What Do Marijuana Businesses in California Need to Know About the Law?

Here are some of the key current statewide rules for marijuana businesses in California (see the full rules here). Keep in mind cities and counties can create stricter rules than this, and can even ban the growing, manufacturing and selling of cannabis completely. See specific rules for cities below.

  • In order to sell recreational marijuana, a business must obtain an “A-license” from the Bureau of Cannabis Control. To sell medical marijuana, a business must obtain an “M-license.”
  • Cannabis businesses can’t be located within 600 feet of a school.
  • Shops must close by 10 p.m.
  • Shops must have 24-hour video surveillance.
  • Edible products must be produced in serving sizes that have no more than 10 milligrams of THC and no more than 100 milligrams of THC for the total package.
  • Shops will only be allowed to give free cannabis products to medical patients or their caregivers. That is, shops may NOT give free cannabis to recreational users.
  • Businesses will be able to apply for a special license to host cannabis events, such as festivals at fairgrounds.
  • All cannabis products must be tested for safety, and must use child-resistant packaging.
  • Rules for advertising include only allowing cannabis ads in media where at least 71.6 percent of the audience “is reasonably expected to be 21 years of age or older.”
  • Marijuana businesses may provide home delivery throughout the state, even in cities that do not allow pot shops (though several cities are suing to change this rule)

Is there a grace period for any of the rules?

The grace period ended July 1, 2018.

For local laws in the Los Angeles area, see our Guide to Marijuana Businesses in Los Angeles.

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