California Issues First Round of Cannabis Licenses

San Diego-based Torrey Holistics was one of California's first recipients of a state cannabis retailer license. (Courtesy of Torrey Holistics)

Roughly two weeks ahead of the Jan. 1 launch of California’s legal cannabis market, state regulators have granted the first batch of temporary cannabis business licenses.

On Thursday, the Bureau of Cannabis Control issued 20 licenses for medical and adult-use operations, including retailers, distributors, microbusinesses, and a testing laboratory. Though the licenses have now been granted, they won’t be valid until Jan. 1.

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The companies that received licenses stretch from San Diego to Shasta County and include:

  • Pure CA (Lynwood) — distributor, medical and adult-use
  • Buddy’s Cannabis (San Jose) — microbusiness, medical and adult-use
  • HERBL Distribution Solutions (Santa Rosa) — distributor, medical
  • Golden State Sciences (King City) — distributor, medical
  • Yes (Monrovia) — laboratory testing
  • Torrey Holistics (San Diego) — retailer, medical and adult-use
  • KindPeoples (Santa Cruz) — retailer, medical and adult-use (x2, for two separate locations); distributor, medical and adult-use; microbusiness, medical and adult-use
  • Hueneme Patient Consumer Co-op (Port Hueneme) — retailer, medical
  • 530 Cannabis (Shasta Lake) — retailer, medical and adult-use

To date, more than 200 applications have been submitted through the Bureau of Cannabis Control’s online system, according to a bureau press release, with many more expected to roll in during the coming months. So far more than 1,900 users have registered with the system, the bureau said.

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Products manufacturers, meanwhile, are licensed by the state Department of Public Health’s, which began accepting applications through its website last week. The a department spokesperson told Leafly via email that so far eight temporary licenses have been issued.

“As of December 14, 2017, the California Department of Public Health has received 55 requests for temporary licenses for manufactured cannabis, and has issued 8 temporary licenses with an effective date of January 1, 2018,” the department said. “These numbers are changing daily as we work with manufacturers and local jurisdictions to finalize the license applications.”

To apply for a temporary permit, applicants must register and fill out a short form. Applicants must also show proof of a valid permit or authorization from their local government. Once awarded, each temporary license is good for 120 days and can be extended if the operator has applied for an annual license.

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Absent from the new list of licensees are cannabis growers. That’s because the distribution of cultivation licenses is overseen by the state Department of Food and Agriculture, and applications forms won’t be available until later this month.