted two applications, for both A- and M-licenses, for my premises. Based on the changes in the re-adoption of the emergency regulations will that change how my applications are reviewed?

A: Our office will utilize your A license application as the primary application and aggregate the total gross revenue of your A & M license to determine your license fee. We will contact you if we have questions on the application during our review.

If you have any additional questions about your license or application, please contact our licensing team at

Q: Which products must be labeled “FOR MEDICAL USE ONLY,” and which licensee is responsible for doing this labeling?

A: Products with more than 1,000 milligrams of THC that can only be sold in the medicinal market must be labeled by the manufacturer “FOR MEDICAL USE ONLY.” Other products, which can be sold in either market, will be labeled with this phrase by retailers at the time of sale to a medicinal consumer.

Source: California Department of Public Health

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