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What You Need to Know About California Cannabis Licenses

July 26, 2018


Even though the sale of medical marijuana has been legal in California for over 20 years, it was not until earlier this year that clear regulations were put in place to allow businesses to start their own marijuana operations. Now, with nearly 20 different types of medical marijuana licenses, it can be difficult to decide which cannabis license is right for your medical marijuana business. Below are a few key things you should know about California’s new cannabis licenses. An experienced California cannabis attorney can help you parse through the different types and determine which license or licenses are best for your marijuana business.


There are Nearly 20 Different Types of Cannabis Licenses


Cannabis licenses in California are divided into the following categories:


Specialty Small Cultivation:


  • Type 1: Outdoor - up to 5,000 square feet of total canopy space or up to 50 mature plants on noncontiguous plots

  • Type 1A: Indoor - up to 5,000 square feet

  • Type 1B: Mixed Light - up to 5,000 square feet


Small Cultivation:


  • Type 2: Outdoor - 5,001 to 10,000 square feet

  • Type 2A: Indoor - 5,001 to 10,000 square feet

  • Type 2B: Mixed Light - 5,001 to 10,000 square feet


Medium Cultivation:


  • Type 3: Outdoor - 10,001 square feet to one acre

  • Type 3A: Indoor - 10,001 to 22,000 square feet

  • Type 3B: Mixed Light - 10,001 to 22,000 square feet


Nursery Cultivation:


  • Type 4: Outdoor/Indoor/Mixed Light - up to one acre and ability to transport live plants




  • Type 6: Manufacturing using non-volatile solvents

  • Type 7: Manufacturing using volatile solvents







  • Type 10: General

  • Type 10A: No more than three retail sites




  • Type 11: Cultivation and manufacturing licensees must send their products to a Type 11 licensee for inspection and quality assurance before the products travel onto manufacturing or retail. Type 11 licensees are required to send their batches to a Type 8 lab for testing and certification.




  • Type 12: Only Type 12 licensees can transport products between licensees.


You can Hold Multiple Licenses at Once


While the Medical Cannabis Safety and Regulation Act (MCSRA) does not limit the number of licenses an individual can hold of the same license type, it does restrict the different types of licenses a marijuana business owner can hold at one time. The restrictions are as follows:


  • License Types 1 and 2: May also hold License Types 6, 7, and 10A.

  • License Types 3 and 4: May not hold License Types 6 or 7.

  • License Type 8: May not hold any other license type.

  • License Type 10A: May hold License Types 1-4 and 6-7 as long as the total cultivation area does not exceed four acres. May hold any license type except License Types 8 and 11.

  • License Type 11: May hold License Type 12.

  • License Type 12: May hold License Type 11.


Contact a California Medical Marijuana Attorney Today


The medical marijuana attorneys at Verhagen Bennett are at the forefront of marijuana laws in California. We have helped countless business owners establish booming cannabis businesses in California and want to help you, too. Contact us online or at 310-917-1064 today.


To make suggestions about future posts, please email: Info@VerhagenBennett.com


© 2018 Verhagen Bennett LLP — This article is for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.


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